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PRR South Wind

  • My home adjoins the old Vandalia (PRR) rail line in Flora, IN. The tracks end a few miles south of our town and the other terminus (I believe) is Logansport, IN. In the 1950s, my brother and I would visit my grandparents in Flora in the summer (My wife and I now live in their home.) Every couple of days, we would stop play at about 10:45 AM and wait for the South Wind to come through town and wave at the passengers. 

    As my memory fades, I do not recall seeing the train with steam power. And it was a real treat when every once in a while,an ACL E unit would head the train. I don't recall seeing Budd cars. But by the time we were interested in watching for the train, (I believe) it followed the PRR custom of "this and that" cars rather than have a whole train of one type color scheme. In that I may be wrong. (I am 80 now.) 

    Our town is presently restoring the PRR depot for a museum. The outside is finished except for parking and landscaping. Great care was used to replicate the material of the roof tiles and the color of the exterior. My son-in-law (who is a Master Clock maker) and I are donating a clock for the museum and I plan to donate my Shrouded Rail King K-4 and six Madison type cars for display. While it will not replicate the South Wind exactly, I hope it will give pleasure to folks who might come after me, and see what train travel in that era was like. 

    I did make one journey from Indianapolis to Flora by train. I can remember going around the curve that headed the tracks north from the double track main line that went west from Indy Union Station. (That was a little unsettling as I knew that you had to go north instead of west, and was relieved when I got re-oriented and knew we were finally headed in the right direction.) And I also recall getting out of my seat when the conductor called "Bringhurst", a hamlet just south of Flora. My grandfather met me, and I can still see in my mind's eye a crowd "when the train came in" milling around the depot. 

    I felt very grown up and walked proudly with grandfather the couple of blocks to their home. 

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  • Wonderful memories.

    I Googled PRR South Wind and found one photo of the train with K4 2665 on the point, nicely streamlined and still looking like a locomotive.  All the other photos were either covered wagon powered or irrelevant.  It seems your model should be right on for the South Wind in 1941.


  • You may be interested in the latest book offering from the PRR Technical and Historical Society. It is 100% about the South Wind and no doubt has information about the cars and engines utilized. It should be available on the society web page as it has only been about for a month or two.