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Searching For Katy's Missouri Past

In March 2001, I spent a couple of hours taking pictures of the old MKT line around Clinton. I began by taking pictures at Montrose and Appleton City, then I headed back to Clinton. Back in Clinton, I decided to follow old Hwy. 13 through downtown. While I pass through Clinton a couple times each year on my way from Springfield to Kansas City, I have never, and nor have I ever expected to see a train while I passed through. As a matter of fact, my timing had only allowed me to see one other post-MKT train in Clinton, a UP local that I saw when I was twleve years old in 1992! Little did I realize the treat that was waiting for me this time through! Upon crossing the tracks on Old 13, I was amazed to see the headlights of a train! I quickly turned around and went to find the train. What I found was MNA #4044, still in UP paint, switching the oil distribution plant of the old Frisco spur. After picking up two empty tank cars, it began it's slow trek back south. The train crews had to flag every single street crossing, as locals are no longer used to seeing and stopping for trains. The local creaked and crawled along the badly deteriorated and rusted former mainline with it's two cars, where just fourteen years ago, two regularly scheduled freights polished the silver topped rails. While it was very disappointing to see what Clinton's railroad operations have become, it was an unexpected treat to have coincidently timed my trip just right so that I was able to see the train!

The photos on this page were all taken on a very gloomy and rainy March 2001 afternoon. I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures; I myself wished the weather would have cooperated with me that day.

MNA Local In Clinton, MO on Former Katy Mainline

Seen here on a rainy March 2001 afternoon is MNA's GP40 #4044 (of obvious UP ancestry) as it rolls south through downtown Clinton, MO after retreiving two empty tank cars. The locomotive and cars will now return to the rest of the train, waiting on the siding at LaDue. The former mainline here is deteriorating badly after not having seen regular maintainance and train service since 1989. Such a far cry from Clinton's former years as a railroad town with three railroads!

MNA Local In Clinton, MO

Same view and location as above. Train is returning south after switching one of Clinton's two remaining railroad customers. MNA local trains serve Clinton on an as-needed basis. Note the telegraph pole to the right of the train that is suffering from deferred maintainance as well as the track!

Michael Landis Photo

Farmer's Elevator In Clinton, MO

The Farmer's Elevator was one of MKT's main Clinton customers. Infrequent and undependable service from UP turned the operators away from rail and to trucks. The siding to the elevator remains but is today used by crews to run their engine around to the opposite end of the train when doing switching chores. The photographer is standing near the original location of the Katy depot. The former mainline can be seen in front of the elevator.

Michael Landis Photo

View of Katy Line At Montrose, MO

Here is a view of the former MKT mainline at Montrose, MO, looking north toward Clinton. This portion of line is in better condition than the portion between LaDue and Clinton, as it still sees coal trains at least once per week. This view hasn't changed at all since the Katy last plied these rails. The crossing sign seen in the picture even still has it's original metal "MKT" identification plate, located on the wooden post just below the crosbuck!

Michael Landis Photo

View At Appleton City, MO

This is a view of Appleton City, MO, looking south toward Nevada. Thankfully, this quaint midwestern town still sees some semblence of traffic with the KCPL coal trains.

Michael Landis Photo

Depot At Appleton City, MO

Here is a view of the beautifully restored MKT depot at Appleton City, MO. The old mainline is to the left of the depot, and the downtown area is to the right. Next to the depot is Katy caboose #110. This view is looking north toward Clinton.

Michael Landis Photo

MKT Caboose At Appleton City, MO

A side view of MKT caboose #110 at the Appleton City depot. From the photo, it appears that the caboose is sitting on the mainline, though it is actually sitting on a piece of panel track to the back of the mainline (see above photo).

Michael Landis Photo

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