MKT Ghosts

ddm502001 Oct 1, 2018

  1. ddm502001

    ddm502001 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am old enough to remember the Katy runs thru St. Charles, and into West Alton MO, can remember visiting friends at Pilot Grove with MKT unit trains gliding by thru the hills headed on to Boonville. Was out walking the KATY Trail the other day, ghosts abound, a howl from a stray breeze sounding as a distant horn and the distant sound of the UP on the other side of the river echoing off the bluffs reminded me of the days when the Katy was still operating. Can still remember an old GP darting side to side on track that needed Gandy Dancers to bring it back true. Still remember working in Ft. Scott KS with a KATY line thru the heart of town, a stray train rolling thru at night and a few odd locals during the day. Makes me ill seeing lines decay then disappear and the rails just getting ripped up. Most of the old wooden trestles are rotted so far as to need replacement with modern steel 'Walk' bridges' the old iron work bridges in such disrepair as to be ghastly.

    I have gotten old and sentimental.
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    (y) I know the feeling. I can still hear NP steam whistles and diesels. MILW sounds such as the electrics made. When the winds blow and the setting is right....:(
     
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  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting posts. It's been 40 years since I last heard a C&NW F miles away accelerating a commuter train, but I can still recall every nuance. I even remember how the Engineer would briefly close the throttle as his unit approached the EJ&E diamond and I'd hear the unit's wheels rapidly clump over the J's rails and when the unit was clear, he'd again open the throttle and the 567 would rev up.

    (This action puzzled me for many years until I read an F-7 Oeprator's Manual and found that the throttle setting needed to be reduced when crossing tracks to reduce the risk of motor arcing.)
     
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  4. ddm502001

    ddm502001 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Grew up in the town of East Alton IL, lived a mile from the Western Cartridge Co(Olin), were so many nearby rail systems, CB&Q, NYC, ICG, Wabash and others all gone now. Slept under a window fan breeze as a kid, where heard the trains all night, saw the action most days, Olin, thru traffic, the Refineries at Wood River. Loved going to Alton down by Owens Illinois Glass to Blocks Drive In watching yard switches then on to the Locks by the old 367 Bridge and watching the CB&Q rotating bridge swing to allow barge traffic thru. Time has sure changed, CB&Q from Litchfield to Alton & Old Monroe to Mexico MO all gone, the bridge gone, MKT, the yard at E.A. serving Olin was a mix of CB&Q and ICG, the yards at Wood River NYC and others. The Rock, SP, MoPac, so many locally recognized all gone down to two, BNSF and UP. A few little lines the Midland, TRRA are still clinging to life but barely.

    In St. Charles MO as a kid got to tour the ACF (originally Pullman) shops while still there, the test building where they sent gondolas or tanks to their end in crash testing, the tracks were Katy, there was a seldom used but still used interconnect Wabash to Katy across third street so the ACF company could receive cars from there as well, all that is also gone now.
     
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  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Upon reading about your memories of East Alton, IL and the Western Cartridge plant there, I remembered that I have an old cartridge box from many years ago, last used when my late Dad and I went to the range and sure enough, the back of the box reads Western Cartridge Co., East Alton, IL. Neat memories from your past and a treasured keepsake from mine.

    Western Cartridge Box Front.jpg

    Western Cartridge Box Rear.jpg
     
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  6. ddm502001

    ddm502001 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Was cool but not recognized as a kid, the old plant was steam powered, had a whistle system on the roof, a fire or incident in one of the buildings would have a corresponding building number and code for the problem sent out on them. Can Still here those whistles in my sleep, the old plant is coming back to life but nowhere near to where it once was. Super X shotgun shells are Western Cartridge too. Our home was second from Edwardsville Rd, on Broadway, seems forever ago now. The Plant is known as Olin Matheson Cartridge Works these days Or just Olin.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  7. ddm502001

    ddm502001 TrainBoard Supporter

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    One of my more Prominent memories was as a child myself and my best buddy would steal down to the old Vanpreter Park and scale the embankment to the E.A. switchyard. Busy and dangerous but a favored play spot. I climbed at 5 into a open boxcar at midday, the car got a bump and I tried to hide in a corner. The yard man probably a brake or switchman peered in and then set to run my best friend off. The car began to move, I could see a little out the door and knew we crossed Edwardsville road. Soon we were in Wood River yard and the car dropped, was not long and another engine bumped the car and we moved back toward EA only to switch and I knew was to the end of the Earth. We eventually got to another yard, was the CB&Q yard at Alton I was crying my eyes out by then and another yard man found my sniveling little butt. I told him my name and my address and My Mom's cousins name who ran the EA station and yard. A few radio calls and I heard Duane T. talking to the men looking over me. I got to sit in a real Caboose, had a half a ham sandwich and a Coke. They stuck me in the engine that picked me up at Wood River, we went back there just as the EA switcher arrived. I got to ride in that cab too!!

    Arrived at EA station house, Duane T beat my little butt, told me I could have been dead, scared hell out of everybody. Grandma came and picked me up where she too whipped my butt. Got home where Mom came in KNEW what had gone on SHE whipped my butt yet NOBODY told my Dad. Next day I will give you three guesses where I was at.

    BTW I AM the Middle Child!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  8. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting! I have an old box of those too. My Dad must have kept the plant's order books filled. :)

    Shells 16 Ga b.jpg
     
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  9. ddm502001

    ddm502001 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Old paper shells are OLD. These probably will not fire even if you would want to.
     

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