KCS - McElhany MO - Westville OK, 09-24-2014. Part 2.
Rail Fan Adventure --
The drive from Springfield IL to Neosho MO took all day. I had not done much preparation for seeing trains along the main line of the Kansas City Southern. My only previous exposure had been at Pittsburg KS in 1985 and Shreveport KS in 1992. This time I was armed with no more than an article out of a recent Trains Magazine and a 2010 KCS employee timetable. I had an old Arkansas road map that luckily showed the railroad plus the area of Oklahoma just west of the border.
We would follow MO 59, AK 50 or US 59 in three states for it followed the KCS main line.
And we continue from Part 1.
26. C-KCFL moved into the Flint Creek spur at the south end of Gentry. He’s on the spur in this shot. KCS 4051-4043-UP 6373 Flint Creek AK.
27. The power plant has a loop track. KCS 4051-4043-UP 6372 Flint Creek AK.
28. Southbound M-KCSH (manifest Kansas City to Shreveport) is following on the main line. KCS “Southern Belle” scheme 4808-3918 grinds upgrade through Decatur. The smell is almost overwhelming, as there is a chicken processing plant in the left. Decatur AK.
29. KCS 4808-3918 Decatur AK. View 2.
30. KCS 4808-3918 Decatur AK. View 3.
31. KCS DPU 4015 Decatur AK.
32. The “Dodger” (KCS parlance for a local) is in the siding at Gentry. GP38-2 2022 is ex-Boston & Maine. “GP40-3” is an ex-UP GP40 that was originally Western Pacific. KCS 2010-2822 Gentry AK.
33. M-KCSH rolls through Gentry AK. KCS 4808-3918.
34. The spur to the Flint Creek power plant is just up around the curve. KCS 4808-3918 Gentry AK.
35. We jumped on ahead to Westville OK. Northbound KCS 4114-4813 pulled a train comprised of small covered hoppers. It will meet M-KCSH at Watts OK, a former crew change point.
36. KCS 4114-4813 Westville OK.
37. In mid-afternoon M-KCSH rolls through Westville AK after some brief work at Watts OK. KCS 4808-3918.
38. TXUX is the reporting mark for Luminant, a large electric utility in Texas. A few coal loads were attached to this freight train, but these normally run in unit trains. KCS DPU 4015 Westville OK.
39. We headed back north eight miles to check out Watts OK. I would later see photos of the steam era terminal at Watts OK, but there is nothing now but this small yard for local freights. Other than the plant in the background, Watts is nothing more than a wide spot in the road. KCS 2856 Watts OK.
40. “GP40-3” 2856 is a rebuilt GP40 that came through CSX from the SCL. KCS GP40-3 2856 Watts OK.
41. That office trailer on the left is where the local crews report. KCS 2856 Watts OK.
42. KCS 2856 Watts OK. View 2.
It was getting late in the day, so we decided to stay at Siloam Springs AK. It is on the state line, so the welcome center had both Arkansas and Oklahoma road maps.
43. Siloam Springs sits atop a 1.5 percent northbound grade. The scanner revealed the approach of a northbound train, and this signal indicated there would be a meet. Soon four SD50s – 7009-7005-7012-7006 – slowly growled into view with a loaded ballast train. KCS signal S Siloam Spgs AK.
44. KCS 7009-7005-7012-7006 S Siloam Spgs AK.
45. All of these SD50s are former Conrail that came via NS. KCS 7009-7005-7012-7006 S Siloam Spgs AK.
46. This trains struggle will be how I remember KCS the most. KCS 7009-7005-7012-7006 S Siloam Spgs AK.
47. Soon this southbound grain trains rolls out of the siding behind 4815-4564. KCS 4815-4564 S Siloam Spgs AK.
48. KCS 4815-4564 S Siloam Spgs AK. View 2.
49. KCS DPU 4112 S Siloam Spgs AK.
50. Time to head to a motel and food! KCS signal S Siloam Spgs AK.
The Kansas City Southern Historical Society has a good website with detailed locomotive roster information and train designations.
Train images used by permission of Everett N Young
last update - 31 Jan 2015