Shreveport to Heavener – 30 March 2012

by Jim on 2013/03/30

Greetings, everyone, and welcome to Day 1 of Jimbaux’s spring 2012 road trip to the upper-lower parts of the valleys of the Arkansas and the Missouri, for lack of a better way of describing the area and the trip trajectory.

Let’s just cut the chit-chat and get right to it.  After getting the boringness of I-49 behind me, about five or six hours into the trip, I first take out the camera in the northern part of Shreveport at the KCS yard, a place that The Shadow Warrior, who would meet his untimely end one-year-minus-two-days after these pictures were taken, first showed me in 2003 on our way to Rich Mountain.

Here are a couple of switchers working the southern end of the yard.

Moving right along, on the other side of the yard, we see the crew office.

I was part of a group that got to tour the facilities in June 2006.  So, too, was The Shadow Warrior.  He had a big impact on me and the work that you see here, as I reported the night that he died.

There was plenty of stuff to photograph at the yard, and I photographed more than you see here, but in the interest of both continuing to my destination and not making this post too long, we need to go; before we do, let’s see some SD40-2s in the northern corner of the property.

Okay, let’s go.  The northwestern corner of Louisiana has long been known for oil production, as evidenced by this active well at Vivian.

Our last stop in the state of Louisiana is the last possible stop in the state of Louisiana.  It’s also the first possible stop in Arkansas, all while stopping in Texas too!

Yes, as many of you saw already, this is the tripoint marker for the point at which Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas meet.  The description with the aforelinked picture should suffice.

Though lamenting the passage of The Shadow Warrior, when I look at this tripoint marker, I am reminded of the loss of another friend a year-and-a-half before these pictures were taken.

If confronted with it, I will call out people’s stupidity – like, for example, their belief that any person should be punished for behavior that doesn’t harm them – but I don’t intend to disrespect anyone.

I’m an ardent follower of the “Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas” mentality, which can lead to fallings out but which means that the relationships that remain are genuine.  The Shadow Warrior’s death reminded me of that fact, as does thoughts of another friend upon looking at these tripoint pictures.

Now in Texas, we stop at Bloomburg and see a few sites, including this pulpwood truck.

I’m pretty sure that this isn’t a gasoline station anymore.

The KCS passes through Bloomburg.  What do you think of the KCS?

This is all that I see of the town.  I don’t have time to stay.  I can’t see every town, as I will die one day too.

Here is city hall.

Next, we see the cities of Texarkana, both of them!

As their names imply, the Texarkanas are sister cities in Arkansas and Texas, respectively, bordering each other along a part of those states’ border.

We’re in Arkansas in the above picture, but the border between the two states is right in the middle of that big street, aptly-named “State Line Avenue,” and that’s the Bi-State court building in the background.

The below two pictures were taken in both Texas and Arkansas as we look northward on State Line Avenue.

I guess since the shutter button is on the right side of the camera, maybe I “took the picture” in Arkansas, but, whatever.

It’s not long before we are in the city of Ashdown, a place that The Shadow Warrior showed me in 2003.  The Kiamichi Railroad is an interesting shortline railroad using a former secondary mainline of the Frisco, but these blue lease things aren’t nearly as cool as the old home road power that was seen here in years past.

Further north, we stop to see a pastoral scene at Bellville.

Where are we, anyway?

Well, soon, we’ll be in De Queen, and, now, we are, looking down the De Queen & Eastern Railroad toward the diamond with the KCS.  Do you see the KCS mainline in the background?

Radio chatter indicated that there was an H-train in town, but I couldn’t tell which one, the northbound or the southbound.  A reconnaissance of the yard revealed the southbound H-train doing some work and preparing to leave.  So, that’s why I was set up here for a shot, which I eventually got even though the clouds rolled just a few seconds too soon.

Do you see the De Queen & Eastern track at the left?

A camera records really ugly results when what you’re photographing is suddenly shaded while the sky in the background is still bright.  I did the best I could to rescue these shots in Photoshop, and I guess the results are okay.  What do you think?

Thanks.  Yes, thanks for telling me what you think, not thanks for telling me that the shot is great, or even that the shot is terrible.  In keeping with the “Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas” mentality, I’d much prefer honest feedback than the fake “your pictures are so cool” comments that just litter so many of the pages of these so-called photographers who do portraiture work.

Our next stop is Wickes, where we stop to take a picture of a soon-to-be-here southbound loaded coal train, and we take the ladder out of the rental car to get some elevation.  Yes, I was in a rental car because my truck had a broken transmission, and I just could not postpone this trip and didn’t want to cancel it.

Anyway, since the back hatch is open, let’s have a look at the contents of this rental car so that we can see what Jimbaux brings along to travel.

I was well-prepared.  Some of those beverages were to be shared and consumed with friends at whose houses I would stay.

Yeah, okay, and y’all saw my picture last year on the Facebook page of the C-KCWE, but here it is again.

Obviously, having a train in the siding here instead of on the main track would make a better shot, and Whiskey, another friend, and I did five-and-a-half years earlier.

Our next stop is in the little town of Cove, with its really neat little old town well.

The view below shows the KCS mainline in the foreground.  Isn’t this neat?

From Cove, I went west across the back of the mountain, some real recreational driving.  Here is one view northward from the path, just into Oklahoma, the first picture from Oklahoma from this trip.

Then, I checked out Page, but there was nothing happening there.

So, finally, I arrived in Heavener, a terminal on the KCS.

Heavener really is a railroad town, a rarity in the 21st Century.  Here is part of the old downtown, a neat place.

I like the town water tower.

There was an MofW worker at work in the southern part of the yard.

I guess that’s the power for the Fort Smith Dodger parked by the shop.

Let’s drive around to the other side of the yard again while we still can.  I think that I checked in to the hotel between the above photos and the below photos, but I don’t really remember.

Some children were at play in this little neighborhood of mostly mobile homes east of the yard.

Okay, yes, maybe we can get the cows, the water tank, and sky (and the top of the hill) all in one shot.

Let’s return to the fuel racks.

It looks like KCS is now running 1×1 manifest trains!

Here’s the view of the water tank and the Southern Belle restaurant – named for the passenger train that KCS ran from Kansas City to New Orleans until November 1969 – from the hotel.

Nope.  I didn’t eat there, not this time.  After a long Day 1 of the journey, it was time to head to Poteau to go eat at Braum’s!  On the way there, we grab one last picture.

Yep, we’re not in southern Louisiana anymore.  I hope that you have been simultaneously educated and entertained by the photographic fruit of Day 1 of Jimbaux’s 2012 road trip up the corridor of the Texas-Louisiana, Oklahoma-Arkansas, Kansas-Missouri, Nebraska-Iowa borders, or, put another way, I hope that you can vicariously be educated and entertained by the photos that I took in the process of being so educated (even though I had been to most of these places several times before) and entertained.  If you have a question or have some information to offer, please use the comments section below.

Thank you.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ian Loasby March 30, 2013 at 06:35

Hello mukka
I love seeing your reports of your travels all over the US, makes me extremely jealous and envious! You bring an alternate and twist to the view.
My wife and I got married in Calgary back in 2001 and I have friends in Ontario who i have only been able to visit once but have been to Canada 3 times now.One of my biggest ‘wants ‘ would be able to come over again and see much more of the truly wonderful rail system you have which is so much different to our here in the UK .
Keep up the good work and be assured you have one fan this side of the pond!!

Ian Loasby
19 Jessop Drive
Stenson Fields
DE24 3EQ
0044 1332 270855


2 Dave Simmons March 30, 2013 at 14:20

I thought I’d see a photo of the DeQueen & Eastern? Did you see any action or locomotives on that road?


3 NONC March 30, 2013 at 15:45


Thanks for the pics from one of the most beautiful parts of the American South. No, Toto, we’re not in Coonass Country anymore, but we are not that far away. I love it for reasons other than railroading, and having been there a couple of times, I have come to appriciate the significance of the rails to the economy of those commuities. I’m looking forward to another fall trip that way.



4 NotAFoamer March 30, 2013 at 17:44

I like many of these shots. Good post. I am partial to the Oklahoma scenery myself.


5 ike0069 April 1, 2013 at 23:27

I Really Enjoy Your Pictures, Keep Up The Good Work.


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: