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SLSF NW2 258flagKansas City MO Kansas City

SLSF 258 heads for 19th St. Yd., while MP 1239 goes to the Katy.

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©  Apr 24, 1976


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SLSF 258 heads for 19th St. Yd., while MP 1239 goes to the Katy.



storyIn 1976, US railroads were struggling with worn-out equipment and bloated infrastructure. Trackage suffered from "deferred maintenance" and derailments were all too common. It would take government action in the form of deregulation in 1980 to allow the railroads the ability to better compete with each other and the trucking and river barge industries by setting their own freight rates. The down side was that thousands of rail workers would be laid off and many route miles of track would be abandoned in the subsequent years. Mergers became almost commonplace, with less-profitable railroads being swallowed up or overwhelmed by the changes and declaring bankruptcy. The railroads represented in the above image both disappeared into larger companies; the Frisco being acquired by Burlington Northern and MoPac joining up with Union Pacific. In 1976, Kansas City still had twelve separate Class 1 railroads with routes to or through town, but this number would shrink to four by the year 1996.
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