Frisco Auto train

Discussion in 'Autoracks' started by friscomike, May 28, 2009.

  1. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter


    A friend from the Texas Western Club brought this for me to look at. It is an old lithograph used for autorack PR. The file is very large when viewed full size. The original was badly decomposed and stained in spots, but I worked it in Photoshop to improve the image. I used Canon's photostich to merge three separate scans together.

    The small picture gives you an idea what it is. The zip file is the 17mb image.

    Best regards,

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2009
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  2. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Neat photo, Mike! And good restoration work, too. Are those 5 F units on the head-end?

    A very aesthetically pleasing shot of the SL-SF earning its keep.
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  3. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Rick McClellan has the same lithograph, in excellent condition on display. At first my speculation was that it was taken in central Missouri, but after spending sometime with Google maps and the satellite imagery, I can't find a spot that matches the track curvature and surrounding topography (creek or river bridges and possible nursery) granted that picture looks like it was taken in 1961 based on the Rambler Wagons, Buick Specials, Pontiac Venturas & Catalinas, Plymouth Furys and Ford Thunderbirds on those cars.
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  4. w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021)

    w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021) 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    I had the same one hanging in my basement in Annapolis. It was a Frisco PR photo taken on the Valley Park, MO lead to the Chrysler plant. The photographer was probably on US 66 (I-44 now). All the racks were 3000-series SL-SF. I did the artwork for Tim for the OddBalls Decals. I've scratchbuilt five or six. Richard Grayson was very proud of the automobile transport business they got back from the truckers in the early 1960's. Read the interview in FMIG LINES 116.
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  5. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

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  6. The drawings and plans for the Chrysler Plant loadout made many appearances on our kitchen table. Pop was still working in engineering at the time. What I haven't seen on this thread is reference to the "Special Agents" of the Frisco who were tasked with overwatch at the overpasses as the initial trains headed south. Trucking industry miscreants were pouring paint on top of the uncovered vehicles as they passed beneath. Jobs were lost and there was much ill will over the changes the mass rail shipments brought. Agents spent many days and nights "leap frogging" ahead of the trains from one overpass to the next - trying to catch the perpetrators. Eventually this situation calmed, but for a while this was quite an operation.

    Later, when dad was Trainmaster - early 60's - we would be driving and see the interior lights on in a car on a passing train. He would soon be on a phone, trying to get someone to apprehend an unwanted passenger. The cars were shipped with a couple of gallons in the tank and keys in the ignition to facilitate loading and unloading - and unlocked. A "traveler" would choose a comfy set of wheels, turn on the heater or air conditioner, and read the paper while the Frisco did the driving. The cars would later be discovered with full ashtrays and out of gas...... When one of the cars ran out of gas, the traveler would simply move to another!
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
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  7. Funny this thread resurfaced after so long. For what it is worth in Frisco history trivia my grandpas brother is the engineer in this shot. Marion Tankersley, Roy’s brother. Marion worked off the extra board a lot and fired for years then becoming an engineer in the late 50s. So we have always had a copy of the picture Mike shared hanging as well. An original still hangs in my basement. My grandma and dad told me many times about Marion not liking spending the entire shift just moving the train forward and back a few feet so they could take pictures.

    Here is one picture I have of him. 06E54E37-EF85-4DB3-B755-321DD5CCE35F.jpeg
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
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  8. Here is the backside of the picture.
    63B08E4F-9BF2-4AC8-9FDD-66FBFE9DC592.jpeg A39B72D8-D256-4E5E-B327-BF69088F5E23.jpeg
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  9. 25D30F4E-25F6-4323-8968-5D26B2517E78.jpeg
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
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  10. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Got my copy on the wall here too. It is framed, I didn't know there was anything on the reverse side, nice to see the back story. Steve, sometimes these kind of jobs were filled by XBD people as it was not a "pool" job. The XBD protected yard and road jobs in some locations, great to see your great uncle's images. There is nothing like being a mile away from the uncoupling/coupling/switching. The stories about people pouring paint on the tops of cars, as a result of lost jobs is totally believable and gives us another respect for RR special agents. Most people dont know that RR police have broad power.
    There was a scrap dealer selling tie plates.. A special agent went there, told them to cease, the dealer said "no", then the RR special agent put a chain with a switch lock on his front gate. Well, didnt take long for that guy to understand that a RR special agent was basically a US Marshall.

    But how about them cars right? I mean, holy smokes, I wonder how many of those cars are still in service.
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  11. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    FYI, if any of those autos are still in service, they have outlived their assembly plant where they were built. That Chrysler Corp plant is GONE. A shame - it was the newest of the various auto assembly plants in StL.
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  12. pensive

    pensive Member Supporter

    My dad shared a story that told of how railroads expedited the development of enclosed auto rack cars. It seems that a tank car carrying sulfuric acid had sprung a leak, and sprayed the corrosive liquid on a train of new autos as it moved through the yard causing quite a mess.

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  13. Dad came home with a story - dunno all of the details at this late date - but while he was environmental engineer, they had a big derailment of the auto haulers in Oklahoma. By some hook or crook, they had to clean-up anti-freeze, transmission fluid and engine oil - where Hulcher had pushed the wreckage off the right-of-way and into farmers fields. The thing that interested my friends, was the car bodies were buried on the spot (by arrangement with the farmer, and after the fluid recovery effort). Which meant there were all sorts of good "muscle car" MOPAR parts ...... rusting away in a shallow grave.
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  14. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Supporter

    You may be referring to the derailment at Chickasha of what we were told was the last shipment of Cadillac convertibles. If that story was true, that was quite a loss. I won't stake my reputation on these facts, but that is what we were told at the time. Maybe someone here has more concrete information than water cooler talk.
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