Friday, October 12, 2007

a Southern Belle in Cowtown

One of the biggest news items in US railroading this year is Kansas City Southern's latest order of locomotives, which began arriving a few months ago dressed in an updated version of the company's classic "Southern Belle" paint scheme. Complete with the railroad's 8-sided logo, the scheme features bold colors of red, yellow, and black, with the company's full name spelled out along both sides of the long hoods.

KCS 4047 at Hodge in Fort Worth - October 12, 2007

I had been wanting to get photos of these for a while, and even considered making a trip to KCS country (eastern Oklahoma / western Arkansas / northern Louisiana) last weekend, but a forecast for unfavorable weather forced me to stay home. As it turned out, I wouldn't need to go all the way to Arkansas to see my first Belle. On Friday morning, I was fortunate to learn that one of them was the lead unit on a Union Pacific train tied down at Hodge siding on the norht side of Fort Worth, about a 15-minute drive from my house. I was in the truck and out of the garage before I had even completed the phone call which provided me with this information. Of course, I would have preferred to see it on a moving train, but then again, a stationary locomotive is a lot easier to shoot, especially for detail shots...

the "Stop Sign" logo

builder's plate (a decal, actually)

I've always liked the looks of KCS locomotives in the gray paint scheme, and even their older "ghost" units in solid white. But these new Belles do look sharp. Chalk one up for the appeal of all things "retro"... it's cool to see new diesels dressed in a scheme that locomotives were wearing 50 years ago.

Southern Belles new and old

nr: John Steinbeck - Tortilla Flat
np: Jack Ingram - Biloxi

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Blogger AndyN said...

Wow. Nice Loco, but very David Schwarz-ish of them. Repeating an old design. Hmmmrph. ;)

4:39 PM  

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