Fort Smith Frisco interchages

Discussion in 'Ft. Smith Subdivision' started by ozarkcentrallines, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. I know the Frisco had interchanges in Fort Smith with the Missouri Pacific, Kansas City Southern, and Midland Valley. Does anyone have an idea of the number of cars annually interchanged with each road during the 1950s?
  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    I don't have the answer that you seek, but attached is a list of the Frisco's top-twenty interchange points, which will give you an idea with regard to the magnitude of the traffic that the Frisco swapped at Ft Smith, i.e., less than 4300 cars annually. Anything less that that was considered to be a secondary point.

  3. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Normally I have some memory issues going back to the 70's, but I am thinking the frisco owned the Ft. Smith line in the 50's and am not real sure how KCS got in their, maybe running rights from Poteau, after the diamond was removed. I had the line with KCS, it has about three tracks in the yard, the rest belongs to OK foods in Ft Smith. KCS runs over the Ft. Smith Railway into the yard. This is open, because, really not for sure.
    I went down the Frisco side, all the way from Monett to Ft. Smith, but never on the West side until I went to work for KCS.
    Incidently, I worked on the rail pick-up machine that removed the rail West of Wister, that was a beautiful line.
    Sorry had to look it up "Wister" to "Antlers" taken up about, "now" 81
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2014
  4. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Karl, thanks for sharing this document. While off the topic of the thread, I didn't have any idea that this many cars were swapped between SL-SF and C&EI at Chaffee.

    Best Regards,
  5. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Some of that reminds me, that KCS derailed on the crossover into the yard in Ft. Smith. Lucky for me it was maintained by the Ft Smith Railway. Good Day, on that occation. Really it was unknown, by the officials, including me, who maintained what. Too bad I don't have the map, we made, after the derailment, it showed the ownership and maintenance.
    Guess I should have said, curved closure pushed out, fell in on wide gage. Tore it up pretty good, KCS was a real stickler on gage.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2014
  6. gbmott

    gbmott Member

    In a disjointed fashion I'll try to respond to different messages above. The KCS' own line from Spiro to Fort Smith was abandoned after the flood of 1944 [?] washed out the bridge over the Poteau River. It was located near what later was the abattoir and the Naval Reserve Center south of downtown and the approach fill to it could be clearly seen for many years after. It was at that point that the KCS got trackage rights over the Frisco from Poteau that in modified form exist to this day. Passenger service at this point became a bus connection from the Union Station to Sallisaw using a bus painted in a version of the E-unit scheme.

    I don't have any numbers, but there had to be a healthy volume of interchange between the Frisco and the MoPac, particularly of furniture cars. The whole series of factories on the west side of the Frisco yard was switched by the MoPac and I'm sure that at least some part of their output went out via the Frisco. Likewise, Dixie Cup, American Can, and later Whirlpool were all served by the Frisco but I am confident sent some volume out via the MoPac. My hunch is that the bulk of both the Midland Valley's and the KCS's traffic originated or terminated in Fort Smith, though there are always exceptions.

    I wish I had numbers, but I don't.

  7. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Gordon, thanks very much for the review, I wish I had known some of that, in my KCS and Frisco days. I was not looking, but don't recall seeing any of the remains at Spiro. I spent many Hot day's in the siding at Spiro. The first summer at KCS was a really hot one, as over 90 degrees, you had to patrol every day. The Line change over the Arkansas River was concrete with old compression anchors, the rail kinked up nearly every day. Generally, I used to put a 10 on the track, until about 9 pm. I would set and listen to the expansion joints at the north end of the bridge, watching the rail move, 4 or 5 inches from day to night. On another side note, Jension Tunnel, the chief engineer got to quizing me on the 10 through the Tunnel, so he decided to hyrail with me, lucky fo me it was raining, the water was pouring through, onto the track. As we entered he said "OMG" never heard another word.
  8. SteveM

    SteveM Member Supporter

    With all the industry, such as the furniture plants in the '50s, it's hard to imagine that there was more interchange at Neosho, although that was eight cars a day each way. It would be interesting to see more about many of those interchange points, including why the numbers skew one way or the other.
    Anyway, any other info on Fort Smith traffic, especially closer to 1980 would be appreciated.
  9. KGH52

    KGH52 Member

    The flood that washed out the KCS Ft. Smith to Spiro line was in 1943. From the stories I've read the KCS track through the Braden Bottoms from Sprio to Ft Smith was in poor shape before the flood. The flood made the SF junction a very busy place as Frisco, KCS, Midland Valley & MOP all passed through this junction on the south side of Fort Smith. I believe the KCS bridge over the Arkansas River near Sallisaw, Ok and the Frisco bridge between Ft Smith & Van Buren were also damaged in the flood adding to the wartime high traffic going through Ft Smith.

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