Just received the above caboose and it is a beauty ( IMHO). I know that the Katy/Frisco Texas Special was a passenger train-but I am wondering if those engines ever pulled some freight ( ? in their declining passenger years?). Then at least such a caboose would have some strtetched connection to reality. thanks in advance, P Hering
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One more try to find a Texas Special "oficionado" somewhere out in the OGR world. For example, I know that the Rutland Railroad had famous "milk runs" each morning, bringing milk from northern Vermont to connections with the B&M for the Boston market and the NYC for New York city. Those trains also provided a small passenger service, so in addition to multiple different milk cars, usually had one or two passenger cars and then a Rutland caboose on the end. I am just wondering ( but cant find) whether the Texas Special did such things. Thanks again, P Hering
The Texas Special was the premier train of the Katy, and, along with the Meteor, of the Frisco.
It debuted in the late 40's (1947, I think) with all new streamlined equipment from Pullman-Standard. Frisco handled it from St. Louis to Vinita, Oklahoma, a small town where the Frisco and Katy main lines intersected at a diamond crossing. In the wee hours, the train went through the interchange track, and the train was handled from that point by the Katy, to San Antonio. I have tried to find out for sure what the switching arrangement was at Vinita. I have visited the crossing in person, and, because of the track layout, I believe that the train went through the interchange track from the Frisco to the Katy, and then backed across the diamond to the Katy station to do station work. However, this is not confirmed.
Each road bought four E7A's specifically for the Texas Special, and ran them back to back. The Frisco units could be identified by having engine numbers beginning with 2000 and the Katy units were numbered in the 100's. There was an emblem from each of the railroads on the side of the nose. The Frisco units had the Frisco emblem ahead of the Katy emblem, and the Katy units were the opposite. The train did not contain a Texas Special milk car or caboose, but occasionally a heavyweight head end car or sleeping car or diner (painted to match the train) would run when regular cars were being shopped.
No caboose or milk car or cow and calf switcher ever appeared in that paint scheme.
The locomotives were never regularly used in freight service. At some point, the stainless steel fluting on the lower side panels was removed. In the late 1950's, the Frisco pulled out of the joint agreement, and, thereafter, the train ran on the Katy out of St. Louis, all the way to San Antonio on home rails. Around that same time, Frisco modified the carbodies of its E7's, doing away with the rectangular engine room windows and replacing the side panels with 4 portholes and the radiator side panels with stainless steel grilles to match the Frisco E8A's. The E7's still retained the vertical louvered vent just to the rear of the cab door, angled number boards, as well as the roof top radiator openings and four exhaust stacks, and were repainted in the Frisco "race horse" scheme of red with gold striping. I cannot find any photos of Katy's E7's after they left the joint service, but the Katy paint scheme for passenger diesels matched the Texas Special scheme, until solid red ("red dip") was adopted.
Even today, Texas rail afficiandos have a fondness for Texas' own streamliner. Here, it has an aura that outshines the Sunbeam or the Texas Chief.
An interesting question and history about the Texas Special in this thread. Reminds me of how various O manufacturers made an extended vision caboose for the Union Pacific, although the UP NEVER operated any EV cabooses, only the CA series. 😉