Info Request: Agrico - Olathe, KS

Discussion in 'Kansas City Subdivision' started by yardmaster, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Folks -

    I'm trying to find some background information on this industry.

    It is shown in Karl Brand's father's notes from the late 1960s...

    ...and is visible in the background of this photo from Paul Bender (look for the white building with red "Agrico" letters)...

    I've also tried to research for information and photos through the Johnson County Historical Society website, with no luck.

    My questions:
    (1) What products did this business ship/receive?
    (2) Any information on when this industry was established?

    Thanks, in advance, for any information that anyone might be able to provide.

    Best Regards,
  2. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year


    My guess is fertilizer. Check out this url from IMC-Agrico

    When are you coming to KC again? We need to operate.
  3. tboyne

    tboyne Frisco Employee

    Yes they make and distribute fertilizer. They were once owned by my former employer and used their pipelines to ship liquid fertilizer.
  4. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Agrico was a long time US wet phosphoric acid based fertilizer producer. I don't recall if they were also active in the ammonia and/or potash sides as well. Agrico was a part of IMC for long time, which is now part of Mosaic.

  5. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Supporter

    Agrico built the fertilizer plant at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa sometime in the early/middle 70s, I think:confused: and immediately became a MAJOR shipper on the Frisco. My father in law was chief clerk in Tulsa at that time, and he told me that the Agrico business kept the Frisco afloat through a down economic time that the Frisco experienced at that time. The plant (although not Agrico any longer) still is the major shipper out of the Tulsa terminal. Terry
  6. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Terry -

    What was shipped on the Frisco out of Agrico Catoosa? Do you recall? Bulk hopper cars? Tank cars? Box cars?

  7. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Supporter

    Ken, Originally Agrico shipped a lot of pressurized anhydrous ammonia tanks and fertilizer in tanks. I remember my father in law telling me that Agrico had 180 of the pressurized tanks leased. I remember the engineer on the east local (who, by the way is now the terminal superintendent) telling how one day they were dragging the loads out of the Agrico lead and into the west end of Verdigris pass when the train went into emergency. One of the ground crew members came into the engine to tell them that they had several of the anhydrous ammonia tanks derailed and some were turned over. The engineer got all over him because he had violated a very important rule concerning how to handle a derailment with so many hazmat cars. If one of those anyhydrous ammonia cars had been leaking the brakeman could have been easily killed as the ah is heavier than air and will displace the air. Needless to say, the brakeman was very fortunate and glad that no cars had been punctured. Today the same plant ships fertilizer in tanks for the most part with pressurized tanks periodically. I don't remember anything but tanks coming out of there to the Frisco. They also had the capability to ship in barges, and I couldn't say what was shipped in them. One of the main reasons for Agrico building at the port was the abundant supply of cheap natural gas. Terry
  8. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    It was an ammonia plant. Natural gas is a raw material for NH3.

  9. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Thanks to all for the info. Now I'll have to figure out if this business fits for the mid-1940s. I really need to find a map or track chart from that era to determine if any predecessor industry was located here, if not Agrico.

    Regardless, a lot of good operations information here!

    Rick, we'd love to get to KC sometime. We've not been in a long time, and I have an operating craving that is pretty serious. First, we have to move across town and start figuring out a new track plan.

    Best Regards,
  10. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    Praxair operates a carbon dioxide plant to recover and purify that by-product from ammonia manufacture from the Catoosa plant. They ship out liquid CO2 by rail in 80 ton (nominal) capacity insulated tank cars. These will be post-Frisco, unfortunately, but their reporting marks will be LCIX 28## and they will be white. Other reporting marks I saw as a receiver's agent were PROX (Procor) and TILX.

    Both anhydrous ammonia (UN # 1005) and refrigerated liquid carbon dioxide (UN 2187) cars are in Cuba sub trains. There has been mention of a "Coca-Cola Train" of high fructose corn syrup, the refrigerated liquid CO2 cars also carry soft drink ingredient!
  11. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    And, there is the phosphoric acid (UN # 1805) that we at Monsanto (and others) sold to the cola manufacturers. It also shipped in tank cars, unless the syrup plant is close to an acid producer - then in T/T's.

    Look at the ingredient listing on a can of Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, RC, etc - the phos acid is what gives the drink that little bite on your tongue - without it, the cola would taste flat, even with the carbonation.

    I sold, and made, a lot of phos acid in my day! :p


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