January 2013 - Paducah Railroad Museum


January 2013 - Paducah Railroad Museum
Last Train to Clarksdale
The June 2012 issue of Roundhouse
Notes featured an article on Mississippi
delta blues and railroads. Last April my
wife and I visited Clarksdale Ms for their
annual “Juke Joint” Festival. The town
comes alive with musicians almost on
every street corner. ( If you like the blues
this is the festival for you.) They also
feature numerous venues in which you
can watch blues performers. One of these
venues is the Hopson Commissary out on
an old plantation. You can drive there, or
you can take the train. A $10 ticket gets
you a round trip from the Clarksdale
Yazoo and Ms Valley Depot area to the
Hopson Commissary on the Hopson plantation not too far from Clarksdale. There
are special open air cars build on 89 foot
flatcars. One is just a open flat car the
other has a special cover built on it complete with house door on the end of the
The train is pulled by Columbus and
Greenville Rwy #803, which is an ExSanta Fe CF7 that was built in the early
1970’s in Santa Fe’s Cleburne Texas
shops. The CF7s were built from F7 units.
(C meaning Cleburne and F7 meaning
EMD F7) The Columbus and Greenville
is owned by Genesee and Wyoming Inc.
and has two unconnected lines in Mississippi One between Greenville and Greenwood Ms and one between West Point
and Columbus Ms. I did not get a chance
to ride the train as we had other venues to
visit during the festival. They train ran a
schedule from noon to after midnight
shuttling passengers to and from Hopson
Clarksdale has two intact depot buildings
right next to each other. One was the Passenger depot and one for freight. The
freight depot now houses the Delta Blues
Paducah Chapter
National Railway Historical Society
January 2013
Clarkdale Depot
Clarksdale Ms Passenger
Depot Sign
Early 1900’s photo of Clarksdale
Passenger depot. It appears the building was rebuilt in later times.
Columbus and Greenville Railway #803
Ex– Santa Fe CF7
Special Train Car, Note the “house
door” on the end of the car.
Looking Towards Freight Depot
Elmo Williams plays some Delta Blues
Bob Johnston
MILE POST: Hugh W. Crane,
70, died December 1st in Harrisburg, IL. Crane was the founder
of the Crab Orchard & Egyptian
Railroad in 1971. The railroad
was founded to run passenger
excursions between Marion, IL
and the Crab Orchard area, and
was later famous for being one
the last railroads to use steam in
freight service until the 1980’s.
The railroad still operates in two
sections, one from Marion, and
the other from Herrin.
As some of may have noticed,
the City of Paducah’s official
Christmas Card for 2012, was a
colorful painting of locomotive
1518 with Santa Claus. It was
entitled, “Delivering Dreams,”
and was by artist, Tommy
Fletcher, who shows at PAPA
Gallery. The rear of the card carries the following historical
note, “The New Orleans & Ohio
Railroad Company was established to run south from Paducah, Ky. to Union City, Tn. in
1852.” The card was obviously a
success, as when I tried to buy
some well before Christmas,
they had only one box left. It’s
sad and somewhat ironic that
although the 1518 display is
used in much of the city’s and
private publicity, (including a
front page photo of a mother and
child on the caboose in the December 31, 2012, Paducah
SUN), the city has not spent any
money on maintenance or rehabilitation in over ten years.
PAL: Nothing in the way of
“news” that has brought to my
attention. I have heard nothing
further about when the 16 SD
70s purchased from CSX will
arrive. Guess the paper work is
taken longer than expected (or
maybe P&L is having “buyers’
remorse.”) LOL
VMV: Since I “inspected” Saudi
SRO 2019, last month, SRO
2020 and 2021 have also been
completed. Other locomotives of
interest seen by the shops include an old UP switcher 1171;
according to Google this number
belonged to an Alco built in
1955, but don’t think this was
that one. Another switcher seen
was LTEX 1500, which by coincidence is a SW 1500 (LTEX is
the reporting mark for Larry’s
Truck Electric, which is a Northeastern scrapper and used locomotive dealer, which bills itself
as one of the world’s largest
dealers in used EMD and GE
locomotives and parts). I also
saw one day, NREX 3449 and
NREX 3623, both SW 1500’s
(NREX of course is the reporting mark for VMV’s parent
company, National Railway
Equipment). On December 27th,I
saw at the VMV gate at North
Yard, NTRZ 3201; NTRZ
stands for Natchez Railway
which is short line running over
the old I.C. from Brookhaven to
Natchez, MS. Next to it was a
shroud covered locomotive with
NREX 2049 stenciled on the
shroud. It was an SD wheel set,
so think maybe it was one of the
Saudi engines headed for transfer to the BN and a port. Also
there coupled to the first two
was CN 2130, a C-40-8, and it
was running….Further down in
the yard on the same day was
CN 9569, a GP 40, and CN
2406, another C-40-8. On the
track next to them were BNSF
6240, an SD-24, and BNSF
8804 and 9362, both SD 70s.
None of the above locos were
coupled to trains. Earlier in the
month I saw further back in
North Yard, three Wisconsin
Central GP 40’s, (3009,3007,
and 3022). Wisconsin Central is
now part of the Canadian National System and I have no info
on whether these engines were
going to VMV or for some other
reason. None of these sightings
may have great significance in
themselves but are more evidence of how rail fans, especially roster enthusiasts, have
the opportunity to see a wide variety of locomotives in Paducah
shops and yards, and this is not
even counting the dozens, if not
hundreds of engines stored on
the tracks south of the shops,
many of them “fallen flags.”
WIRE announced that EMD was
ready to deliver the first GP20CECO locomotives from the Progress Rail Plant in Muncie, IN to
Canadian Pacific. There will be
a total of 188 of these remanufactured units constructed with a
mix of new and remanufactured
components…….In addition the
first of 350 SD30C-ECO were
expected to be shipped soon
from the Progress Rail MAYFIELD plant, also for CP.
tage of spending its retirement
years in semi-desert climate,
which should minimize rust
problems. The good news for
rail steam aficionados is that although Steve Lee, the long- time
head of UP’s Steam Program,
retired over a year ago, the nations’ largest railroad plans to
continue and even enlarge the
MUSEUM: In spite of some
slow days, December proved to
be a good month for the museum, with 379 visitors, compared to less than a hundred in
most rail fans know, the world’s December 2011. The month’s
largest operating steam engine is attendance was boosted by alUP’s 4-6-6 -4 “Challenger,” but most a hundred students and
teachers from the Murray 5th
the largest ever made was UP’s
4-8-8-4 “Big Boy” series of
Grade, and 31 scouts and 6 leadwhich several have been preers from the Boy Scout Winter
served on permanent display at
Encampment at Camp Manchesdifferent locations. Now, nego- ter on Big Bear Creek. The
tiations are under-way between
scouts come not just to sight- see
UP and the Southern California
but to get information for their
Chapter of the Railway and Lo- Railroad Merit Badge. Although
comotive Historical Society
the museum does not charge for
which owns one of them, #4014, school and educational groups
which has been on display at the such as the scouts, they and their
Los Angeles Fairgrounds since
leaders made a very generous
1962. UP reportedly wants to
contribution of $ 100.0, to the
restore it back to operating con- museum, which we greatly apdition by 2019, which is the
preciate. According to my reth
150 anniversary of the comple- cords, our ten month total attention of the transcontinental rail- dance for 2012 is 3,886 which is
road. Also, reportedly the soci- 1,420, or almost 58% above
2011, and is, I believe, the largety wants an appropriate reest on record. Although we have
placement from UP for display,
increased awareness and interest
and a share in revenues. The
newest “Big Boy,” with the few- in the museum, the return of the
river boats, accounts for much of
est miles, is #4023, built in
1944, with 829,295 miles, but it the increase.
As usual, the museum will close
is landlocked on the side of a
for during January and February
steep hill in Omaha’s Kenefick
for renovation and rearrangePark; the 4014 has 1,031,205
ment, but the first of March will
miles, but does have the advan-
come quickly and with it “Little
Obie,” on March 9th and the visit
by the Rotary Club on March
12, so there is much work to be
PROGRAM:J. Todd Phillips
Transportation Superintendent,
.Respondek Railroad Corp
Tuesday Jan 8th
7PM at the McCracken County
The Rotary Club of Paducah
made a donation of $ 300.00, to
the Paducah Railroad Museum
Published monthly by the Paducah Chapter,
National Railway Historical Society. Send your
news, photos to:
Editor — Charles Gibbons
[email protected]
President…........…......Logan Blewett
Vice President…….......John Deming
Secretary…..…......Charles Gibbons
Historian…........……Jack Johnston
Treasurer..................Glen Pollender
Program…....…...….…..Dick Kastas
National Director.…..Bob Johnston
Directors…………..……...Dick Kastas,
Charles Gibbons, Logan Blewett
Membership — Charles Gibbons
3409 Central Avenue, Paducah 42001
Gosh! Its almost time for
the meeting! We sure
don’t want to miss it.
Roundhouse Notes
% Charles Gibbons
3409 Central Ave
Paducah KY 42001
A set of abandoned freight car trucks remain near the Clarksdale MS depot.
January 8th
7 PM