Cabooses 1215, 1270 and 1276

Cabooses 1215, 1270 and 1276 at Sapupla, OK (date unknown)
Cabooses 1215, 1270 and 1276

Cabooses 1215, 1270 and 1276 at Sapupla, OK (date unknown).

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One Response to Cabooses 1215, 1270 and 1276

  1. Mark Davidson says:

    Location is Denison, Texas.

    The cabooses represent two different orders of extended or wide vision cars from International Car Company (ICC). Cabooses SLSF 1215 and 1270 are from the first order in 1957 for 75 similar cars, SLSF 200-274. This order was the first extended vision style cars built by ICC. These cars were renumbered in 1968 by adding 1000 to the car number. This was done when the railroad implemented a new computer tracking system to create unique numbers for its rolling stock. The cars road on General Steel Castings (GSC) outside swing hanger friction bearing trucks. A major distinguishing feature of these cars is end copula and platform window glass retained by compression friction rubber gaskets.

    Caboose SLSF 1276 is from the second ICC order in 1968 for ten similar cars, SLSF 1275-1284. The carbody side window placement on this order was slightly different and they were 8,000 pounds lighter. Unlike the prior order, these and subsequent extended vision cabooses rode on Standard Car Truck (SCT) Company Barber Bettendorf S2 swing-motion leaf spring roller bearing caboose trucks. Further, these cabooses featured end copula and platform window glass retained by screwed aluminum gaskets. Note the silver window surrounds verses the black rubber gaskets on the copula and end windows in this image.

    A third order from ICC was delivered in 1969 for eight similar cars, SLSF 1285-1292. Again, the carbody side window placement on this order was slightly different on these cars and they were 1,300 pounds lighter than the prior order. The last two orders featured solid side sills from the truck bolsters to the end step wells. A significant difference in this order was the copula height over the railhead. These cars were intended for use in pool service with eastern railroads with lower clearance height standards. As a result, these car’s copulas were set 7-3/4” lower in the carbody. The overall height was 15’ 3-3/8” verses 15’ 11-1/8” of the prior order.

    The cabooses are just before passing over the at grade diamond crossing with the Missouri, Kansas and Texas (MKT or Katy) Railroad, MP 637.0. Train is northbound on the Sherman Subdivision using trackage rights on the Southern Pacific (SP) (Houston and Texas Central (H&TC)) Railroad from South Sherman Junction, MP 649.9, to S. P. Junction, MP 636.6, in Denison, MP 636.5. The overpass is U.S. Highway 69 / South Eisenhower Parkway / South Austin Avenue. Photographer is standing just west of the “T” shaped intersection of West Day Street and South Council Lane.

    The MKT railroad grade crossing just beyond the cabooses was the southwestern part of a triangle within the Texas interlocking plant at Tower 93. The tower was commonly known as “Lamar Tower”, named for an adjacent city avenue. Tower 93 controlled a near equilateral triangle shaped interlocking. Each of the three distant triangle points, separated by a little over 1,100 feet or 0.2 miles, had a significant feature. These included two well separated diamond crossings with the SP / H&TC and MKT, one in the north, one in the southwest and an important MKT junction turnout in the southeast quadrant.

    The southwest at grade diamond junction in this image is on the Katy’s Dallas Subdivision, S. P. Crossing, MP 661.2. This was their freight main cutoff bypass to their old, and later new, Ray Yard on the northwest side of Denison. The Katy rail line is distinguished in this view by their track rails and contrasting, grayer ballast color extending to the left center of the image. At the time of the photograph this was an automatic interlocking that was approach activated on a first come – first served basis.

    The southeast junction switch of the triangular shaped interlocking was the Katy’s connection between the Denison depot and their Dallas Subdivision. It was just across the street from the Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site. The home is located on the northeast corner of South Lamar Avenue and East Day Street. Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower was an American military officer who obtained the rank of five-star General of the Army, was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force (AEF) in Europe during World War II, a noted statesman and 34th President of the United States. He is buried at the Eisenhower Presidential Center in Abilene, Kansas.

    There was an interesting railroad feature just a block to the south southeast of the Eisenhower Birthplace. The former Texas and Pacific (T&P) Railway, built as the Denison and Pacific Suburban (D&PS) Railway, line into the east side of Denison featured a cut and tunnel like underpass under the Katy Dallas Subdivision. This included three roadway bridges over the T&P tracks at East Munson Street, East Hull Street and East Texas Street. The tunnel overpass was located between East Munson and Hull Streets. These were just west of and immediately adjacent to South Crockett Avenue.

    Unfortunately, the seven mile T&P line south to Sherman Junction was abandoned in 1965, the tracks removed in 1966 and shortly afterward the cut and underpass were filled in. However, the south end portal concrete cap is visible beside a driveway at 221 East Hull Street, behind a storefront business at 915 South Crockett Avenue. Also, to the south of East Hull Street a long section of the top of the east concrete retaining wall of the railroad cut is visible along the west side of South Crockett Avenue, north of East Texas Street.

    The northern Katy – SP / H&TC diamond of the interlocking plant was just north of East Nelson Street. The tower stood just south of this at grade diamond crossing inside the triangle formed by the interlocking. Three blocks to the north is the Katy Depot on the north side of East Main Street. The union depot, built in 1911, once served the Frisco, Katy, SP / H&TC, Texas and Pacific (T&P) Railway and Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf (KO&G) Railroad. It is now a multi occupancy retail, dining, office, shared rental workspaces and event venue, with residential lofts on the second and third floors. The depot address is 101 East Main Street, Denison, Texas 75021-3076.

    The 1913 built interlocking plant was originally an electrically operated system with 30 levers. By 1915 there was an increase to a 34 lever system. A significant change took place in late 1926 when the interlocker type was converted to an electro-pneumatic control system. By then turnouts were operated by air supplied from a compressor and storage reservoir in the first floor of the interlocking tower. Armstrong push – pull rods were deemed impractical due to the distances involved between the three major control points of the interlocking. By 1964, the southwest quadrant diamond was converted to an automatic interlocking.

    Just to the north northwest (left) of the photograph location was the Katy’s Denison Shops complex. The large shops complex helped maintain the railroad system’s fleet of locomotives, freight and passenger cars. The shops were located between Katy’s station of McCune, MP 660.7, immediately east of South Armstrong Avenue, the South Eisenhower Parkway overpass and SLSF / SP tracks. To the north they were bounded by the original Fort Worth Subdivision main south of West Morgan Street and north of East Day Street.

    The shops once employed over 600 persons at a time. This included for a short period (1889-1892) the future president’s father, David Jacob Eisenhower, a college-educated engineer. While in the shops he worked as a mechanic. The shops would be the railroad’s main car repair facility for the system. At this location in 1973, they built the unique system Inspection Car, MKT 1045, converted from a former Pullman-Standard 40’ PS-1 boxcar. After the merger in 1988, the car was to be donated to the City of Denison. However, it would be transferred to the U.S. Army Transportation Corps at Fort Sill Oklahoma. In December 2012, the car was donated to the Oklahoma Railway Museum (ORM) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It has been restored and is on display at the museum.

    With the purchase of the MKT by the Missouri Pacific (MP or MoP) on 8/12/1988, merger into the MP on 12/1/1989 and subsequently the MP’s merger into the Union Pacific (UP) on 1/1/1997, they now had two roughly parallel former Katy lines in Texas from Denison through Dallas and Fort Worth to Hillsboro north of Waco. One was deemed adequate. As a result, Katy’s former Dallas Subdivision was abandoned out of Denison. Therefore, the interlocking, freight bypass route and diamond were eliminated in 1990.

    Subsequently, changing traffic patterns had resulted in a decrease in interchange for the Southern Pacific (SP) in north Texas. Therefore, it deemed their route between Denison and Sherman as surplus in 1993. This resulted in the sale of their 13.3 mile line from S. P. Junction at Denison to South Sherman Junction to Frisco’s successor railroad. This ownership change eliminated the former Frisco trackage rights agreement in favor of direct ownership between these points. This transaction included the transfer of Texas interlocking Tower 16 in Sherman to that successor railroad.

    Frisco’s second successor railroad decommissioned and retired Tower 16 on 10/23/2001. At that time traffic control between Denison and Sherman was fully transferred to their Network Operations Center (NOC) in Fort Worth. The tower was preserved, dismantled and relocated to the Grapevine Vintage Railroad at 705 South Main Street, Grapevine, Texas. This is just 3 miles northwest from the heart of Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport. The tower was reconstructed and stands in a parking lot diagonally across the tracks from their former St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt) depot.

    View is looking northeast.

    Hope this helps.



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