Welcome to Vintage Railroad Postcards!

Thank you for stopping by! This is the blog for the Russell P. Panecki Collection of vintage railroad-related postcards. The entire collection consists of nearly one thousand so far with images dating from circa 1904 to the 1950s. To leave a comment, ask a question, to contribute or correct historical information, a comment box is located to the left for your convenience.

Each page, including this homepage, has an index located in the lower portion of the page. In addition to the index, posts were updated with historical information, new postcards added from storage files, while some posts were completely rewritten or edited for corrections. Three articles have been added and are worth reading. They include how vintage postcards were made, the history of Pennsylvania Station, and the history of Grand Central Terminal.

My apologies, but the postcards in my collection and on this blog are not available for sale, copying, or for contribution to projects. Please keep in mind that I reserve all rights to the images and content of this blog.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

On the Frisco

Oddly, the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway never went anywhere near San Francisco, although it interchanged with railroads that did, and there were, probably, the best of intentions to go that far out West. The line, however, had more than its share of work serving Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. The company was more familiarly known as the 'Frisco' with a coon skin as its herald. The Frisco operated the famous, newly-equipped crack trains, "The Meteor" and "The Texas Special", as a cooperative undertaking with the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad. The updated versions of these trains replaced the former steam-era versions of the same name. 

"The Meteor" ran between St. Louis, Missouri, and Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. "The Texas Special" ran between St. Louis, Missouri, and Dallas, Ft. Worth, and San Antonio,Texas. Both trains were powered by EMD E7A diesel locomotives. The consist of the "The Texas Specialwas typically a baggage and express car, a combination railway post office and baggage car, three coaches, a coach-buffet-lounge car, a dining car, seven sleeping cars, and an observation car either in either a sleeper-lounge-observation or in a buffet-lounge-observation configuration. The consist for "The Meteor" was typically was a baggage and express car, a combination railway post office and baggage car, a combination crew dormitory (for the dining car crew) and chair car, a reclining seat chair car, two sleeping cars, and an observation car either in the sleeper-lounge-observation or the buffet-lounge-observation car configurations. For more information on The Frisco, click  Here.

Here is a stylized view of the two of the six 2,000 hp EMD E7A units bought in 1948 for use on these varnish runs.  


Prior to the introduction of diesel power, the crack passenger trains were pulled by sleek 1500 class 4-8-2 locomotives. The engine in this card shows the #1500 as an oil-burner, but this may have been a one-time experimental unit built by the erecting shops of the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Additional photo research indicates that the 1500 series locos were all coal-fired.

Railroads during the teens and 1920s were known by their passenger service, appointments, comfort of travel, and dining car cuisine. Not only was luxury rail travel extremely competitive, a level of exclusive and luxurious rail accommodations were expected by wealthy clientèle. Here we see a typical dining car on The Frisco in a postcard from this period.

The Great Depression years of the 1930s and the years of World War Two brought about an emphasis on comfort with economy in rail travel on The Frisco as reflected in the following cards' front captions from the period

Times may have called for careful travel budgeting, but on The Frisco there was no lack of travel comfort and without extra cost, by the way. By this time, "extra fare" trains were a thing of the past.

The Frisco also operated a fast freight service known as "Frisco Fast Freight" for less-than-carload shipments. The railroad published postcards, shown below, as part of its advertising to merchants.


One last look at The Frisco with its 'superbly maintained' right-of-way keeping cargo and passengers assured of 'smoother riding'.

No comments: