MoPac's First 125 Years
The citizens had turned out en masse to take part in the ground-breaking celebration for the start of construction of the Pacific Railroad, the first railroad west of the Mississippi River. From that humble beginning grew the vast network of rail lines that nurtured the great west and southwest, and from which eventually came the Missouri Pacific Railroad of today.
Looking back, it was the discovery of gold in California in 1848 that brought forcibly to the attention of the American people the urgent need for more rapid and dependable transportation facilities in the West.
Missouri and the West needed railroads, and St. Louisans visualized a railroad all the way to the Pacific Ocean and wanted very much for that railroad to start from their city. Leaders of St. Louis secured a Missouri charter in 1849 for the "Pacific Railroad" to extend "from St. Louis to the western boundary of Missouri and thence to the Pacific Ocean"
That year, however, turned out to be a very hard one for St. Louis. Early in the year a cholera epidemic struck. Another disaster occurred when fire, which broke out on a river steamboat, spread and destroyed twenty-two other boats, and a considerable part of the business district. With the heart of its business destroyed by fire and almost a tenth of its inhabitants dead of cholera, the city exhibited an ominous picture of early death and financial ruin.
So it was not surprising that the 1849 railroad plans were delayed. However, in spite of the cholera and the fire, optimism prevailed, and on January 31, 1850, a preliminary organization was formed and stock subscription lists were opened. James H. Lucas offered to be one of three to make up $100,000, a large sum for those days. John O'Fallon and Daniel D. Page promptively joined Lucas. A coin was- flipped to see which of the three would take the odd thousand dollars and O'Fallon won the toss. Like other early subscribers those men acted in the public interest rather than in expectation of any early direct return on their investments.
The temporary organization was succeeded by a permanent one, with Thomas Allen as president. The country was canvassed for the most competent engineer, and the choice fell on James P. Kirkwood, who had constructed some of the early Massachusetts railroads and had also been in charge of operation of the New York and Erie.
So little was then known of much of central Missouri that Kirkwood's civil engineers surveyed five possible routes to enable a proper choice of the best one. While these surveys were in progress, efforts were continued to secure aid from Congress. But Congress denied aid for the Missouri project.
This setback only increased the determination of the Missouri people. State aid was sought and secured and efforts to sell stock increased. As part of these attempts to get the railroad actually underway, the
ground breaking celebration was held on the Fourth of July, 1851.
Under the direction of Chief Engineer Kirkwood, purchases of land were begun and grading started. Because the route selected required the construction of two tunnels west of what became Kirkwood, and because tunnel excavation was necessarily slower, work on these tunnels was also begun at that time.
Rails were purchased in England and were shipped to New Orleans for transfer to St. Louis by river steamboats. Locomotives and cars came the same way. The first locomotive was the "Pacific,' which also bore the number "3" It was made at Taunton, Massachusetts, and was unloaded on the river wharf on August 20, 1852. With its driving wheels five feet in diameter, the engine weighed 29,000 lbs. and cost the company $7,650.00.
Ocean and river freight costs amounted to another $1,000, and a local contractor charged $200 to haul it 14 blocks over the city streets from the wharf to the railroad depot. The passenger cars which arrived shortly thereafter, seated 60 persons and cost $2,300 each, f.o.b. Troy, N.Y. They were not considered satisfactory, however, and the Pacific Railroad soon began to build its own cars.
On December 9, 1852, a passenger train, with the company's officers and leading citizens of St. Louis aboard, inaugurated the new Pacific Railroad with a trip to the end of the line. The people of Missouri then had their first look at a steam railroad. That train was the first to be operated west of the Mississippi River, and ran the five miles from the depot on Fourteenth Street to Cheltenham in some ten minutes.
By July 1853 work on the two tunnels west of Kirkwood was completed so that the "First Division" of the railroad could be opened. This division extended 38 miles to Franklin, now Pacific, Mo. The train to make that trip was pulled by a locomotive made in the new St. Louis locomotive plant of Palm & Robertson.
But with financial difficulties now slowing progress, it took nineteen months before the next eighteen miles (to Washington, Mo.) were completed. And Missouri's capitol city was still another seventy miles away.
The Pacific Railroad reached Jefferson City late in 1855. West from that point the railroad was purposely located away from the Missouri River for fear that it would be unable to compete with the steamboats. However, the Pacific Railroad itself established a fleet of twelve steamboats to connect with the trains at Jefferson City and transport passengers and freight on up the river to Kansas City and beyond. An advertisement of that period stated that at Jefferson City passengers could step from the train to the waiting steamboat and that by this route, the time from St. Louis to Kansas City had been cut to only 50 hours!
While the Pacific Railroad was thus being started, other Missouri railroad projects were being fostered. These were the St. Louis & Iron Mountain, the Cairo & Fulton, the Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad, the North Missouri, and the Hannibal & St. Joseph.
The Iron Mountain was begun at St. Louis in 1853. An early obstacle that had to be overcome by the railroad's builders was the requirement of the U.S. War Department that Iron Mountain trains had to be pulled by horses or mules through the government property at the St. Louis Arsenal, the U.S. Marine Hospital and at Jefferson Barracks to avoid the hazard of fire from sparks from the woodbuming locomotives. It took congressional action to overcome this handicap.
Texas also was engaged in building railroads before the Civil War. Some of these early railroads are now in the Missouri Pacific family. One was Houston's first railroad, the Houston Tap. It was placed in service in 1856.
Another early Texas railroad was the Galveston, Houston & Henderson, chartered in 1853. Construction was started in 1856, and WI en it was finished it was the first railroad touching the Texas Gulf Coast.
The Texas Western Railroad, chartered in 1852 to build from the eastern to the western boundary of the state, later became the Texas & Pacific. Several other pre-Civil War railroads became parts of today's Missouri Pacific Railroad.
Meanwhile, work on the Iron Mountain had continued southward from St. Louis and by May, 1857, the 800-ft.-long tunnel at Vineland had been completed along with a bridge over the Meramec River. DeSoto, Mo., was reached in September, but the event escaped mention in the newspapers, probably because there was no DeSoto until after the railroad came.
Since the original impetus behind construction of the Iron Mountain railroad had been the desire to reach the iron ore and other mineral deposits thought to abound in the Ozark foothills south of St. Louis, an all-out effort was being made to complete the 84.5 miles to Pilot Knob as quickly as possible. Despite unfavorable weather and shaky finances, this was accomplished on April 2,1857
By July, 1858 the Pacific Railroad was completed the 160 miles to Tipton, Mo., then the end of the line from St. Louis. Tipton was also the eastern terminus for a new overland mail service to San Francisco. This service, called "The Overland Mail', made its initial eastward stagecoach run from San Francisco on September 16, 1858, arriving at Tipton on October 10. At Tipton, the mail and passengers were transferred to a waiting Pacific Railroad special train for the run to St. Louis. The time from San Francisco to St. Louis was 24 days, 18 hours and 26 minutes, about 10 days faster than the old Isthmus of Panama route.
During the Civil War, raids were made against all of the Missouri railroads and great damage was done. The most serious one on the Pacific was that led by Sterling Price in the fall of 1864. Bridges, buildings, tracks and rolling stock were destroyed all the way from Franklin to Kansas City. Early in 1864, rails, locomotives and cars had been taken by Missouri River steamboats to Kansas City and construction eastward from that point started. The line from Kansas City to Independence (Kansas City's first railroad) had been opened to the public on August 1, 1864, but even this disconnected section did not escape Price's fury.
Repairs to the damaged property were ultimately completed and the railroad resumed construction. On September 19, 1865, the last spike was driven connecting the two parts of the railroad, and the next day a train was run through from Kansas City to St. Louis, leaving at 3:00 a.m. and arriving in St. Louis at 5:00 p.m.
With the end of the War, new construction and extension of the other Missouri and Texas railroads was resumed and 1873 saw a large amount of railroad building going on. In that year, the Texas & Pacific extended from Marshall to Texarkana and also into Dallas. The International and Great Northern was completed to Longview where connection was made with the Texas & Pacific. The Cairo & Fulton built through Arkansas southward into Texarkana, a move that had been delayed by the Civil War. This line had to link up with the Iron Mountain to provide through service from St. Louis to Texas.
To speed construction and get into operation as quickly as possible, bridges over the White, the Arkansas and the Red rivers were passed up for the time being and passengers and freight were transferred by ferry until the bridges could be constructed. But the all-important thing was that the service was in operation by 1874. The new lines provided all-rail routes between St. Louis, Dallas and Houston, and through Pullman cars soon ran.
In 1868 the Eads Bridge over the Mississippi River was started at St. Louis, thus beginning what Kirkwood had thought impossible, a railroad bridge over the Mississippi River. To permit the free interchange of cars with those eastern railroads which had standard gauge and which expected to use the new bridge, in 1869 the Pacific Railroad changed its original " wide gauge" track to standard gauge. The change was also of advantage at Kansas City where the Pacific connected with the newly started Kansas Pacific, which later became the Union Pacific. The completion of Eads Bridge in 1874 extended the new standard gauge track through St. Louis to the Atlantic states.
It was also in 1874 that the Union Depot Company in St. Louis was incorporated. It then built a station that served the railroads until 1894, when the present Union Station at 18th and Market Sts. was opened.
Meanwhile, financial difficulties in 1872 forced the reorganization of the Pacific Railroad, and when it emerged from receivership it had a new name: the Missouri Pacific Railway Co.
About 1873 a New York financier, Jay Gould, became interested in western railroads when he acquired a large block of stock in the Union Pacific Railroad. Subsequently, he purchased control of the Kansas Pacific, the Denver Pacific and the Central Pacific. Gould noted the westward expansion policy of the new Missouri Pacific Railway as a threat to his Union Pacific, and in 1879 he bought a controlling interest in the company and became its president.
With the Missouri Pacific as a foundation, Gould then welded together a great network of rail lines known as the "Southwest System" In 1880, five other smaller western railroads were consolidated with the Missouri Pacific, and in 1881 control of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern was acquired. In 1880 Gould gained control of the Texas & Pacific, and then had his Missouri Pacific lease the Missouri, Kansas & Texas system. Gould also purchased control of the International Great Northern and completed the line of this latter railroad into Laredo, Texas.
Hub of the I-GN, which was built from Longview and Fort Worth to San Antonio and Houston in the late '70s and early '80s, is Palestine, for it is where one stem breaks off to San Antonio and Laredo and the other angles southward to Houston and Galveston.
But Gould was unable long to retain control of his vast rail empire. In 1885 the management of the Texas & Pacific was separated from that of the Missouri Pacific, and in 1888 the lease of the Katy railroad properties was terminated, a move which divorced the I-GN from Missouri Pacific control. Of all the lines which Gould had joined to the Missouri Pacific only the Iron Mountain remained at the end of 1888.
Between 1885 and 1892, however, there was a large increase of Missouri Pacific mileage through construction of subsidiary lines. Extensions were built through Kansas and Colorado to Pueblo, western terminus of the Missouri Pacific system, while the Iron Mountain's southern line was completed into Alexandria, Louisiana.
Activity in new railroad building and extension of existing trackage was practically stopped by the 1892 depression, but between then and 1910 major projects completed included the Illinois Division, the lines from Helena, Ark., south to Ferriday, La., the White River line from Carthage, Mo., to Batesville, Ark., and the River Route between Jefferson City and Boonville, Mo. Certain branch lines in Arkansas and Louisiana were purchased.
It was also during this period that the main stem of what later became the Gulf Coast Lines was constructed. This extended from Anchorage, opposite Baton Rouge, La., through Houston to Brownsville, Texas. Work was started on the Brownsville end in 1903 and the Baton Rouge end was finished in 1909. At the time of their construction, these lines were subsidiaries of the Frisco. The latter suffered a receivership in 1913 as one result of which it lost the Gulf Coast properties. In 1916 they were sold to the New Orleans, Texas & Mexico Railway, and operated as the Gulf Coast Lines.
In 1909 many smaller subsidiaries were formally merged with the parent Missouri Pacific Railway, and in March, 1917, a final merger of the Missouri Pacific Railway and the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern (Iron Mountain) was completed and a new company was formed - the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company.
Lewis W. Baldwin became president of the company inApril 1923 and the acquisition of the Gulf Coast Lines and the International _Great Northern was an early project of his regime. Later, the San Antonio, Uvalde & Gulf was acquired to round out the system in southwest Texas. These properties serving Texas and Louisiana were formally merged in 1925 with the Missouri Pacific Railroad.
In May, 1928, Missouri Pacific occupied its new 22 story general office building in downtown St. Louis and continued the task of amalgamating its merged properties into a smooth running and efficiently functioning system. The "Missouri Pacific Lines" became the familiar name in the company's public image.
But unfortunate financial conditions developed in 1933, and the company was placed in the hands of a Trustee, with Mr. Baldwin as chief executive officer. However, physical improvements of the properties and diversification of its services were encouraged by the Federal Court. Thus, in April, 1938, the Missouri Pacific Freight Transport Company was organized as a subsidiary of the railroad. Its truck routes were not to be in competition with the railroad, but would supplement them.
In 1937 the first diesel locomotives made their appearance on Missouri Pacific tracks. These early switch engines were followed by passenger locomotives which powered the company's first lightweight, streamlined train, the "Missouri River Eagle", placed in service in 1940. By 1955 all steam locomotives had been retired from service and soon all were scrapped.
Centralized traffic control, to expedite the movement of trains, was extended to include much more trackage after World War 11, and radio communications equipment became standard on all the company's locomotives. A long-range program of installing radio in wayside stations to maintain contact with trains on the line was begun in that period.
Under war-time restriction in 1942, the "Colorado Eagles,' St. Louis to Denver diesel-powered passenger trains, replaced the Scenic Limited on June 21. Within four years these Eagles had run 2,616,904 miles and had carried 2,062,000 passengers.
With the death of Mr. Baldwin in 1946, Paul J. Neff, then senior executive assistant in charge of the lines in Texas, became chief executive officer under the Trustee. Numerous plans for reorganization of the properties under the Trusteeship were advanced from time to time, but one after the other failed to meet the approval of the various parties of interest. Nevertheless, under the Trusteeship, the railroad continued to improve and modernize its properties and it kept pace with the changing patterns of rail transportation.
In 1946 work began on an extensive grade and line revision project on the Missouri Division, some 140 miles south of St. Louis, in the Granite Bend, Tip Top, Gad's Hill area. More than 24,000 feet of track were involved in the initial phases of the project including blasting out cuts 47 feet deep through rock harder than granite. This was part of a long-range program to improve that part of the mainline to Texas to provide higher speed track for the advent of the Texas Eagle streamliners. Those trains replaced the famed Sunshine Special and made their inaugural runs on August 15, 1948.
In June, 1950, the Settegast Yard was opened at Houston. Its tracks covered 375 acres. A flat switching yard, Settegast fulfilled a need for expanded facilities to service the fast-growing Texas Gulf Coast petrochemical industry.
After two years in the building, the Miller Street Freight Station in St. Louis opened January 2, 1952. Occupying more than five acres, the huge building had space for 180 freight cars under one roof.
During Paul Neff's tenure in office, piggyback freight traffic gained impetus in American railroading and under his direction Missouri Pacific developed a specialized method of handling this type of business. It featured the use of demountable containers in truck-rail service, the trailer bodies being lifted off their wheels by gantry cranes and deposited onto flatcars for rail transport to destination. This service was inaugurated early in 1956.
Meanwhile, railroad financial circles had been stirred in 1954 when another attempt was made to take Missouri Pacific out of bankruptcy. After months of negotiations to seek a new plan of reorganization, a formula was finally devised which proved satisfactory to all concerned. But it was not until two years later, on March 1, 1956, that the United States District Court at St. Louis officially ended Missouri Pacific's 23 years of receivership.
Mr. Neff was elected president of the new Missouri Pacific, but a year later-in May, 1957-he relinquished the presidency and was named chairman of the board. He served until his death one month later.
Russel L. Dearmont, for 20 years counsel for the Trustee, was elected president to succeed Mr. Neff. He had entered service of the Missouri Pacific as a district attorney at Cape Girardeau, Mo., in 1930 and was appointed counsel for the Trustee in 1936.
The reorganized Missouri Pacific which Mr. Dearmont now headed continued to progress, with the railroad making an all-out bid to regain freight traffic lost to over-the-highway truck lines. The company also increased its efforts to attract new industries to its 12-state territory. To further one such enterprise in 1958, some $3 million was spent to build a 27-mile spur to service a new iron ore mine operation set up near Sullivan, Mo.
Modernization of the properties continued uninterruptedly, and in November, 1959 a $13-million double-crest automatic freight car classification yard was opened for service in Kansas City, Mo. Two years in building, it embodied the latest advances in electronic technology. The Kansas City and proved so successful that similar, single-crest classification yard was built in North Little Rock, Ark., and went in service March, 1961.
In this same period developments in the field of electronic data processing found increased railroad applications and the company soon acquired its first computers and the complex array of component equipment.
The company's initials-MP-continued as symbols of the Modern and Progressive spirit of Missouri Pacific's heritage. Electronic data processing was expanded; many miles of continuous welded rail were laid; an entirely new and automated wheel shop at North Little Rock was underway in 1963 and the first completely automated railroad freight station in the nation was placed in operation at St. Louis in 1963.
In the two-year period, 1962-1963, more than $100,000,000 was spent to improve the equipment, track and structures of the system. Included were 3,217 new freight cars and 156 new locomotives. Through intensive repairs, the railroad's serviceable cars were increased to more than 97 per cent of its 57,577-car fleet.
To effect economies in operation and eliminate costly duplicate facilities, a consolidation of the operations of the majority-owned Texas & Pacific Railway subsidiary into the Missouri Pacific lines was being effected in 1963.
And so ... as it entered its 113th year of service to the public, the Missouri Pacific - Texas & Pacific System, with its 12,000 miles of railroad in twelve states, had become a dominant force in the transportation services available to the dynamic west-southwest territory it helped to build. The strategic geographical position of the System afforded connections with all major rail lines that extended to the four corners of the nation and into Canada and Mexico.
An 'important factor in Mo-Pac's recent history has been the Mississippi River Corp., a holding company which also controls subsidiaries involved in the production and transmission of natural gas as well as cement manufacturing. Mississippi began buying Mo-Pac stock in 1959 and gained voting control in 1962. Mississippi Board Chairman William G. Marbury's candidate to succeed Russell L. Dearmont as president of Mo-Pac was Downing B. Jenks. Mr. Jenks was elected president, and Mr. Dearmont was elected chairman of the board, in 1961. Mr. Jenks came to the Mo-Pac from the Rock Island Lines where his election as president in 1956 at age 40 made him the youngest president in modern railroad industry.
Beginning in 1961, Mr. Jenks initiated an intensified plant and equipment modernization program that continues today. He also immediately began building a new management team. An important factor in developing the new team was the lowering of Mo-Pac's retirement age from 70 to 65 which made it possible both. to promote people already with the railroad and to make room for personnel brought in from outside.
One Mr. Jenks brought in 1961 was John H. Lloyd. Mr. Lloyd joined Mo-Pac as vice president-operation, the same post he had held with the Rock Island Lines. In 1971, Mr. Jenks was elected Mo-Pac chairman and the same year was elected president and chief executive officer of Mississippi River Corp. following the death of Mr. Marbury. Mr. Jenks was elected chairman of the board of Mississippi in 1973. Mr. Lloyd succeeded Mr. Jenks as president of the Missouri Pacific in 1972 and was elected chief executive officer of Mo-Pac in 1974.
During Mr. Jenks' presidency. Mo-Pac made major strides in improving the efficiency of its operations through mergers and acquisitions. In 1964, Mo-Pac's Texas and Pacific Railway subsidiary assumed control through stock purchase of three railroads making up the 767-mile Muskogee Co. system which operated in Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas.
The T&P retained control of the 203-mile Kansas, Oklahoma & Gulf, and of the 335-mile Midland Valley Railroad. These railroads crossed at Muskogee, Okla., and through a connection at Okay, Okla., had direct "cut-across" access to lines into Wichita and Kansas City. The T&P sold the third line -the 104-mile OklahomaCity-Ada-Atoka Railway-to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
The acquisition provided Mo-Pac a direct route between Kansas City and the Southwest by way of Oklahoma -a route 319 miles shorter than the previous one. The Midland Valley and the KO&G subsequently weremerged into theT&P in 1967 and 1970, respectively.
A threat to the efficiency of traffic handling at the important St. Louis gateway developed in 1966 when the Cotton Belt, a Southern Pacific subsidiary, attempted to monopolize the Alton & Southern Railroad, a vital terminal switching facility. Mo-Pac filed an application with the Interstate Commerce Commission to acquire the A&S, proposing that its ownership would be joint with other line-haul carriers so that this terminal facility would continue to be open to all railroads. After hearings were completed, the ICC in 1968 authorized Mo-Pac and the Chicago & North Western Railroad to purchase the A&S. Today, the East St. Louis terminal and classification yard of the Alton & Southern, now owned jointly by the Missouri Pacific and Cotton Belt, continue to play a major role in moving rail traffic through the St. Louis gateway, classifying freight for Mo-Pac and nine other railroads.
Looking north from St. Louis, Mo-Pac had long recognized that the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad represented a natural extension of its routes into Chicago, the nation's largest rail gateway and the primary gateway for traffic moving between the U.S. and Canada. Mo-Pac began acquiring C&EI stock in 1961. The Louisville & Nashville Railroad also sought control of the C&EI. Mo-Pac immediately applied to the Commission for authorization to control the C&EI, which was granted in 1967. However, the ICC required that the C&EI sell its Evansville line to the L&N. This sale, finalized in 1969, gave the L&N joint ownership and common usage of C&EI's Chicago to Woodland Junction Line and outright ownership from Woodland Junction south through Danville, Ill., to Evansville, Ind.
Mo-Pac's acquisition of the C&EI made possible a direct service over the Missouri Pacific System between Chicago and the West and Southwest, bypassing the busy St. Louis gateway via Thebes in southern Illinois. in addition, via the C&EI's western leg, Mo-Pac now had a line to provide direct service between the important Chicago and St. Louis gateways.
As soon as it gained control of the C&EI in 1967, Mo-Pac began to rebuild the railroad and bring it up to the modern standards of the rest of the Mo-Pac System. This included construction of new shops, expansion of yards, replacement of lightweight track with continuous welded rail, installation of Centralized Traffic Control, rebuilding of bridges and purchases of new freight cars and locomotives. In 1974, with this rebuilding job largely accomplished, Mo-Pac introduced its North American Rail Link, which provides single-carrier service across the United States between Canada and Mexico. Mo-Pac has the only single system route linking Chicago and Laredo, Texas, the foremost rail gateways to our neighboring countries. MoPac has actively promoted this new route and is moving an increasing amount of traffic as trade among the U.S.., Canada and Mexico continues to grow.
Growth by merger was on Mo-Pac's mind early in 1966 when it began buying shares of Santa Fe Railway preferred stock. In May of the same year, Mo-Pac and the Mississippi River Corp. filed a joint application with the Interstate Commerce Commission for authority to acquire control of the Santa Fe. These actions were based on Missouri Pacific's belief that the natural and logical development in the realignment of the railroad industry west of Chicago and the Mississippi River would include the amalgamation of the Santa Fe and Mo-Pac.
In 1968, Mo-Pac and the Mississippi River Corp. withdrew their joint application, partly because of the complex nature of Mo-Pac's dual stock structure which had led to litigation between the two classes of Missouri Pacific stockholders. The unsuccessful attempt to merge with the Santa Fe and other merger proposals which had either been rejected or not seriously pursued because of Mo-Pac's capital structure pointed to the need for MRC, which controlled Mo-Pac's Class A stock, and Alleghany Corp., which controlled the Class B stock, to resolve their long-standing differences.
Alleghany Corp., a New York based holding company, once controlled the Missouri Pacific and when the railroad emerged from reorganization in 1956, Allegheny's common stock holdings were transformed into Class B shares. As the majority owner of Class B stock, Alleghany had, in effect, a veto power over mergers or other major moves affecting the railroad's capitalization since a majority vote of each class of common' stock - B as well as A - was needed for approval. In 1967, a holder of Mo-Pac Class B shares sued the railroad over its dividend policy. Alleghany Corp. joined the suit the next year.
Before the issue came to trial, the parties agreed on a recapitalization plan late in 1972 which was approved by the court early the next year. Completion of the recapitalization of the Missouri Pacific was accomplished early in 1974. Specifically, the recapitalization involved issuing one share of $5 Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock for each share of previously outstanding Class A Common Stock and the issuance of 16 shares of Common Stock, plus $850 in cash, for each share of previously outstanding Class B stock. The recapitalization, which resolved the stock conflict and provided an essential stock restructuring, also gave Mo-Pac the potential for more active participation in the Western Railroad merger movement and cleared the way for the Missouri Pacific to proceed with its own corporate unification.
Thus in 1974, Mo-Pac was enabled to take a further step toward corporate simplification: the merger of The Texas & Pacific Railway as well as the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad into the Missouri Pacific to create a system unified in name as well as in fact.
The merger plan was drafted and subsequently was approved by stockholders of the three companies at separate meetings in October, 1974. Application was made to the Interstate Commerce Commission which authorized the merger in May, 1976, Mo-Pac's 125th anniversary year. However, the merger was delayed by parties seeking reconsideration of the Commission's order.
On October 15, 1976, merger of the T&P and the C&EI into the Missouri Pacific Railroad was consummated under the ICC's original order when the Fifth Court of Appeals in New Orleans denied a request to stay the effectiveness of that order. The unified system - a goal of Mo-Pac people for decades was accomplished.
Hundreds of miles of conventional rail have been replaced by continuous welded rail; many bridges have been rebuilt or upgraded; millions of dollars have been invested in new terminals to handle piggyback and small shipments and still more millions in automated freight classification yards.
Thousands of new freight cars and hundreds of locomotives have been added to the Mo-Pac System freight fleet, which ranks as one of the best-maintained and youngest fleets in the rail industry. Shops have been built new or modernized and highly sophisticated computer, communications and signal installations have been made across the railroad. Mo-Pac also has had success in refining its services and in developing marketing concepts that have enhanced the company's competitive position.
Efficient movement of freight depends in part on Mo-Pac's locomotive and freight car repair and service facilities, among the most complete and modern in the industry.
The railroad's largest maintenance center for locomotives and cars is at North Little Rock where an automated wheel shop and airbrake shop were built in 1964. Other installations there have included a rail welding plant, producing quarter-mile lengths of continuous welded rail for the entire system, that was completed in 1967, and a diesel locomotive repair and overhaul complex which began operation in 1969. North Little Rock also is the location of the railroad system headquarters for distribution of materials and supplies.
A multi-stage modernization program carried out at Mo-Pac's major freight car repair complex at DeSoto, Mo., was completed in 1966 with construction of a car fabricating shop, the seventh new structure built during the project. Additional freight fleet service facilities built new or expanded in this period included the installations at Wichita; Omaha; San Antonio', Ft. Worth, Laredo and Marshall, Texas, and Avondale, La.
Heavy investment also has been made since 1961 at key freight yards throughout the Mo-Pac System to streamline traffic movements. The railroad's multi-million dollar automated classification yard at North Little Rock, which went into operation in 1961, was first expanded in 1962, again in 1964 when eight classification tracks were added to make a total of 64, and again in 1966 when a special adjoining city freight yard was built. Yard capacity was doubled at San Antonio in 1964 and late in 1967 Mo-Pac announced a massive project for Lancaster Yard at Ft. Worth.
The three-year Ft. Worth project involved both expanding the yard's capacity and converting it to automated, electronic operation. The task was especially difficult because the old yard was kept operating while the new one was built on top of it.
Completed in 1971 and named Centennial Yard in honor of The Texas and Pacific Railway's 100th year, the new 44-track classification yard is one of the most modern in the nation.
Mo-Pac's heavy investment in shops and yards has been matched with both investment and innovations in service to improve the railroad's competitive position. Since the early Sixties, the Missouri Pacific has steadily increased its traffic share of such major commodities as chemicals, automobiles and auto parts, wheat and other food grains, lumber and paper products, steel, iron ore, sand and gravel, and coal.
Coal was the first commodity Mo-Pac hauled in unit train service, a field the railroad entered in 1966. This is the movement of great tonnage's of single bulk products between two points on a regularly scheduled basis. Now grain and ore, as well as coal, move in Mo-Pac unit trains.
For the automobile industry, Mo-Pac also operates special trains that carry parts to assembly plants and move finished vehicles to unloading/distribution facilities at strategic trackside locations. Missouri Pacific's auto distribution center at Arlington, Texas, was doubled in size in 1967. New centers were built at Lee's Summit, Mo., and St. Louis in 1973.
Cooperative service arrangements with other railroads have been, and continue to be used when they can improve equipment utilization and upgrade _ transportation service. Such operations include run-through trains with pooled locomotive of Mo-Pac and other roads and coordinated transcontinental service for which the Missouri Pacific joins with one or more other rail carriers to provide streamlined transportation.
An important part of Missouri transportation service is transportation consultation, provided to customers by Mo-Pac sales representatives. Recognizing the importance of its sales representatives, Mo-Pac established an in-depth sales training program in 1970. This program, one of the first in the railroad industry, has been expanded and upgraded since. Another training program for Mo-Pac personnel features regular lessons on such topics as ICC law, international and government traffic, freight claims and pricing regulations.
Perhaps the most dramatic development in Missouri Pacific service since 1961 has been what Mo-Pac calls "total transportation" Mo-Pac has made steady progress toward its goal: operation as a total transportation company using all transport modes to offer all the combinations of service that a shipper may need. A consistent industry leader each year in both growth and volume of piggyback and containerized traffic, Mo-Pac has invested heavily-more than $20 million since 1961 in the facilities and hardware needed to efficiently handle intermodal movements.
Freight terminals, piggyback facilities and track-rail installations were either built new or greatly improved and expanded throughout the Sixties at San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, North Little Rock, St. Louis and Kansas City. More recently, all-new intermodal distribution centers have been built at St. Louis, Memphis, Ft. Worth, Monroe, La.,and Wichita.
A key factor in Mo-Pac's intermodal performance has been the operations of the railroad's two motor carrier subsidiaries: Texas and Pacific Motor Transport Co., and Missouri Pacific Truck Lines, Inc., established in 1929 and 1938, respectively.
These subsidiaries have become a major trucking system, operating more than 3,100 units of equipment over 18,000 miles of highway routes in Missouri Pacific's mid-America territory.
Limited by law for several years to handling less-than-carload traffic in railsubstitute service, Mo-Pac's truck lines achieved a major breakthrough in 1975 when they were granted authorization to handle interstate traffic on their own, instead of railroad, billing, Missouri Pacific's trucking subsidiaries have played an important role in Mo-Pac total transportation operations, both performing on their own and assisting the railroad to perform several intermodal operations and services.
One such intermodal service -Piggyback-received substantial upgrading beginning in 1964 with the introduction of the first of a seriesof special piggyback trains to provide highway competitive service between Chicago and St. Louis and key Texas cities.
Another transport mode water was added to Mo-Pac's total transportation arsenal in 1969 with the establishment of Missouri Pacific Intermodal Transport, Inc., a non-vessel operator that handles the details of ocean freight forwarding for international shippers. In 1970, Missouri Pacific introduced Containerpak, a series of shipping plans that organized movements by container. Mo-Pac pioneered the use of containers in 1928 and remains a leader in containerization with one of the industry's most extensive line-ups of container handling facilities and services.
An important intermodal step toward total transportation was made in 1972 when Missouri Pacific Airfreight, Inc. began operations in St. Louis. Mo-Pac Airfreight, with operations bases at several key cities, takes advantage of Missouri Pacific's terminals and the trucks of the railroad's two motor carrier subsidiaries to offer shippers expedited forwarding of air cargo to and from all major airport cities in the U.S., and to points in Canada and Mexico.
Making airfreight and the other elements of total transportation work together has required prompt adoption of new technology, particularly in the areas of traffic control, communications and computer applications. In 1966, Mo-Pac was the first in the industry to install a solid-state Centralized Traffic Control machine. Another first was Missouri Pacific's introduction the same year of a fully-automated materials management system providing computer determination of reorder points and quantities, automatic Surplus checking, purchase order writing and automatic vendor selection. Mo-Pac's computer applications have since expanded into the areas of traffic and market analyses, equipment control, car accounting and car tracing.
But Mo-Pac's most ambitious application of computer technology to date has been its Transportation Control System (TCS), a computer-based management information and control system that actually exceeds in scope and complexity the Apollo Moon Program used to launch, guide and land the astronauts. TCS, whose implementation began in 1969, is helping Mo-Pac to keep an incredibly tight rein on the railroad, to provide pin-point control of 400 trains moving 70,000 cars every day over Missouri Pacific's 12-state, 12,000-mile system. This program's goals are more efficient and reliable freight transportation/distribution service, maximum utilization of Mo-Pac equipment, reduced paperwork and better communication with customers.
In 1975, the Federal Railroad Administration awarded Mo-Pac a $5.5 million contract to develop an automated freight car scheduling system, built upon the data base and operating applications of Missouri Pacific's TCS.
Announcing the contract, Federal Railroad Administrator Asaph H. Hall noted Mo-Pac's progress in transportation control via TCS. He said, "This is a laudable pioneering effort by the Missouri Pacific and it is one which other railroads may utilize to improve the reliability of the transportation product, the utilization of the freight car fleet and the communication with customers"
The FRA also noted that while some other railroads had spent as much as Mo-Pac in the area of movement control, only the Missouri Pacific had accomplished all of the steps essential as a working foundation for precise scheduling of individual freight cars, loaded and empty, dock-to-dock.