Frisco
Passenger Trains
Memphis, TN

Contributed by Bill Pollard

Prior to the massive Frisco restructured service in Sept, 1965, the Frisco used tracks 1-5 for the "Sunnyland" trains. They were shorter. Train 105-106 "KC-FS" always used track 6 because of its length, and hung out on the north end, fouling track 7 with rear cars north of Calhoun Street bridge. After the Sunnyland(s) to KC, BHM and STL were discontined, the remaining train, No 101-102 "The Southland" , still used track 6. The layover head end cars were usually placed on track 5 as a general practice in the last years of service. (Reflections of Phil Gosney)

On Frisco train usage, remember the sign (Memphis Central Station-facilities page) which says "Pullman Passengers-Frisco Trains 105-106. This door under this sign leads to the curved part of the platform of track 6. Shunting the Pullman passengers out the side door rather the end doors would presumably have put them closer to where the KC-Florida sleepers would have been spotted. Also, check the train board photo (RI psgr train page) for track details, and you can see that (in August 1964) both 105 and 106 arrived on track 6. From this same source, 108 arrived on track 1, 807 arrived on track 2, and 107 arrived on track 3. Unfortunately, we can't tell where 107 and 108 departed, but looking at equipment turns, 108 probably departed track 3 and 107 departed track 1. This matches my vague memory of always (in 1964-65) seeing Frisco cars on track 1, which was visible from Main Street. (Reflections of Bill Pollard)

The RI generally used track 7 because this overnight train could be a long one, at times. The RI was down to one train into MEM after Aug, 64. The trains started to use Track 1 as its normal track after the Frisco curtailment in Sept, 65. And the RI train became shorter in its latter years. Discontinued in Nov, 1967. (Reflections of Phil Gosney)

The overhead photo of Central Station taken in 1950 was taken in the morning before the Choctaw Rocket's departure. It looks like all Frisco equipment on tracks 2, 3 and 5, based on roof details. Track 2 has a Pullman and a coach closest to the station. Track 3 has a Frisco coach, three head-end cars and a GP-7. Track 5 has a combination RPO-baggage and other cars awaiting switching into train 106 perhaps.
(Reflections of Ken Mc Elreath)
See what you can find in a larger view.

John Allen Photo, Louis Marre Collection
This Frisco 4-8-2 #1525 is seen in Central Station, 9/37.

Louis Marre Collection
This Frisco 4-4-0 #183 is coupled behind another Frisco steam engine, 8/17/49.

Contributed by Bill Strong

Frisco Photo, Mike Condren's Collection
Click here for a larger view.

James LaVake Photo

This is IC no 1 “City of NO” southbound, with Frisco 807 “Sunnyland” backing into Central Station from St. Louis in August 1952.

Both units are wreck rebuilds by EMD.  The IC 4000, originally an E-6 model, had the “one of a kind” bow wave for the “City of Miami” service.   It had the misfortune of taking a turnout at 70 mph near Champaign IL in 1947, tipping over this unit and the following passenger car as a result.  A signal maintainer was working on the signals; it displayed GREEN while the crossover switch was lined onto the parallel track!  The train was approaching at normal speed.

The Frisco 2022 is just one month from its rebuild.  It was struck by an MKT freight train at Ft. Scott KS and returned to EMD for rebuilding.  It emerged from rebuild in July,1952 with the a different name: “Champion”.  It had carried the name “Middleground”, which was copyrighted, so the Frisco had to change the name.  Views of the 2022 with the “Middleground” name are most rare, since it carried that name for less than 24 months.

Contributed by Bill Pollard

Frisco train #108, the Sunnyland, arrives in Memphis in September 1952, approaching the IC crossing. The signal bridge in the distance is near Tower 17 at Union Station, and the smokestack at left is the Memphis Union Station power house.

In the early-mid 1950s, evidence suggests that trains 107-108 were protected by steam boiler equipped GP7s, rather than by a pair of E-units. This arrangement might have facilitated the switching of trains 107-207 and 208-108 at Amory, if one of the two locomotives operated Memphis-Pensacola. At Memphis, evidence suggests that the two locomotives were again separated, with one operating between Memphis and St. Louis (trains 807-808) and one operating between Memphis and Kansas City (trains 107-108). Anyone having more specific information about the transition from GP7s to E-units on this train is requested to contact the webmaster.

Elliott Kahn Photo, Louis A. Marre Collection
SL-SF GP7 #560 sports an unusual, for Frisco, Mars light above its headlights, 4/17/56.

Frisco Passenger Operations in Memphis Central Station in August-September 1957

Boyd T. Pyle Photo
Frisco E8A #2017, presumably train #807, has backed into track #2 and is unloading mail and express, on August 8, 1964, date of the last RI RDC service arriving from the west. Photographer Pyle road the last RDC train from Little Rock. At the time of this photo #2017 wears the name "Pensive", the 1944 Kentucky Derby Winner, under the cab window. Later this unit will be one of three that will wear the Mandarin Orange and White paint scheme adopted for all Frisco power. (Click here for the full list of famous horse names used by the Frisco on its E-units.)

History Department, Memphis/Shelby County Public Library and Information Center
This door was used by Frisco Kansas City- Florida Special Pullman passengers to reach Track 6 from the Central Station upper concourse, photo from 1962. Most of the time the Pullman would be straight ahead or to the right out this door, fouling Track 7. Sometimes the rear Pullman would even extend to the Calhoun Street bridge.

Contributed by Bill Strong

Contributed by Bill Strong

Bill Pollard Photo
Frisco train #105 is seen backing into Track 6 in the top view with a business car on the end. The business car is then seen being set off, April 1965.

Bill White Photo
Train 105 "Kansas City-Florida Special" approaches "K. C. Junction". Taken from overhead bridge to Elwood Cemetery. Unknown date, but it is pre Sept. 17, 1965 which was last day for this train.

Bill White Photo; Bill Pollard Collection
This appears to be the #105, the Kansas City-Florida Special, on its southbound trip on on August 28, 1965. Note that the switches are aligned "normal" (the targets show red and the lanterns show green) which would indicate a path to the east leg of the wye.

Photo by Bill White, from the Phil Gosney Collection
Photo by Bill White, from the Bill Pollard Collection
Last Frisco Train 105 "Kansas City-Fla Special" Sept. 18, 1965. Eng 2016 still has gold cat whiskers and stripe between the portholes but yellow lettering. In the top image, the train is clattering over IC crossing, and will now pull east of plant and then back around east leg of wye and into Central Station. The second image shows the power sitting in the station. Note the chalk lettering under the cab, "This is it! CASEY JONES."

Phil Gosney photo
Frisco's northbound Train 102 "The Southland" is seen at Central Station in Memphis. At one time this E unit 2017 carried a bright red paint scheme with the name "Pensive" under the side cab windows. This was one of Phil's first attempts at train photography, and he was age 15 at this time, which was February, 1966, using a Kodak Instamatic camera.

Photo by Bill White
 

Photo by Bill White, Bill Pollard Collection
Frisco 2012 on the Southland, 11-8-1967, showing the switchman shanty as well as the station office tower itself.

Photo by Bill White
 

Photo by Terry Foshee

Photo by Terry Foshee

Photo by Terry Foshee
Last northbound Frisco "Southland" Train #102, Dec. 9, 1967

Last Frisco Passenger Train Page

Photo by Terry Foshee
Last northbound Frisco "Southland" Train #102, Dec. 9, 1967

Photo by Terry Foshee
Last northbound Frisco "Southland" Train #102, Dec. 9, 1967
on the west side of the Mississippi River Frisco bridge.

Photo by Terry Foshee
Last northbound Frisco "Southland" Train #102, Dec. 9, 1967 on the fill on the west side of the Mississippi River Frisco bridge.

Frisco passenger train artifacts.

Frisco E-unit Nmes compiled by Doug Hughes and Kenneth Wulfert of the Frisco Modeler's Information Group

1957 Frisco Consists, compiled by Ken McElreath

1961 Frisco Consists, compiled by Bill Pollard

This page was designed and is maintained by Mike Condren. If you have materials
that you would like to contribute, contact me at mcondren@cbu.edu