Norfolk & Western, MoPac run through units

Discussion in 'Freight Operations' started by Iantha_Branch, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    In the past I've seen discussion about run through power on the Frisco. Union Pacific going northwest, Santa Fe going southwest and SCL going both ways. One road I have never heard of running units through is the Norfolk and Western. I was looking through photos for another thread, and stumbled across a few pictures of NW units mixed with Frisco units in Denver and in Kansas City, so I would think they are on the NWF/FSE trains. What I don't understand is why. The only NW connections with the Frisco would be KC and St. Louis, so I don't see where those trains would be rolling down NW trackage. Additionally, I found another photo with Frisco, NW and MoPac units all together in a consist. The location is marked unknown, but I'm guessing its out west on UP trackage. The MoPac unit really puzzles me. Why would the Frisco, MP and NW pool power on a UP-Frisco-SCL train?
  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Don’t assume too much. The Frisco unit in Denver wasn’t a part of a Frisco-UP, run-through freight. It was likely being used by Uncle Pete to balance “mileage” against what its units ran while on the Frisco. Etc...
  3. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    Currently, a unit train of about 86 corn syrup cars runs along the BNSF Cuba sub about once a week. It originates in Decatur, IL on NS (ex-Wabash, ex-NW). Power is frequently 3 NS units with a BNSF unit on the point, but there are times when it is all NS power. What does that mean for 40+ years ago?

    While I am sure there was corn product traffic (ethanol, syrup, gluten meal), I do not recall very many incidents of N&W run-through power on Frisco in the 1974-1980 era or on the "successor" from 1980 to 1996. It has been a long time (and maybe I am getting old ).
  4. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    And I hope we all continue to get older!
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  5. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    Those last two photos ("unknown location") are at UP's Armstrong Yard in Kansas City, Kansas.

  6. Gabriel G.

    Gabriel G. Member

    Ethan, I happen to be a member of the Classic-UP group on and we've discussed the topic of run-throughs and pooled power at length. Union Pacific pooled power with the Frisco, Norfolk & Western and MoPac at Kansas City and operated separate run-through trains with each. The MoPac and N&W units are likely on FSE because UP is going to return the MoPac and N&W units to their owners at Kansas City, at which point they will swap in a couple of UP units that have come back from pool service before sending FSE on its way.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2021
  7. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Thanks for the insight.
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  8. Gabriel G.

    Gabriel G. Member

    No problem. If you're curious, UP's run-throughs with the N&W were TC-2 and TC-4, while its run-through with MoPac was UMS. TC-2 (Transcontinental 2) operated from North Platte to Bellevue, while TC-4 (Transcontinental 4) operated from North Platte to Buffalo's Bison Yard. UMS (Union Pacific-Missouri Pacific-Southern) operated from North Platte to Sheffield and was MoPac and Southern's attempt at operating an FSE-type train with UP. Interestingly, UMS and its westbound counterpart SMU both operated on MoPac's scenic White River Division, which later became the Missouri & Northern Arkansas.
  9. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    This is the gold mine of info I've been waiting for. Thank you so much. Very interesting that the UMS and SMU ran the White River Sub. I grew up in, and still live in Lamar, MO, where the Frisco's Ash Grove Sub (home to the NWF and the FSE) crossed the MoPac's White River Sub. Now I gotta find a way to incorporate UMS and SMU into my layout :)

  10. Gabriel G.

    Gabriel G. Member

    I'm glad I could be of help. :p

    As an aside, MoPac's White River Division saw a brief surge in traffic during the 1970s and early 1980s in the form of eastbound coal from Wyoming and Colorado and bridge traffic from Union Pacific and Southern. Unfortunately, this surge in traffic proved short-lived and in 1992 Union Pacific spun off the White River Division to RailTex. While I don't know for certain, I assume this drop in traffic was because Southern began sending traffic bound for UP rails over the Norfolk & Western to Kansas City after the N&W and Southern came under common ownership.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2020
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  11. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I think part of it has to do with UP re-configuring their system after the MP and MKT merged in. One of the lines in SE Kansas is south bound only now (I think its the former MKT). There is a power plant at Diaz AR thats at the very far east end of the White River sub. After loaded trains are brought in and emptied, they are sent back north via the MNA.

    Bringing it back to the Frisco, the Ash Grove sub saw a surge in traffic from new shipments of Wyoming coal as well. For a while, the Santa Fe and UP shipped coal from KC down to Springfield and back up to St. Louis. I don't have any specific info as of now, but I would imagine there would have been similar arrangements to serve the plants that started popping up in the SE that BNSF serves over the former Ash Grove sub to this day.

    Helpful links:
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  12. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

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  13. Gabriel G.

    Gabriel G. Member

    It sounds like the settings on your monitor might be slightly wonky. The Frisco's diesels were painted a brilliant red-orange, the same color Chevrolet used for its big-block V8s. On my end, that toolshed is painted in a shade closer to safety orange and is noticeably lighter than SLSF 901.
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  15. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    The official name of the color used by the Frisco was called Mandarin Orange. The Frisco orange and white scheme is a modification of the scheme used by EMD on the GP35 demonstrators.

    It is, as you said, the same orange used by Chevy for engine blocks. I have heard the Frisco shop in Springfield had rattle cans of Chevy engine block paint for quick touch ups.

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  16. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    My experiences concur. I saw the the Mech Dept guys use the rattle cans to touch up engines at the Fort Smith roundhouse. My long time friend that worked for the Frisco from '71(2?) until '82 saw 55 gallon drums of "Chevrolet Engine Orange" in the same roundhouse.

  17. Gabriel G.

    Gabriel G. Member

    Paul, I feel as though I should clarify what color I am referring to. Sometime after 1965, Chevrolet began painting their big-block V8s in a red-orange shade. This color (left) is similar to fire engine red, but with a slight orange hue and is sometimes referred to as "Chevy engine red" so as to distinguish it from the color Chevrolet painted its small-block engines, which is a true orange (right). Chevy engine red is not to be confused with the much darker shade of red that Chevrolet painted its big-block V8s during the 1956-57 model year.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2020
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  18. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Going on memory here, but I think I recall the rattle cans I saw, and the 55 gal drums my Frisco friend saw, were Krylon brand. I will double check with him next time I talk to him. I seem to recall that we thought it great that we could go down to the auto parts stores and bring home a can of the exact same paint for our models. (Which we did.)

    EDIT: Need to mention that my references are from '71 on. Further, I do not know if the use of the paint mentioned was unique to the Fort Smith roundhouse or whether it was system wide. I also do not know what paint was originally used by the Frisco for the hi-viz scheme we are discussing that originated on Feb 14, 1965.

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