Kansas Section Gang Locations

Discussion in 'Operations' started by rich57, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. rich57

    rich57 Member

    I am looking for the locations of section gangs along the subdivisions in Kansas. I am looking for Section Gang Numbers and what town they were in. I am trying to do research for a book and any help would be appreciated. Is there somewhere I can go to get this information or does someone have track maps showing the division points between sections. Thank you for any help on this topic
  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Here's the KC sub. More later.

    Attached Files:

  3. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Parsons Subdivision Section Gangs

    The Parsons Subdivision Section Gangs

    Attached Files:

  4. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Karl, neat stuff, I was just wondering if you knew what the time frame on these are.William Jackson
    Kinda hoping you have the Wichita and Burton sub's
  5. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    The time frame is 1929-1930....the Wichita and Burton Sub are next...
  6. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Section Gang headquarters on the KD Line

    Attached is a sheet that lists the Section Gangs found on the KD Line.

    Attached Files:

  7. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Section Gang Headquaters, Afton Sub and J&G Branch

    This is the last of it.

    Attached Files:

  8. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    I’d like to add a footnote to this thread with a few observations. The relatively large number of section gangs and the small length of the territory for which they were responsible shows just what a hard, manual, and dirty job railroading was.

    The Frisco utilized Section Gangs of three different sizes, i.e., 10 men, 5 men, or 3 men. A Section Foreman, who reported to the Roadmaster, supervised the section men. The gang’s size was determined by the size of its territory and the maintenance level that territory required.

    The Section Foreman and his men were responsible for the roadbed, drainage, ballast, ties, tie plates, rail anchors, rail, angle bars, line, surface, elevation, gauge, tamping, turnouts, policing, road crossings, fences, cattle guards, track cars, and tools. The foreman and his gang served as good-will ambassadors between the local landowner and the railroad. The gang was never “off” the clock, and the gang’s duties required that it be out in all sorts of weather conditions.

    The rules prohibited any mode of dress that included the colors red, yellow, or green. The railroad gave the foreman the gang’s only switch key, which was not to leave his possession at any time except for when he was on leave. If the key became lost, the railroad docked the foreman’s salary $0.50.

    In order to carry out its duties, the well-equipped gang had adzes, axes, ballast forks, claw bar, lining bars, side tamping bars, brooms, several varieties of oil cans, hand car/track car, push car, track chisels, tin cups, drill, drill bits files, funnels, grindstone set, extra handles, hand axe, brush hook, track jacks, water keg, lanterns (red, green, white, & yellow), extra globes of the aforementioned colors, track levels, spike mauls, clay picks, tamping picks, pike pole, wire pliers, post hole diggers, track punch, rakes, book of rules, hand saws, scythes, track shovels, scoop shovels, signal flags (red, yellow, & green), spike pullers, 50 foot tape, torches, torpedoes, track gauge, wheelbarrow, whetstones, wire stretchers, monkey wrenches, and telegraph wire.

    These were the men who kept Frisco Faster Freight wheel’n’ safely on time.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2015
  9. rich57

    rich57 Member

    Thank you Karl for your response to my question. You provided valuable information!
  10. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    I think I'd overlooked this thread while on vacation a couple of years ago. For Karl or others, I'm wondering if anyone knows if there was a section house for Gang C6, C7 and C7 1/2 that were headquartered in Olathe? If so, any ideas on where it would have been located?

    I'm hoping for just north of the depot on the "east" side of the tracks. For my modeling purposes, a section house at this location would nicely screen the backdrop opening where Olathe turns into the area around the 29th Street interlocking.

    Operationally, how in the world did a section gang get its hands on the multitudinous tools and supplies they needed? Presumably they would have to submit some sort of requisition to the division stores: would these items have been supplied via a regular local, or did the Frisco operate any sort of dedicated supply trains?

    I have an old Espee promotional film on VHS which includes a segment on one of their supply trains providing everything from brooms and dustpans to the local agent to lenses for the signal maintainer. The thought of being able to model a "supply extra" is intriguing to me.

    Best Regards,
  11. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    There was one section house at Olathe. Built in 1871, it was a two story affair with over all dimensions of 28'-6" x 36'-5". I suspect that Olathe Section House looked much like the Anna, KS house which may be seen in Don Barnwart's book on page 475. There was an outdoor privy , whose dimensions were 4'-3" x 6'-0. There was a North Section Car House, 12'-3" x 16'-2", and a South Section Car House, 8'-2" 12'-2". Both were built in 1888. Neither the Sanborn Maps, nor my 1917 Valuation Sheet shows any of the section gang related structures. The valuation sheet covers the Frisco from Park Street to the KCCS Crossings and wyes.

    I have attached the section headquarter layout from the Frisco 1906 standard plans. Using that as a guide, we might assume that if we can locate the tool, the section house may have been nearby. Of course, the Olathe section house was not a "Frisco structure", but a Gulf Road building.


    Every 6 months the Frisco published a Materials and Supplies Price List. The book contains 134 pages of everything that the section gang needed to do its job. The "catalogue" lists the cost per unit, the point of origin, and the unit weight. Most of the supplies originated in St Louis, but for example bricks came from Ft Scott. The sample pages come from the July 1930 list. The page that I selected covers the section foreman's choice in hand cars, motorcars, and push cars. I suspect that in most cases the materials were LCL.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2015

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