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In search of the MKT, MOPAC and KCS in 1987

by Chris Guenzler

Bill contacted me about going to Texas about getting some pictures of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas as he had a free companion offer on Jet America. As I had never flown before this would be a new adventure for me, I asked Bill if we could also take pictures of the Kansas City Southern since we would be that close and he agreed. The Missouri Pacific had just been merged into the Union Pacific along with the Western Pacific called MOP by the Union Pacific. On 4/18/1987 Bill picked me up and we drove to the Long Beach Airport to board the Jet America plane to Dallas Fort Worth. We left late afternoon and seeing my home from the plane was a real highlight. Over Texas we became a night flight with that Led Zeppelin song playing in my head. We landed on time and Bill had a rental car all set up to be picked up. We drove to the Motel 6 in Arlington for the first two nights of our stay.

4/19/1987 We got up early driving over to Fort Worth before we headed north finding a Union Pacific Local at Roanoke, TX. That train had a pair of GP-38's one in MOP blue.

From there we headed to Sherman where we caught the Union Pacific 2249 east.

From Sherman we went north to Ray finding a MKT RS3M 146 at the east end of the yard. An all yellow southbound freight with two units lettered Missouri Pacific. Out of the yard then came a northbound train with SP 7416 on the point with for MKT SD-40-2's.

We shot him off the highway bridge before racing into Oklahoma getting him coming off the Arkansas River Bridge. We returned to Ray to look around the yard.

Here he found MKT 26, a DS44-10R to photograph.

From here we found a view from a bluff of MKT 7, 8, 10 and 26. I photographed each of these locomotives before we headed out of town. We traveled back through Sherman and back towards Fort Worth.

At Whitesboro the MKT 637 South caught up to us.

A few miles south the same train.

Further south at Pilot Point the MKT 637 met the Union Pacific 3448 North.

Right on the Union Pacific 3448 tail was the MKT 623 North. After shooting a few more trains, we returned to the Motel 6 for the night.

4/20/1987 We headed east through Dallas then started following the ex MOP line towards Big Sandy. We found the Union Pacific 4305 East with the 4305, 134 and 4254 all in UP yellow and followed him east for a few miles. At Big Sandy we turned north along the Cotton Belt Line to Pittsburgh, TX and the KCS Crossing.

Here we caught first the Southern Pacific 9363 West then later the BSM with Southern Pacific 7627 sped east. From there we went to Texarkana and found the Motel 6 there and a liquor store for me on Arkansas side of Main Street in the wet county verses the dry county across the street in Texas.

We went over to the KCS and found the KCS 628 South preparing to leave town.

We jumped ahead of him out of town to Jury, LA just across the state line to catch this picture.

On the way back to town, we caught MOP 3520 West at Sulphar, TX.

Returning to Texarkana, we caught the MOP 3150 preparing to leave the yard. With that done, we called it a night.

4/21/1987 The KCS gave their line up over the radio at 7:00 AM for their First, Second, Third and Fourth Subdivisions and for the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Subdivisions at 7:30 AM. Since we were about to follow the Fifth Subdivision we now knew what trains would be out and about on the line.

We returned to Jury to catch the KCS 633 South. From here we returned into Texas to the main highway south before finding access to the KCS again in Bloomburg, TX.

Here we caught the KCS 628 North.

Further south in Louisiana, we caught the KCS 700 North at Sandra.

Further south near Vivan we caught the local with KCS 765 in Operation Lifesaver Paint. Heading south we crossed the bridge over Caddo Lake. At Blanchard on a now very cloudy and windy day we caught KCS 703 North. We chased him back to Caddo Lake and in a driving rain with lightning we waited for it. I used the bridge to protect myself from the rain while Bill climbed up. Just as the train arrived off to the east it sounded like another louder freight train and through the rain I saw a shape of a funnel cloud of a Tornado for just a second before the rain covered the view.

With everything going on, I still managed to get the picture of the train

Once back into the nice dry car, we drove into Shreveport where we stopped by Deramus Yard and at the engine facility caught KCS F3A's 4050 and 4058.

We stopped at a liquor store for me before we got stopped downtown by the Southern Pacific B-23-7 5112.

We headed southeast out of town catching up to KCS 789 West near Curtis, LA.

On his rear end was this KCS Caboose number 328.

The KCS 789 met KCS 751 east on our way back to town. We went to the Motel 6 where Bill dropped me off while he had decided to go east to Gibsland, LA to catch the rail action there. Bill returned a happy man and by that time we called it a night.

4/22/1987 The next morning Bill and I headed out once more.

We stopped back by Texas Junction catching KCS 702 coming off the Texas Line we photographed him there.

We shot the KCS again at Caddo Lake

Bill and I headed west to Marshall where we caught B-23-7 4067 in MOP Blue. We headed to Big Sandy then followed the Cotton Belt to Tyler, Texas. Here we saw the Southern Pacific 7676 East.

At the depot when SSW SW-1500's 2519 and 2580 rolled by the station.

On the way out of town we found the Gate Crossing Protection of the SSW/MOP. From here we drove west over to Corsicana before leaving the railroad to reach Hillsboro where we would spend the night.

When we found the MKT tracks at Itasca we caught the MKT 616 North.

Right near sundown at Grandview, here came MOP 3317 South.

He stopped and after dark in one of those I am not sure it will come out picture, here came the MOP 3189 North. After that we headed to the Motel 6 for the night.

4/23/1987 Our last day in Texas, we headed south to Temple.

We caught the MKT 370 at Hewitt with an ex Kennecott Copper unit in the consist.

In Temple we found the Belton Railroad with an ex MKT NW-2 10 as power sitting in their shed. From Temple we followed the Santa Fe catching the North Local at Crawford, the SF 3007 South at Clifton, various power at Cleburne plus a coal train on the north end of town. We made it to Saginaw catching the local Santa Fe power.

The BN 7099 East in front of huge grain elevator there.

Next came a MKT 340 West with an ex Illinois Central and two ex Conrail units.

We followed him out of town and paced ahead of him to Aurora for this picture.

With flight time nearing, we headed back to DFW Airport which has this Air Train operation. We caught our flight back to Long Beach with me taking pictures for part of the trip. What amazed me was leaving at 5:25 CDT and arriving at 5:15 PM. I enjoyed my flight and Bill had provided me with a great railfan trip.