The railroad and Windsor Missouri
In 1953 I was living in Ras Tanura Saudi Arabia, my dad worked for Aramco Oil, and the oil business in Saudi Arabia was just evolving from the early days of 1939.
In December of 1953 our family went to London just before Christmas, and that year my mom and dad bought me a beautiful 1953 Lionel train set.
That model has a 2-6-4 wheel arrangement with scaled-down driving wheel hardware, three-position E-unit, smoke, relatively plain spoked drive wheels, sheet metal trailing truck plus ornamental bell and illuminated headlight. The number of the tender was either 6466W, 6466T or 6066T. The 6466W tender included a whistle while the other tenders did not include a whistle.
I still have the complete set and it still runs well, but we had no trains in Saudi Arabia. I was facinated by the trains in the United States, but I had to wait until 1958 to see them. Today I only dream of train service to Windsor, dinner trains, and excursions through the Ozarks. The nearest Amtrak rail service is in Sedalia at Pacific Street and North Osage Avenue, Sedalia, MO 65301
Windsor Missouri had train service starting in 1869 with the Tebo and Neosho Railroad and its line extended from Sedalia, Missouri to Fort Scott, Kansas.
Windsor's Farrington Park was once a supply of water for steam locomotives. The original railroad became the Missouri, Kansas & Texas, or M. K. & T. railroad. Commonly called the Katy, visitors to Windsor cross the Katy Trail which extends across Missouri from St. Louis to Clinton.
In the summer of 1904, the Rock Island finally completed it's railroad extension from Bland through Eldon and Versailles to Windsor, which was served by the mainline (St. Louis-Sedalia-Texas) of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (the Katy). In order to handle passenger traffic for the 1904 World's Fair, the RI began operating its trains to and from KC by using the MKT from its line at Windsor to Clinton, then into KC over the Frisco "High Line" from Clinton. However, in 1905, the RI finally completed the last leg of the route from Windsor, through Pleasant Hill, Lees Summit, Raytown into Kansas City. At this time, operations over the Frisco and MKT were discontinued (much of the last leg was constructed parallel to MKT's own Bryson (N. Windsor) to Paola, KS. line, which would later be abandoned in 1958). A simple ceremony was held to commemorate the opening of the St. Louis Subdivision, and regular tran-state freight and passenger services were commissioned immediately.
For more about the Katy Trail :: For more about the Rock Island Railroad