Northeast Oklahoma Railroad

Discussion in 'Afton Subdivision' started by Frisco2008, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Frisco2008

    Frisco2008 Member Supporter

    Here are some NEO pictures from the Miami, OK vicinity

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2009
  2. mvtelegrapher

    mvtelegrapher Member

    The three color shots taken at Carona, Kansas are from the collection of Jeff Cooney.

    John Chambers
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  3. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Great NEO pics - thanks for posting! Does anybody know what SLSF road number cab NEO 54 received?

    NEO 705, an ALCo S2, became SLSF 297.

    Regarding the two color pics of the ALCo's, from the look of the trucks, the lead unit looks like it is NEO 706, the lone ALCo S4. Is that correct? I can't quite make out the final digit of the road number on the cab. The trucks look like AAR Type A trucks, which the S4's rode on, while the S2's, like NEO 705, ran on Blunt trucks.

    NEO 706 became SLSF 298.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2009
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  4. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Using my editing software and playing around, I believe the lead unit is #708.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2009
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  5. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I don't think there was a NEO 708.

    When the Frisco took over the NEO (in January, 1964) and added the NEO locomotives into the Frisco roster, NEO had four locomotives ..... three ALCo S2's, NEO 703, 704 and 705, plus NEO 706, an ALCo S4. All four NEO ALCo's were incorporated into the Frisco roster as SLSF 295, 296, 297 and 298, respectively.

    I'll still bet the lead unit in the color photos posted above is NEO 706, the one S4. The third digit in the road number on the cab is very difficult to read.

    Does anyone have any information to dispute this?

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  6. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Sorry, Keith, I have to agree with Ken on this one.
    The trucks give it away.

    (KEITH SAYS: I agree, I was just trying to flush out the experts!)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2010
  7. mvtelegrapher

    mvtelegrapher Member

    I have seen the whole set of slides that Jeff has and it is the 706.

    John Chambers
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  8. slsf903

    slsf903 Member

    I grew up in Miami, OK and began my interest in railroading watching the operations of the Frisco and the NEO railroad. Here is my recollection of the operations in the 1960’s.

    The Afton subdivision of the Frisco passed through Miami on its way from Ft. Scott, KS to Afton, OK, where it joined the route from Springfield to Tulsa. Throughout the 1960’s and early 1970’s, four trains where scheduled. No. 130 ran Tulsa-KC, through Miami around 5:00pm. No. 38 ran Tulsa-KC through Miami in the early morning around 2am. No. 137 ran KC-Tulsa early morning about 4:00am and No. 139 ran Tulsa-KC through Miami about 1:30pm. A unit coal train started running from near Chelsea, OK to the power plants near Kansas City with empties returning. The frequency was hard to figure out. The train seemed to run through Miami early evening northbound. When I first started watching, the F units were seen the most. Once Frisco picked up the SD-45’s, we started seeing them a lot. The U-boats were around a lot, too. I didn’t like them at the time, but have come to like their unique sound more. We saw a lot of 400, 500 and 600 series engines. The SD-45’s were all 900 series.

    Crews for the Afton sub were based in Ft. Scott, KS. They ran south to Afton, spent the night or day in Afton, then headed back to Ft. Scott on the next northbound. In the 1970’s those crews ran through to Tulsa, I believe. The line was CTC all the way. Miami did not have bonded sidings. There was a control point at South Main Street and a control point about ½ mile north of 9th Avenue. All had single head absolute signals that were searchlights. The entire Afton sub was searchlight signals. The exception was the southbound signal at the 9th Avenue control point and the northbound at Main Street. Both had a second head that displayed lunar. I only saw this lit one time. The signals were unusual because they were not searchlights but larger signals that looked like a large traffic light. My assumption was they were signals for taking the non-bonded sidings in Miami. Vandals constantly attacked those lower signals and it was rare that trains actually used Miami’s sidings for passing, so after awhile the lower signals disappeared.

    In the early 1960’s, generally only No. 130 made a stop in Miami dropping off and picking up loads and emptys. No. 130 would switch cars in a small four track yard on the Frisco side between 3rd and 9th Avenues. The NEO would leave cars on a lead track to the west of the Frisco main. Switching was hard because there are nine road crossings nearby, including seven straight crossings each a block apart. No. 130 had to be broken up those seven times or be left south of town about 2 miles away. There were times the crews tried to get away with blocking the crossings, but the city council had a lot to say to the Frisco about that. I think that is one reason why Frisco decided to create a switch job in the mid 1960’s.

    The switch job was based in Columbus, KS, near the triple crossing interlock. A crew was called out of Ft. Scott and just met in Columbus. They ran south, picked up the traffic for Miami and Quapaw at Baxter Springs, and headed to Miami. At Miami, they dropped off traffic for the NEO, blocked the traffic from NEO in that small four track yard and switched the other traffic in Miami.

    Traffic on the NEO was based on the north end near the mines or on the south end in Miami. Two of the Alco switchers were based in Miami. One spent the day at the BF Goodrich plant switching from 9am to 3pm. The other headed north to the lead mines near Commerce coming back around 2pm. As the lead mines shut down, the second switcher job disappeared. I never saw the other two switchers in town. They must have stayed north at the mines. I’m sorry I don’t remember which numbered units were where. The building in one of the pictures in the earlier posts about the switchers appears to be the NEO engine house. It was a working building through the 1960’s and most of the 1970’s. NEO was treated by the Frisco as a separate line with their own crews and officers throughout the 1960’s and early 1970’s. The switchers and caboose stayed in the crimson and cream colors throughout the time I was there. Frisco renumbered the switchers and painted Frisco in the NEO lettering style, but did not repaint them to orange and white to my knowledge. I believe the NEO caboose ended up in Kansas at a park somewhere.

    Most of the southern traffic on the NEO was raw materials coming to the Goodrich plant and finished tires headed from the plant to distribution in Akron, OH. The majority of raw material was carbon black in covered hoppers owned by JM Huber Corp. They came from the facilities in the Texas panhandle. I would see occasional tankers. The tires were carried in box cars. The crews told me those loads would be taken to KC to be interchanged with the MP or taken to Columbus to be interchanged with the MKT. The crews grumbled about the extra blocking they had to do because of the agreements about what carrier would get what traffic. NEO traffic was left on a lead and in a small three track yard between Main Street and D Street. NEO switched traffic five days a week.

    There was also traffic switched by the Frisco for a fertilizer company near the NEO lead, two cardboard recycling companies near the main line, and a tire re-capper. There was a TOFC ramp that was rarely used for TOFC. Instead, a local lumberyard would unload box cars of lumber. The old KO&G had a line through town that was removed in the early 1960’s, but a portion to the local grain elevator was left and the Frisco would switch it. There did not seem to be a lot of traffic for the elevator. The Columbus local would switch and block the NEO traffic first, then go through town with the other switch jobs. They always used a GP-7 unit. Sometimes it was the old black paint style, but mostly it was in the orange and white style. Units seemed to be switched out about once every two weeks or so. The Columbus local ran 5 days a week.

    Once the Columbus switch job completed its duties in Miami, they would head north to Baxter Springs to block the traffic with other traffic for interchange at Columbus or to be picked up by No. 130 northbound or No. 137 southbound. I don’t think 38 or 139 stopped on the Afton sub except in rare circumstances.

    I went to the small yard and NEO lead daily for a long time, watching the operations. I became friends with the Frisco conductor and crew and learned a lot about the operations. The conductor shared his expired timetables with me, which I still have to this day. I watched them and thought often that railroading might be something I would like to do. I learned the little things, such as when the Columbus local crew seemed to be hurrying. They switched Miami in the late afternoon. They were always trying to stay ahead of No. 130, because they knew if they were stuck behind them, the Columbus crew would have to wait for a good while south of Baxter Springs for 130 to re-block the northbound traffic. It was fun and a great learning experience. I also remember learning how CTC worked and was amazed they could communicate with all the signals with just one pair of wires. I remember watching for that rare yellow approach indication when we had two trains in the area at once. In junior high, I could watch the NEO local switching at the Goodrich plant. It is amazing that I got an A in science because I was always watching that switcher.

    It was great to see pictures of the NEO switcher on this post.

    I picked the name SLSF 903 from one of the brand new SD-45 units that showed up in the 1960’s. The Frisco crews were very proud of those units. They sure sounded smooth, especially when they revved up as they rounded the curve and picked up speed coming out of the 30 mph restriction through all the grade crossings.
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  9. Soo2408

    Soo2408 Member


    Welcome! Great way to start with an outstanding summary of the NEO.

    Thanks for the knowledge on this shortline.

    WF TX
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  10. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Steve, some people tiptoe in and take a look around and then begin to contribute, but you are off to a fantastic start!

    Welcome to one of the friendliest and most helpful Frisco Library on the 'net. Your contributions are greatly appreciated.
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  11. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    Great info- thanks for sharing, and welcome aboard!

    BTW, the Ft. Scott and Tulsa crews stopped changing out at Afton on July 1, 1976. My parents were managing the Rogers Motel in Afton at the time, and I spent a couple of summers as night desk clerk & housekeeping person. Got to know several of the Ft. Scott guys, and they were a great bunch. Also at that time, Afton lost its second and third trick agent at that time, leaving just the day shift agent, Eldon Rose, who retired in the early 1980s- about the same time they closed the agency. Shortly after that, the depot was razed.
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  12. slsf903

    slsf903 Member

    Thanks to everyone for the encouraging words. I have good memories of the time I spent watching the trains in Miami. For its size, it had a lot of good RR action in its time.

    QLA1975, do you remember Shelva Wade from Afton? I wondered where she ended up and what she is doing.
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  13. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter


    Great post about the operations of the NEO in Miami. You were correct in the fact that indeed one of the caboose's fortunately got perserved and is located in Ft. Scott, KS.
  14. trainsignguy

    trainsignguy Member Supporter

    Welcome and great post. I always enjoy learning more about the Tri-State area railroad history and operations. Thanks.

    Dale Rush
    Carthage, MO
  15. G W Draeger

    G W Draeger Member

    There should be two all steel cabooses listed on the origional NEO roster. They were both built in their shop in Miami, very soon after WW2. They were built on frames from other cars. I remember seeing them under construction, as my dad did much of the welding on them. The first picture looks like both of them connected together.
    GW Draeger
  16. slsf903

    slsf903 Member

    Here's an update on one of the ex-NEO cabooses.

    My brother drove through Ft. Scott, KS about an hour ago. He reports that Frisco caboose # 1110 is the one located at the park in Ft. Scott. It seems to be in decent condition.
  17. G W Draeger

    G W Draeger Member

    I'd love to see a picture of it. Could someone get a picture and post it for all to see?
    George D
  18. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    IIRC, she's married and living in Wichita now. She was a year ahead of me in high school.
  19. MopacKid

    MopacKid Member

    I thought heard or read a few years ago that someone had bought it from the city and moved it. Glad to hear that it is still there.
  20. James Pendley

    James Pendley Member

    That Frisco (NEO Conductor) was probably my great uncle Lester(Buss) Pendley. His brother J R Pendley was probably the Engineer on the Job. Small world kind a thing! They had another brother who was an engineer on the Eagle Pitcher RR. He ran the Russian decapods (2 -10 -0)His name was George D Pendley, he was my grandfather. Their Dad was James Pendley( My Great Grandfather)who was an engine hostler at Afton on the Frisco approximately 1915 to 1921. If anyone has an history or rosters or even better, photos of any of the above please get in touch with me. I would greatly appreciate it!!
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
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