Alexandria Tank Cars, Oklahoma Mountains, Cows, and Trains – 21 June 2007

by admin on 2017/06/21

This is the first day of a big, five-day adventure.  These pictures were taken on Thursday 21 June 2007 while on the journey to the annual convention of the Kansas City Southern Historical Society, an event that I attended regularly in the mid-aughts, from 2003 to 2008, every one of those years except for 2004, because I was in Mexico at the time; this year’s event was in Pittsburg, Kansas, and I might have had a little something to do with that, but I’ll explain more about that in tomorrow’s essay once the arrival in Pittsburg is made.

“Erasing History”

I originally processed two images that I took when I first took out the camera on this trip and intended to publish them here, but, as I sat down three days before publication to start typing this essay, I’ve decided to not include them.  I guess that you can say that I am “erasing history,” like the foolish charge made that removing Confederate monuments somehow erases history or that monument defenders think that those removing the monuments think that it erases history – which, yeah, they can never get that story straight; either removing the monuments is “erasing history” or those who remove them erroneously think that it is erasing history, but I don’t see how both can be true!

So, I’m not publishing these two pictures, but that doesn’t mean that what they show – something that could have been photographed by anyone on any day – doesn’t exist, okay?  I just means that, like with removal of public monuments, I don’t want to show – to reflect – them.

“Preserving History”

I will, however, show one image before I leave Louisiana, that being of the new tank car plant in Alexandria.

I don’t recall what happened after that until the arrival in Oklahoma, but I imagine that I made the obligatory stop at Whataburger in Shreveport.

Speaking Of Burgers . . .

Almost six hours later, shortly after crossing into the state of Oklahoma for the day, we lay eyes on these bovine creatures.

I like cow pictures, for some reason that I don’t understand.

I guess you’ll see them soon at a Whataburger near you.

Retracing Recent Journeys

I was last this way on a three-day trip – Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 – with a friend four months before, and here is the first image from a spot visited on that trip.

You can see this same scene but with very different vegetation and atmospheric conditions in the Day 3 essay from February.

Establishing The Encampment

It’s time to ensure a place at the hotel in Heavener for the night, a place that has an overlook not just of a restaurant in the form of an old passenger car but also a glimpse of the yard itself.

Heavener is a very interesting place.  It is a small terminus on the Kansas City Southern Railway at the base of a long southbound grade up Rich Mountain, many views of the yard can be legally found all around the yard in this small town, and the hotel that I am using here is the same hotel that the crews use and exists largely for that purpose!  In an era in which railroading isn’t remotely as labor-intensive as it was a century ago and much less labor-intensive than even before deregulation in the 1980s, there are few “railroad towns” anymore, and Heavener, with a small population and a railroad terminus – primarily, as it relates here, a base of crews – is as close as it gets.

Another Dusk At The Fuel Racks

Now, we shall see several scenes at the fuel racks on the northern end of the KCS yard, it’s where we shall end the day, and it is by far the largest set of pictures that you’ll see today.

Yes, on the first day of this trip, I am saying that this is “another” dusk at the fuel racks, simply because, in prior trips to this area, this was often where the last pictures of the day were taken.

Here is a look south into the yard, and note the SD50 power set on a train.

And, here, The Shadow Warrior shows up (or maybe he was there before I got there.)

He had a big impact on me. He is missed by many.

The above image of the approaching grain train is similar to the below image of the same approaching grain train, but the below image deliberately includes the big KCS diesel tank.

Shawn gets a closer look.

I like how the multiple consecutive curves give the train a snakelike appearance.

Yes, now Shawn views the results.

And, here, at the fuel racks, are a few coupler knuckles.

Shawn was proud of his steel blue Jeep Liberty.

And this is one of the essences of Shawn, his Jeep and checking images on his camera.

So, now, the train with the SD50 power set, seen earlier, shows up.

And, look!  It’s got one of those SDP40s still in FNM two-tone-blue paint!

Here is a view (these pictures are, as always in these anniversarial day posts, presented in chronological order) of the lead locomotive being fueled.

And here is our oddball, the TFM 1317, a rare (even then) EMD SDP40, which was, according to Wikipedia, scrapped fewer than two years later.

Here is the last locomotive, the other SD50 bracketing the SDP40.

And here is one more shot of the 1317 before we end the day, one year to the day before I was making another even greater northward journey.

That’s all for today.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, showing more action from this area and scenes from the way north to and at Pittsburg.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Roger Smith June 22, 2017 at 11:50

Once again Jim I love seeing your pics. Such a great variety of stock you have in the US


2 Charlie Kilbourne June 26, 2017 at 07:46

Jim, I like the striking color scheme shown by KCS TCMs in last 2 frames.



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