Trains No 107-108, "The Sunnyland" - Kansas City-Birmingham

Discussion in 'Passenger Trains' started by yardmaster, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    From the October, 1925 edition of "The Frisco Employee's Magazine" via the Springfield-Greene County Library-cla

    On the fifth day of October, just outside the train sheds of the Kansas City, Missouri, union station, the "Sunnyland", new crack train to Florida via Frisco Lines, will be christened, as she leaves on her maiden trip.

    "The Sunnyland," out as No. 107, and back as No. 108, is filling a need for through Florida service from the Middle West, over teh railroad that can give the most direct routing. The unparalled travel to Florida throughout the past spring and summer has made the "Sunnyland" imperative. With the real estate and building boom still gaining and more people pouring into the Florida peninsula each day, the Frisco felt the neccessity for a new train for the winter months, when Florida travel is heaviest.

    The christening services of the "Sunnyland" will be performed before a battery of newspaper cameras and officials of the Frisco. The passengers of the maiden trip will also be included and the grouping will be around the engine.

    Miss Jeanne Koontz, daughter of Mr. J.R. Koontz, vice-president in charge of traffic, will break a bottle of Fred Harvey water over the cowcatcher of the engine -- and a few minutes later the "Sunnyland", companion train of the famous Kansas City-Florida Special, will be on its way to Florida.

    The new train will run over the Frisco Lines to Birmingham, Ala., Southern Railway from Birmingham to Hampton, Seaboard Air Line Railway to St. Petersburg. A section of the train will also be run over the Illinois Central tracks from Memphis to New Orleans.

    Through sleeping car service will be provided from Kansas City to St. Petersburg, from Kansas City to Atlanta, from Kansas City to New Orleans, from Memphis to Portsmouth. The latter will be operated through as at present, the only change being that the car will run on trains 107 and 108 which replace trains 103 and 104 between Memphis and Birmingham.

    Dining car service will be provideid all the way with Fred Harvey's splendid service in charge.

    Oil-burning locomotives will be run out of Kansas City, Mo.

    Following is the schedule:

    Attached Files:

  2. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    No 107 - No 108, "The Sunnyland" Debuts - 10/5/1925

    Note: From the Frisco Employees Magazine via the Springfield-Green County Library collection. Note the locomotive assignment; I believe there is a photo of this locomotive in "Frisco Power" by Collias.--cla

    "The Sunnyland" Christened with Elaborate Ceremony at Kansas City, Mo., October Five as Maiden Trip to Florida Starts

    Miss Jeanne Koontz, Frisco Daughter, is Sponsor - Mayor Albert I. Beach of Kansas City Officiates - Train Receives Rousing Reception Along Right-of-Way

    With a triumphant blast of the whistle and a prolonged shout of enthusiasm from the large crowd of officials and spectators, "The Sunnyland," new Frisco train to Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida, left Kansas City, Missouri at 9:00 o'clock on the dot the morning of October 5.

    The new train was christened with a pomp and ceremony befitting its merits, and all along the right-of-way from Kansas City to Birmingham, Frisco employes [sic] and Frisco townsmen lined the tracks to wave "The Sunnyland" God-Speed.

    Many Departments Aided Plans

    For months ahead the passenger department had busily ironed out the details of the Sunnyland's routing and schedule - in conjunction with the Southern and Seaboard Air Line Railways. For weeks ahead of that eventful maiden trip, many Frisco departments had a hand in its triumphant debut as a new train to Florida. Newspapers throughout Frisco territory ran stories of the new service, and on October first the detailed plans were finished.

    Engine "1042" was chosen for the first run, and shopped at Springfield for decoration in honor of the event. "Sunnyland" was painted in gold on the tender, and "Frisco" was done over in gold under the cab windows. The engine was tuned from pilot to tender and sent to Kansas City on Sunday, October 4, for the last touches before the big day.

    Sunday night W.B. Berry, master mechanic at Kansas City, issued final instructions to the roundhouse force. For several hours that night, hostlers and helpers willingly completed the decorating work.

    Two large American flags were fastened securely in the flag-holders, and the handrails on the boiler were wrapped with red and white bunting from the cab to the boiler head. The pilot was also decorated in the colorful material, and when engine 1042 pulled the new train under the sheds at the Kansas City union station at 8:30 o'clock the next morning, she bore her Frisco colors gaily and gallantly.

    A royal welcome awaited the new train!

    Never before in the history of Kansas City had new railway service been so enthusiastically received, and besides the official welcoming committee and the fair sponsor, more than a hundred other railway workers in the great terminals had joined Kansas City newspapermen and photographers to witness the event.

    Hon. Albert I. Beach, Mayor of Kansas City, Mo., arrived at 8:45 o'clock and escorted Miss Jeanne Koontz, daughter of Mr. J.R. Koontz, vice-president in charge of traffic, to the head end where the christening ceremonies were held. Miss Koontz made an attractive sponsor for the splendid train.

    Mayor Beach presented a bouquet of two dozen Imperial roses, the gift of the employes [sic] in the passenger department at St. Louis, to Miss Koontz, while photographers from Kansas City newspapers recorded the event.

    The official Kansas City photographer for the Frisco Magazine and the Frisco department of publicity took pictures of the various events for use of on-line newspapers and the Magazine.

    Goodell Held the Throttle

    H.H. Goodell, of Kansas City, a veteran of 40 years' Frisco service, held the throttle of the new train, and posed with fireman R.L. Harmon for a picture, as Miss Koontz shook Harmon's hand and wished him a successful trip.

    Five minutes before the new train pulled out on its maiden trip, Miss Koontz broke a bottle of Florida water over the pilot and "The Sunnyland" was officially christened.

    As the train sped on its way to Springfield, residents of towns along the line turned out to wave her on - Hillsdale, Paola, Pleasanton, Prescott, Fulton - and at Fort Scott a veritable ovation greeted the new service.

    A welcoming party of several hundred thronged the platform at Springfield, including many Frisco employees and the official photographer of that city again recorded her reception. "The Sunnyland" arrived on the minute - 1:55 p.m.

    Engineer Goodell gave way to J.W. Welch, 942 State Street, Springfield, a veteran of 39 years; and Fireman Harmon relinquished his gauges to C.W. White, 1637 Sherman avenue, Springfield. Richard A. Gerard, of Kansas City, 36 years of service, who rode out as conductor, turned over his tickets and diagrams to M.D. Welch, veteran of 38 years, who resides at 3702 Carns Avenue.

    Promptly at 2:00 p. m. Engineer Welch took the train out again - this time for another on-time run to Memphis.

    Through Missouri and Arkansas, crowds welcomed the train at every station even though they had to wave quickly, so speedily did the train disappear.

    Motion Pictures En Route

    An event of unusual interest thrilled the passengers at Jonesboro, Arkansas.

    Lee D. Balsly, of 263 South Front Street, Memphis, manager at that city for Paramount Pictures, had read of the new train in a Memphis paper that morning. In company with a companion, he rushed 64 miles to Jonesboro, carrying with him motion-picture reels of "The Pony Express", and boarded the train.

    In a few minutes, Balsly had rigged up a motion picture in a Pullman, and invited the passengers in. For an hour the picture showed to an appreciated audience, but the arrival at Memphis at 9:15 o'clock (on time to the second), necessitated ending the film before the final close-up. But the passengers voted the entertainment original and pleasing.

    Pictures of the christening ceremonies, together with stories on the services, appeared in many newspapers along the Frisco lines, and as far south as Tampa, where the Tampa Tribune "front-paged" the event.

    The necessity of two trains daily to Florida became apparent to Frisco officials when the influx of persons from the Middle West to Florida crowded the "Kansas City-Florida Special" to its capacity. The Florida Special is a train twenty-five years in service, and its summer business has always been light until this year.

    As many people were carried to Florida on this train the past summer as rode it last winter, however, and the addition of the regular winter Florida travel to the tremendous tourist travel, occasioned the addition of "The Sunnyland."

    Attached Files:

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