Kansas City Mexico & Orient RR

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Kansas City Mexico & Orient RR
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 27, 2004 12:07 PM
I've become curious lately about the KCM&O---especially I'd like to see what their engines looked like. The closest I've come is a Wichita historical society site which shows a distant shot of their enginehouse, and the tenders had, in big white letters "ORIENT" on them. Interesting! But I'd be grateful for any more info that anyone could provide, or point me to, especially pictorial, of any rolling stock, but especially, as I said, engines. Thanks! [?][?][8)][?][?] ---Jim W.
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Posted by joseph2 on Sunday, March 28, 2004 7:16 AM
I know there was a book written about it back in the 1980's.I think it was called "Rails to Topolobambo". The builder of this line (Stillwell ?) claimed he heard voices in his dreams telling him to construct the shortest route from K.C. to the Pacific coast. Sorry I can't help you with the photos. Joe G.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 28, 2004 8:52 PM
Thanks Joseph! The information you gave me was a help. I knew, for example, that the Orient part of KCM&O meant reaching some port on the west coast of Mexico, but I did not know it was Topolobampo. So after I did a little work with google using Topolobampo, I found the book, which is Destination Topolobampo, a little pricy (since it's out of print) but I plan to get it . So, many thanks, Joseph. ( If there is any other info out there, fellow railfans, don't hold back just because I'm going to get a book.) ---Jim W. [:)]
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Posted by M636C on Sunday, March 28, 2004 10:01 PM
Jim,

The KCM&O was taken over by the Santa Fe, and good details are provided in "Iron Horses of the Santa Fe Trail" of all the motive power in existence at the takeover.
They had a number of 2-10-0s, both surplus Russian locos and more recent Baldwins, and the later locos continued in service with ATSF. I think they may have had 2-8-0s as well, and they had a couple of gas-electric cars which the Santa Fe discarded.

I'll post more details of the book when I've checked up on it.

Peter
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, April 2, 2004 12:51 PM
The Mexican part of KCM&O was eventually completed as the Chihuahua al Pacifico and was noted for its exotic diesel roster, which included the last FM's built. It also had a fleet of Fiat railcars.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by M636C on Sunday, April 4, 2004 6:47 AM
Guys,

Fuller details of the book are "Iron Horses of the Santa Fe Trail" by E.D. Worley, published by Southwest Railroad Historical Society, Library of Congress number 75-39813.

KCM&O locomotives of the 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 types are described on pages 141 ff and 200 ff.

A quick summary of the locomotives follow:

KCM&O 21/22, ex NYC Alco S 1903 2-8-0
KCM&O 23 as above
KCM&O 51/52, Alco S 1907 2-8-0
KCM&O 53 to 69 Alco B or S 1908 to 1910
KCM&O 201 to 215 Alco P 1909-10 2-8-0
KCM&O 251 to 252 Alco C 1906 2-8-0
KCM&O 301 to 302 Alco C 1905 2-8-0
KCM&O 701 to 706 ex LS&MS Alco B 1901 to 1903 2-8-0

KCM&O 401 to 403 Baldwin 1918 (Russian Decapod) 2-10-0
KCM&O 801 to 805 Baldwin 1925 2-10-0

These are all illustrated in Santa Fe condition, but 401 is illustrated in KCM&O colours.

Peter
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Posted by M636C on Sunday, April 4, 2004 7:06 AM
Guys,

There were also 2-6-0s

KCM&O 130, 132 to 136, 144 and 154 and 155, Alco C or P 1907

136, renumbered ATSF 2531, was the last 2-6-0 on the Santa Fe!

Hope this helps in giving an idea of the locomotive stock of the KCM&O!

Peter
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Posted by M636C on Sunday, April 4, 2004 7:32 AM
Guess what!

They had two 4-4-0s as well!

KCM&O 501 and 502 Alco Cooke 1906. These were not actually renumbered by the ATSF and were not illustrated in the book.

I kept thinking they needed passenger locomotives!

Peter
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, April 4, 2004 2:24 PM
DId it run to Mexico?

DOGGY
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, April 4, 2004 5:36 PM
Not in modern times. Stopped at Presidio TX.
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Posted by joseph2 on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 6:08 AM
I think back at one time it ran to Mexico.But their revolution in 1914 and nationalization of railroads took it away from US control.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 1:55 PM
Wow, lots of responses to this, more than I'd expected! Well, Joe G. put me on the right track and now I have a used copy of Destination Topolobampo which was a bit expensive (no jacket - $42), but to me worth it. It's a good book and now I have a wealth of information (haven't read it all yet, so far I've used it for its pictures and loco data). What piqued my interest was when Model Die Casting just now came out with a 4-car "old timer" set of KCM&O N-scale cars: an "Orient" stock car, a 36' box car, a great-looking "Orient Lines" 36' yellow reefer that says "Frutas y Productos Agricolas de Mexico" on the side, and a nice KCM&O caboose. I then found a photo on the Wichita Historical society site showing a rather distant view of the KCM&O roundhouse where you could see tenders that said "ORIENT" on the side. Then I looked up Micro Scale and found I could get tank car decals that would do adequately for the tender. Finally I got one of those wonderful Bachmann 2-8-0s just today and it will become KCM&O #57 or else 69 from the large squari***exaco numerals on the decal card which look closest to the locos in the pictures. If this proves successful, maybe I'll eventually get a MDC 2-6-0 and number that one 136 (given the history provided by M636C). The railroad in my cellar is the Winesburg & Spoon River subsidiary of the Erie, over which many RRs have running rights, including the NYC, DL&W, others and soon even the KCM&O! But thanks everyone for sharing information--I greatly appreciate it. ---Jim W.
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Posted by joseph2 on Friday, April 16, 2004 8:32 PM
I did a little research and the Mexican line thru Copper Canyon was completed in 1961,line is very scenic,is compared to the Grand Canyon,still has train tours thru it. Type Copper Canyon trains into yahoo browser and you will get information about the line. Joe G.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, April 19, 2004 8:31 PM
I read the first 2/3rds of Destination Topolobampo, the part that covered the era affecting my Roundhouse cars. The railroad, as it had been envisioned, never got completed all the way from KC to the Mexican Pacific coast. In fact, Witchita was its northeasternmost extremity--never quite got to KC either. It went SW across Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas down as far as Alpine. In Mexico there were three disjointed sections completed---but the whole route was never connected during the time that the KCM&O had its identity as such. The reasons for this were primarily financial. Another important reason was the fall of Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz---who had supported the idea of this railroad---and the chaos that followed. It was also no mean feat to cross the Sierra; that was finally done by Mexico in, I think, the 50s. Anyway I don't doubt that with its bridges, switchbacks, and even a loop the loop, it's very scenic. The high pass, at Sanchez, is over 8000 feet above sea level. Anyway, oil discoveries in the TX-OK region in the 20s almost saved the railroad for a while, but even that didn't last because pipelines were built. In 1928 ATSF bought it, and sold to Mexico the Mexican segments almost immediately. The KCM&O apparently continued to operate as "itself," under ATSF ownership, until about 1941. The book has a few rolling stock photos--the stockcar and reefer produced by Roundhouse appear in the book with the same numbers---and an appendix at the end has an extensive list of motive power. My Bachmann (Spectrum series) 2-8-0 now is decaled for the "Orient" and under the cab windows is the number 57, below that, KCM&O. The decals were supposed to be for a tank car, but they did the trick, and now I have an "Orient lines" train on my layout as a nice conversation piece.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 1:46 AM
does anyone use this forum ?? ..I
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 1:48 AM
My GrandFather was a fireman on the "Orient" out of SanAngelo, Tx ...Engine was #505, which I haven't been able to find any information on ... I have a picture of the 505 at the KCM&O depot in SanAngelo in ???? year ..
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Posted by egmurphy on Thursday, November 17, 2005 8:53 AM
QUOTE: Vernon: does anyone use this forum ??

Sure. But it doesn't get near as much traffic as some of the other forums, so I assume a number of people just scan the index of posts every few days to see if anything new of interest has been posted.

QUOTE: My GrandFather was a fireman on the "Orient" out of SanAngelo, Tx ...

Neat. Did you ever have a chance to talk to him about his experiences on the line?



Regards

Ed
The Rail Images Page of Ed Murphy "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home." - James Michener
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 21, 2005 2:30 PM
I am in the process of doing research project of the KCMO @ Wichita. My sources is copying off microfilm articles of Wichita newspapers. After SF took over, they continued to operate the KCMO car shops until closing in 1968. IIn 1993 SF sold former KCMO trk to Central KS RY which continuted to operate the shops as its main eng repair location. In 2001 CKRY sold to KS & OK RR which continues to keep the old shop open and in addition the old KCMO yd and SF West Wichita yd is used by KO and within the last yr more yd trackage has been added on the site
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Posted by DES1234 on Thursday, September 26, 2019 10:52 PM

Does anyone know which KCM&O train went through Elmer, Oklahoma ? Elmer was one of the towns created by the KCM&O. When the bought the townsite land and platted it out and sold parcels.

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Posted by DES1234 on Thursday, September 26, 2019 11:00 PM

Does anyone have a picture of the depot in Elmer, Oklahoma?

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Posted by santafe enidok on Sunday, November 3, 2019 10:56 PM

There is a picture of the Elmer depot on page 259 of the excellent book, "The Orient" by Robert E. Pounds and John B. McCall, published by the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society Inc. in 2011.

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