|October 1942, No. 10||Upper Canada Railway Society Bulletin (Toronto)||Page 2|
A trip to Missouri
C. P. Randall and Dan B. Leyerle
We left Toronto in the evening one day early in September and went as far as Hamilton on a Canadian National local. We spent the evening there in the company of one of the local ra11fans and proceeded on to Detroit on C.N.R. No. 9. The trip to Windsor was uneventful and the Detroit River was crossed on a Grand Trunk Western railroad car ferry.
We stayed in Detroit an entire day in general sightseeing and inspections of railroad facilities. Highlight of this point was several Grand Trunk Western diesel switchers. We left on the Midnight Special of the Baltimore and Ohio from tho Pere Marquette station on Fort Street, arriving at Cincinnati the next morning.
The Union Station in Cincinnati is a sighr well-worth seeing and we consider it the best terminal we have ever seen. At one end of the magnificont concourse is a huge map of the United States showing the chief cities and the main railroad routes. The side walls of the concourse are decorated with murals depicting many interesting scenes.
On our way into the station we passed the yards and roundhouses of the Pennsylvania, B.&O. and Chesapeake and Ohio lines. We left Cincinnati four hours later on a Louisville and Nashville train.
Leaving the city we crossed the Ohio River on a steel viaduct and were in the state of Kentucky where the change was made from Eastern War Time to Central War Time. On the ride from Cincinnati to Louisville there is not a single stretch of straight track, the country being hilly and the portions suitable being devoted to farming. All trains enter Louisv111e backing up, rem1niscent of the CNR at Hamilton.
At this point the diesel South Wind of the L.&N. was seen. After a ten minute stop here the train continued to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where the night was spent.
The following day was spent on a Louisville and Nashville train en route to Memphis, the train traversing the cotton fields and river flats of Tennessee. In M6mphis we saw the Delta Eagle of the Missouri Pacific and the yards of that road, along with those of tho Dixie (Nashville. Chatanooga and St. Louis) and the L.&N.
The next day we proceeded to our final destination, Springfield, Mo. on a train (The Southern Scenic) of the Missouri Pacific. This was the best part of the trip from the standpoint of scenery and we had an excellent ride through the Ozark Mountains. Most of this ride is a succession of river crossings and cliff-hangings, the roadbed in many places being cut out of the side of the hills. At Aurora, Mo., an hour out of Springfield, we changed to the Frisco lines to start east.
In Springfield the Frisco (St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad) has very large facilities including a locomotive rebuilding shop, car shops, scrap yard and the usual roundhouse and freight (LCL) exchange facilities. Great numbers of engines were naturally evident, and with the permission of the local superintendent, we were able to get some good photographs of Frisco power. The passenger engines are painted a dull black with yellow trim much greatly enhances the appearance of the engines.
We were fortunate in being able to take some very interesting side-trips. One of these was to Crane, Mo., 34 miles from Springfield on a mixed train of the Mo.P. known locally asThe Jungler. It was drawn by a 2-8-0 engine and the commutation coach we rode in was tied on to the end of about 15 cars. It derived its nickname thus: several years ago very old wooden equipment was used and the country through which it travels is very rough.
Another trip to Joplin, Mo. afforded an opportunity to see equipment of the Missouri and Arkansas, Missouri-Kansas-Texas, Sante Fe and Kansas City Southern.
Perhaps the highlight of the entire trip was a visit to Cassville, Mo. to see the Cassville and Exeter, reputed to be the world's shortest standard gauge railroad. It is approximately four miles long and runs between the towns of Cassville and Exeter, Mo. It is owned at present by the widows of the men who financed it and is manned by three men. The track is laid with 56 pound rail and the lone engine was secured from the Frisco (the road with which it connects at Exeter), five years ago and still bears the old Frisco number 345 on her side. In the engine shed is old gas-electric passenger car bearing the legendCassville and Exeter, the Fruit Belt Lineis still kept. Five years ago tho brakes failed and the car went through both ends of the shed and ended up on a pile of ties at the edge of the local river. Since then it has not been used. The road hauls only freight now and this is primarily tomatoes and strawberries in season and coal and feed.
The train makes the run to Exeter whenever necessary and goes forward, returning backing up. Unfortunately it did not run on the day we were there so had to content ourselves with walking the roadbed to Exeter. Coal is supplied to the tender from piles placed at intervals by the side of track and then shovelled in by hand. All switches are double and triple stubs.
After ten days in Springfield we left via Frisco and Bluebonnet for St. Louis where we saw large numbers of the Terminal Railroad Association (TRRA) switching engines. Famous trains of tho Now York-St. Louis runs were seen as were yards and equipment of the Mo.P., Wabash, P.R.R., Missouri-Kansas-Texas, Burlington, Alton, New York Central, B.&O. to mention the most outstanding.
We left St. Louis the following day for a fast ride into Chicago on the Wabash Banner Blue, seeing in Chicago the Kansas Citian and El Capitan, stainless steel streamliners of the A.T.&S.F. From Chicago to Toronto the trip was made the following day on the Maple Leaf.
In all, 2500 miles of railroad were covered in 16 days.
Railways: C.N.Rys., P.M.Rd., Wab.Rd.