The SLSF’s attention to its property would carry on throughout the
rest of its life and a driving force behind shedding its history as a bankrupt-prone
company to one that earned healthy profits and revenues. This began in
the 1950s when it opened a high tech “Hump” yard in Memphis (whereby an
inclined track and computer-controlled switches guided cars into their
correct staging track), expedited freight trains across its major markets, consolidating
operations, began run-through freights with other carriers (which meant
Frisco locomotives were used to haul a train across foreign rails and
vice-versa, known as “pooling” or “pooling power”) and was able to rid
itself of its money-losing passenger operations in the late 1960s (while
it always maintained its passenger operations with class the Frisco
understood it was a losing battle and protested the ICC until it was
able to drop all passenger service, the first large railroad to do so
before Amtrak in 1971).
|Frisco very much liked its Electro-Motive equipment and rarely purchased from other builders although it did sample at least one model from each one. Here is Baldwin VO-1000m #205 resting between switching assignments at Kansas City on May 26, 1977. By this date the locomotive had been repowered with an EMD prime mover.|
Perhaps the largest boost to the Frisco began in the 1960s and 1970s when industries began moving
to the south and the regions it served whereby it not only diversified
the railroad’s traffic base but also increased it exponentially! Of
course, as is almost always the case, success does not go unnoticed and
as the railroad prospered other larger lines began taking interest,
eventually being purchased by the Burlington Northern in 1980.
BN ultimately chose to acquire the Frisco thanks to its much more diversified traffic base, which extended the burgeoning Class I into the
southeastern regions of Memphis, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and the
Gulf Coast (which today contains very lucrative chemical traffic
business). While the Frisco’s corporate history ended in the late fall of 1980 its
legacy certainly lives on under the now-BNSF Railway as an important
artery to the Gulf Coast and Southeastern regions.
Please Click Here To Return To The Main Fallen Flags Section
Diesel Locomotive Roster
The American Locomotive Company
|Despite not hosting any passenger train of well-known stature, outside of the Texas Special, the Frisco rostered a fleet of 70 4-6-2 Pacifics for such services. Here is #1050 loading its train at Memphis on June 6, 1940.|
The Baldwin Locomotive Works
|In many ways this is the endearing image of the Frisco, and other granger roads like it; GP7 #627 leads a westbound freight past grain elevators at Augusta, Kansas during December of 1977. The author notes that this Frisco route is now abandoned.|
|The Frisco liked to use its 4-8-2 Mountains in passenger services; #1513 is seen here at Oklahoma City and about to head northbound to St. Louis on October 28, 1931.|
|Frisco 2-10-0 Decapod #1625 has seen the last of its days in service as the locomotive sits in storage at Springfield, Missouri on July 26, 1950.|
Steam Locomotive Roster
|40 (Various), 50 (Various), 65, 98, 100 (Various), 200 (Various)||American||4-4-0|
|100 (Various), 410, 500 (Various), 600 (Various), 700 (Various)||Ten-Wheeler||4-6-0|
|700 (Various), 800 (Various), 970, 1200 (Various)||Consolidation||2-8-0|
|4300, 4400, T-54||Mountain||4-8-2|
|The Frisco very much liked EMD's four-axle diesels, especially the GP7 owning more than 100 examples. In this scene a trio of them lead a freight past the depot in Augusta, Kansas during June of 1978.|
Notable St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad Passenger Trains
Black Gold: (Tulsa - Fort Worth)
Firefly: (Tulsa - Oklahoma City)
Kansas City-Florida Special: (Kansas City - Jacksonville)
Memphian: (St. Louis - Memphis)
Meteor: (St. Louis - Oklahoma City/Fort Smith)
Oklahoman: Originally connected Kansas City and Tulsa and later served St. Louis and Oklahoma City.
Southland: (Kansas City - Birmingham)
Sunnyland: (Kansas City/St. Louis - Atlanta/Pensacola)
Will Rogers: (St. Louis - Oklahoma City/Wichita)
|A very weathered GP7, #520, performs switching work at Kansas City as a caboose tags along to help on May 26, 1977.|
For more reading on the Frisco consider Mike Schafer's Classic American Railroads Volume III. This book, the latest in the series, was published in 2003 and follows up on his original titles, Classic American Railroads and More Classic American Railroads,
both of which cover several fabled and well remembered fallen flags (of
which the Frisco is covered in the third volume). I own all three in
this series and can attest to their high quality, so I am sure you won't
be disappointed if you decide to purchase one. If you're interested in
perhaps purchasing this book please visit the link above which will
take you to ordering information through Amazon.com.
Classic Railroads Of The West And Midwest
Burlington, "Way Of The Zephyrs"
Rio Grande, "Main Line Thru The Rockies"
Colorado & Southern
WP, "Feather River Route"
C&NW, "Route Of The '400'"
Rock Island, "Route Of The Rockets"
GN, "Route Of The Empire Builder"
NP, "Main Street Of The Northwest"
GB&W, "The Green Bay Route"
IC, "The Main Line Of Mid-America"
IT, "The Road Of Personalized Services"
IHB, "Connects With All Chicago Railroads"
CMStP&P, "Route Of The Hiawathas"
Monon, "The Hoosier Line"
Nickel Plate, "High Speed Service"
"Ship Soo To And Through The Upper Midwest"
St. Louis Southwestern
M&StL, "The Peoria Gateway"
The Missabe Road
MoPac, "Route Of The Eagles"
CGW, "The Corn Belt Route"
DW&P, "Delivered With Pride"
KCS, "Route Of The Southern Belle"
Wabash, "Follow The Flag"
Santa Fe..."All The Way!"
EP&SW, "The Southwestern Route"
SP, "Route Of The Daylights"
UP, "We Will Deliver"