Former passenger train?

BoxcabE50 Oct 8, 2010

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Does anyone have some good background information on "The Flying Crow?" route, consists, history?

    Boxcab E50
     
  2. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Wrong subforum.

    Kansas City Southern. Kansas City to, I believe, both New Orleans and Port Arthur, though I'm not sure both of the southern leg sections carried the name after they were split. Same route as their streamliner, and the road operated both for quite a while. So named because they advertised their track on that route as being 'straight as the crow flies'.

    Of course, if you look at the map of their trackage in the eastern Arkansas Ozarks, you might think that crow a bit tipsy...
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    OK. I was not certain even which RR. MKT was just a best guess. Thanks and I'll move this to KCS.
     
  4. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    And not a bad guess at that. After all, their main lines were parallel and often less than a hundred miles apart.
     
  5. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    This book has a lot about the Flying Crow.
     
  6. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Add to that the fact that William N. Deramous had a hand in running both railroads at one time or another.
     
  7. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Who-hoa! Good one!

    Now riddle me this: What did the KCS and the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient, which the Santa Fe took over in 1930, have in common?

    Quick now!
     
  8. CarlH

    CarlH TrainBoard Member

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    The book "Twilight of the Great Trains" (Frailey), provides details of the Summer 1965 consist of what he calls the KCS "Flying Crow" (No. 15) at various points. In the text he also says that trains 15 (south) and 16 (north) became nameless in 1958, so the consist reported for Summer 1965 may or may not have represented what this train might have had in the 1950s, when it was still officially called the Flying Crow.

    This is the info provided for a train #15 which departed Kansas City southbound at 10:15pm at night for Summer 1965:

    From Kansas City through Joplin to Texarkana: 3 Baggage, 1 RPO-baggage, 1 Sleeper (14-4), 1 60-seat coach, 1 72-seat coach, 1 lunch counter-lounge-observation.
    Looks like there one also one additional baggage car only from Kansas City to Joplin.

    At Texarkana 2 more baggage cars were added, one going only as far as Shreveport, the other going as far as Beaumont, and also an Express Reefer joined which only went as far as Shreveport.

    At Shreveport the 60-seat coach, the 72-seat coach, the Lunch counter-lounge-observation, and one Baggage car were diverted to Train #9 which went to New Orleans.
    The RPO-baggage car which started at Kansas City continued all the way to Port Arthur, along with two 60 seat coaches and a Bar lounge-observation which originated at Shreveport.

    KCS bought four observation coaches from New York Central in 1959; I am guessing these were made into "lunch counter-lounge-observation" cars. KCS also bought 10 new 72-seat coaches from Pullman-Standard in 1965.

    For locos, it would seem they were using a single E7 in many cases, particularly for the shorter consists south of Shreveport. The book also shows a picture of an E6 they still had in 1960, and says they had eight freight "F" units which had steam boilers and were used on passenger trains at least some of the time. I am guessing that they were using two diesels north of Shreveport.
     
  9. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    No?

    Both founded by Arthur Edward Stilwell, whose idea of selling stock was to tell people the pixies told him this was a good idea. Seriously. Things were different in the nineteenth century.

    The KCS was the shortest distance from Kansas City to the Gulf of Mexico, and the KCM&O was to be the shortest distance from Kansas City to the Pacific--at Topolobompo, Mexico. Why he thought the shortest route to water was important when trains were faster than ships is anyone's guess. But it seems to have sounded good to investors.

    The KCS was a success, thanks not so much to the new port at Port Arthur (named for Stilwell, as was Stilwell, OK) as for the fact that they got control of the L&A and into New Orleans. The KCM&O, on the other hand, struggled its way into bankruptcy at a young age. But at least they picked up some interestingly eccentric motive power along the way.
     
  10. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Hmm, one was built to be the shortest distance from Kansas City to the Gulf of Mexico and the other was proposed to eventually be the shortest distance between Kansas City and the Pacific Ocean?
     
  11. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    If I remember correctly, these were Twentieth Century Limited cars bought when the NYC decided boat-tailed observations were too much trouble. And I don't believe they had any E-6s, though they had several E-7As. What you're looking at is one of their four E-3As, which include EMD's demonstrator for the type which originally had a smooth headlight faired into the nose like the EA and the E1A.

    Yes indeed. But traffic for Topolobompo, which is in the Gulf of California and would have required ships to sail around the Baja California, was in pretty short supply even before the government of Mexico nationalized that part of the route and stole it from the American stockholders.
     
  12. CarlH

    CarlH TrainBoard Member

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    I would not trust myself to tell apart an E3 from an E6, but the caption of the photo on p.12 of Frailey's book says "On a sticky summer evening in 1960, a classy E6 awaits the southbound Southern Belle at Shreveport". The picture shows two headlights on the nose of the loco, and they are not faired into the surface, but stick out a little bit, and the nose is too sloped back to be an E7/E8/E9. The logo on the front does say "Kansas City Southern". It is the only mention of an E6 in 10 pages of text and pictures in the KCS chapter of this book, which concentrates on intercity passenger service as it was dying in the 1960s.
     
  13. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Oh, I don't trust myself to do that trick either. But I do trust Pinkepank's The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide, and it says 21-24 were E3As.
     
  14. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Oh, and I'm no expert on the KCS, but I can tell you that the Flying Crow was begun in the steam era, lasted (though shorn of its name) until the train-offs of the late sixties, and gave birth to the streamliner Southern Belle which shared its route. The Southern Belle was a diesel streamliner from the start, and powered when new by the E-3As 21-24. 21 was the E-3A demonstrator originally numbered EMD 822. The Flying Crow was dieselized after the war when the KCS got a deal on some second-hand E-7As from the Maine Central. I don't remember the exact date, but I'm pretty sure that was the early fifties. It was never streamlined.
     
  15. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    This car, the Good Cheer, was bumped from the Southern Belle to the Flying Crow where it ran its last days for KCS. We found some replacement trucks from a car scrapped in St Louis recently that we are trying to buy to get this restoration project going again.
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  16. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Sweet!

    That's definitely not a former Twentieth Century car, though it could be ex-NYC, so maybe they got those cars from another NYC train.

    Good luck with the restoration, and keep up the good work! And thanks for the pics!
     
  17. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    The Good Cheer along with its sister car Hospitality were built by Pullman-Standard for service on the Southern Belle. The car was configured as a diner-lounge. The all-aluminum car was rebuilt to its present configuration, a Tavern-lounge-observation, by American Car & Foundry in 1949. In the early 1960s, the car was bumped from Southern Belle service and then ran between Shreveport, Louisiana, and Port Arthur, Texas.
     
  18. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting history, thanks!

    Wonder if it ran through between 1949 and 1960. If so, it must have been interesting. Oklahoma was dry, and that line did a stretch in the state. Did they serve 3.2 beer during that stretch, or just shut the bar down?
     
  19. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    I believe they just shut down the bar when passing through dry country. I remember hearing stories about that.
     
  20. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    I remember when planes entered Oklahoma airspace before it became wet, the attendents stowed drink carts and picked up ALL glasses and cans with alcohol regardless of amount remaining. We gulped the remains before tossing the (plastic) glass or beer can into the bag. The carts came back out immediately when we exited Oklahoma. Mississippi was also dry at the same time, but apparently didn't care, or felt an airplane was sovereign territory when in the air, because the carts came out the instant the Selt Belt sign was turned off.
     

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