Southeastern Kansas – Pittsburg, Frontenac, Carona, Cherokee, and Weir – 23 June 2007

by admin on 2017/06/23

Jimbaux means nothing to you; the little things give you away.

If Day 1 and Day 2 of the 2007 KCSHS trip weren’t enough for you, you’ll get a buffet-style serving here!  This set of pictures was made on Saturday 23 June 2007 in southeastern Kansas.

Linkin Park’s album Minutes To Midnight was new then, I listened to it much on this trip, and that is the reason for the selection of the song with this article; I rarely include songs on anniversarial retrospective articles like these, but the exception is if I strongly associate a song or album with that particular day’s pictures, and, in this case, that is very true.

Plenty Of Pictures

Good Kansas Morning!

We start shortly after dawn in Pittsburg with this view of a northbound train coming into the yard.

I like that power set, and it’s too bad that power sets like it were already becoming rare on the KCS by that point.  Looking to the north, we see some newer locomotives past the yard office.

Here comes a southbound loaded coal train that apparently was interchanged from the Union Pacific Railroad in Kansas City.

Now, let’s have a look south toward the long-out-of-service roundhouse, which would be razed a few years later.

The scene has, a decade later, changed; not only is the roundhouse gone, but most of the locomotives parked in those tracks now aren’t grey.

You Frontin’?

Now, it’s time to go to Frontenac, even though I don’t remember why (perhaps comint had indicated that a southbound train was coming), but this is what showed up before the camera north of town at the overpass by the high-wide detector.

That’s an M-KCBM-22, a manifest train from Kansas City to Beaumont, and I have no idea why a CSX locomotive was leading the train.

CSX locomotives are rare here, and this isn’t a run-through train to or from the CSX, but I imagine that the locomotive came from the CSX at Kansas City.

That structure is designed to detect shifting loads on cars and alert the crew of any shifted loads.

The Boarding

So, it was time to board the passenger train on the South Kansas And Oklahoma Railroad.

These were some fun times!  The SKOL is a shortline railroad of the WATCo group that does plenty of work with KCS and radiates southwestward from Pittsburg.

This section of track is former St.-Louis-San-Francisco railroad trackage.

The Break

I didn’t board the train.  You can’t photograph the train if you’re on it, and I wanted to photograph the train.

First, though, I wanted a break!  So, I went, alone, to the Starbucks in town, and, as such, it was, as is often the case with me, the start of some tradition, as I would stop at that Starbucks in the two or three other times that I’d come to town afterward.

And it was a good break.  And I listened to the new Linkin’ Park album.

And then I went to seek the train.


About an hour later, I caught up with the train just before it arrived at its destination at Carona.

This part of the line is formerly of the Missouri Pacific Railroad.

Yes, that is a Bangor & Aroostok Railroad locomotive in Kansas; how about that?

You can see the yard and some equipment parked in it in the background.

I don’t know if the locomotive on the end was there as an emergency insurance policy or if there was no way to run around the train at Carona, but it would lead the train on the way back, as you shall soon see.

I got to NW 20th Street just in time to photograph the train coming to a halt.

Yes, that is The Shadow Warrior, lurking in the shadows and shooting me!

Those were good times, and he is missed.

I figured that it would have been neat to ride in that caboose, but I’m glad that I drove.

And, of course, a Santa Fe caboose coupled to a Bangoor & Aroostook locomotive is quite strange.

Then, I walk toward the depot, and Shawn goes toward the crossing, but the other side of the track from where I was standing, to get some shots of the train.

Then, it’s time for me to get some images of the train, the crowd, and the old MoPac buildings.

Forgive me if some of these images seem repetitive.

I think that the repetition here is warranted since, although the train looks about the same in each picture, the human interest aspect is a little bit different from image to image, plus I know that some of the people who were there that day will be looking at these images.

There are more cabooses here, and this is a place worth checking out.

I guess that moving the cabooses – possibly display cabooses – on that runaround track would have been too cumbersome, hence it being easier to have a locomotive on each end of the train.

Yeah, that’s odd to see the locomotive of a Maine railroad in these parts!

This is like a little railroad museum.

I guess that one flag isn’t enough.

I loved preserved old lineside railroad offices like these.

That logo is known as MoPac’s “buzzsaw” herald.

You still see it on a few active cars today, even though the paint is more than three decades old, as that is when the MoPac was acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad.

Some old signals and symbols can be seen here.

Hey, everybody!

‘Twas a little hot (it’s June in Kansas, but it was a great day for a little train ride.)

Nathan and Craig are chitchatting by the depot.

It won’t be too long before the train backs up – with the locomotive on the other end now in command – so that the passengers can board.

Kurt waits!

Shawn, too, waits.

Now, it’s time to talk the train back into position.

I like the below picture.

Hey, it’s Zack!

And, there, the formerly front end of the train has been shoved back.

Now, it’s time to go!

That is the first crossing past the depot, I think, the same one where I photographed the train earlier.

It looks like there was an upcoming tie-replacement project all along the line back to Pittsburg.


Seventeen minutes later, we get the train coming into Cherokee.

This is a boggy, almost swampy area.

You can see what kind of bad condition the ties were in.

I like this view, the close view with the end-cab switcher locomotive with passenger cars right behind it!

This last picture with the little body of water at right was how I was able to identify the location here.

Here’s the going-away shot, now with the Bangor & Aroostook unit trailing!

Next, the conductor gets out to open the gate so that the train can cross the ex-SLSF north-south BNSF mainline, as seen from US Highway 400.

The Frisco and the MoPac had an interchange yard just north of here, and it is still used for SOKL-BNSF interchange today; we’re heading in that general direction but to where the MoPac line crossed the Frisco line from Cherokee to Pittsburg, and, nine minutes later, that’s where we are as we watch the train arrive there from the southwest.

I’ll explain this junction and what it means shortly, once it is time for a picture that helps in that explanation.

I like the scene with the tank cars, and I like the scene without the tank cars.

There is touristy passenger train operation here.

Okay, so, here, the train is turning from the former MoPac track to the former SLSF track.

Here, the train is turning from the northwesterly former MoPac route to almost due east on the former SLSF route, which appeared to be still under the ownership of the BNSF Railway at the time, though I don’t think that BNSF ran any trains there.

So, what that means is that the SKOL uses the former SLSF route from Pittsburg to Cherokee and, from Cherokee, uses the former MoPac route to go southwestward, and this allowed WATCo to abandon the former MoPac between Cherokee and Pittsburg.

Does that make sense?

Hey, look!  Sir Ficus is dry mooning me!

Well, that was entertaining, I guess.

Hey, look, it’s Dusty!

And, for our last of many images at Cherokee, we see the BAR locomotive trailing through the old junction.

So long, Cherokee; surely, you were more interesting when the Frisco and the MoPac operated through here.


It’s weird; we’re at Weir.  Really, read that sentence out loud.

I like this pair of pictures at an unpopulated location that Google Maps puts nearest to the town of Weir.

I really like that curve right before the crossing!

And, yes, there’s Shawn, enjoying is ride in the caboose.

When he died in 2003, Shawn was the President of the KCSHS.

I wonder what this big hopper operation is in Weir.

That’s all for Weir.

Arriving Back In Pittsburg

Twenty-one minutes later, we’re back in Pittsburg.

Don’t worry; it will end soon!

I’m starting to think, as I type this right now, that once I get my Patreon page started, I can use for my repetitive images.

Alighting In Pittsburg

That was fun.

A small part of me wondered what I had missed out on by not riding the train, but I’m glad that I was able to get these pictures, and maybe those who were on the train are glad that I was able to get them.

There’s good ol’ Gene.

Hey, look, it’s Paul!

Paul has an old-soulish way of looking at, at visualizing, trains and railroads that I think is neat.

A Quick Visit To The KCS Yard

Back to the railroad for which our historical society exists we go, seeing, briefly, what is happening at the yard.

That is interesting, I guess; here it is, showing the yard office, too.

Finally, let’s once again see what power is parked by the roundhouse.

Okay, let’s head to the hotel to do the three “s”es so that we can get ready for the banquet.

The Banquet

It’s now time for the banquet.

Shawn was a well-liked person at these events.

Thanks, Nathan, and thanks, Steve, for being a great host.

Here are some more Baileys.

Here is Dickie Webb, founder of WATCo., speaking to those in attendance, who were grateful for his sharing of his knowledge and of his shortline railroads.

Less than two years later, Webb died of cancer.

‘Twas a memorable day, and that’s all for the pictures.

The KCSHS was such a good organization of which to be a member.  I let my membership lapse when I other things demanded my precious attention, time, and money, and I stopped going to the conventions, but I am grateful for the times that I had there.


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Ideas For The Future

I started (in June 2017, a decade from when the pictures in today’s essay were taken) another rrpicturearchives account so that I could occasionally post a picture there for some miscellaneous purposes like trying to learn something specific about it without having to post it here or on the Facebook page, I mentioned in more recent (2017) essays – first on the April 19 article and then more on the April 28 article – about crowdfunding to keep my work going, and the combination of those two things gives me an idea!

Some of you love my pictures but really dislike my opinions about other things and would, as such, have mixed feelings about contributing to the the totality of my varied work.  I understand that, but, as I explained in April, this is a personal blog, always has been, and has always been known to be a personal blog, and my pictures are my opinions; also, furthermore, the pictures are by far and away the most costly work that I do!

However, I’ve discovered a way to work around this!  If, tomorrow, I drop dead and the only place on the internet that most of my images are hosted is here on Jimbaux’s Journal, that might be bad news, since I’m not sure how I would be able to guarantee that the site would survive (though that is something else that I need to consider), and I want my images to be out there.  So, I have actually been for awhile thinking that I want many of my images posted somewhere other than my own website(s), and, for many reasons, I don’t like Facebook as an option, but I do like rrpicturearchives very much, with the way that you can search by each city in a state.  (I’d need some other platform for my non-train pictures, like maybe flickr.)

For several years, I was a good school-teacher, and it was obviously the best use of my God-given abilities, whatever they are, but a few years after the pictures that you saw today were taken, I really burned out on being a regular classroom schoolteacher, partly because I had changed and partly because the world had changed.  I started to see the deep problems of an educational system based on the “factory model” continuing to exist and function in the 21st Century, when almost every person is walking around with a device in his pocket from which he can access the sum total of all publicly available human knowledge, and I felt like continuing to participate in that would be me being part of the problem.

I want to work to change the way that public education is done (just like I advocate for instant-runoff voting, for unconditional basic income, and so many other things, including, more generally, the dangerous myopia that harms humanity), but I need to eat!  Ever since I burned out of being a regular classroom teacher, I have struggled with the income thing, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t work.  Photography, picture-taking, picture-processing and all of the many other things that I do of value are work, but I don’t get paid for them.  I want to do them, I want to work, but I can’t do the work that I am best suited to do because I need to eat!

There are several reasons for my insistence on using a personal blog for the presentation of most of my images, but two major reasons factor into this discussion.  First, I wish to present my images in a more personal matter along with all of my other work and attributes, as all of them are a part of me, and I want my picture work to be tied to my other future endeavors that aren’t photographic.  Second, related to the first, I wish to get whatever advertising revenue that I can for my images, as a reimbursement for all of the work that went into the presentation.

However, the advertising revenue is paltry, and it doesn’t even come close to covering the cost of the web-hosting, much less any of the other costs of my work.  Also, if I can do my work through crowdfunding, both of the aforementioned reasons of insisting on using this personal blog to present my images become much less important!

So, given my idea of creating a Patreon page, this gave me a new idea!  For any of you who would patronize at least a certain amount, like, say, $3 per month, you’d get to select which of my already-published-here images that you’d like to see me put on rrpicturearchives first.  How is that?

Yes, it is a cost for me, because it’s a time-consuming process to upload pictures at that site – I like that site – especially when that is time that I could be using to do so much other work, like getting ahead of myself with all of this time-consuming picture-processing here!

So, how about that?  Patronize this site that you already spend so much of your time on without (yet) paying for it, and then get to choose some of what is already published here to upload to other sites, where, of course, there would be no “political” content, just pictures and straightforward captions for the world to objectify as it pleases for years to come!

The best use of my God-given abilities are things that don’t involve people paying me money to do them, but I need to eat in order to be able to do them!  I hope that you can help make that happen (and you can if the best use of your talents are things that do involve being paid a decent amount of money to do them.)

Thank you.  Stay tuned for two more days of this big June 2007 trip.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Charlie Kilbourne June 23, 2017 at 15:31

I was a teacher, too, Jim,and I’ll be standing by.



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