Katy's Country: Recalling the Final Days of a Midwestern Mainline (DVD Video)
Join host and producer “Locomotive” Mike Landis for a nostalgic look at a midwestern mainline railroad fighting to succeed in the 1980s.
Linking the metropolis of Missouri with the cities and ports of the Lone Star State, the Katy Railroad served the south central US for nearly 120 years. Officially known as the Missouri-Kansas-Texas, the line found itself by the 1980s struggling for survival as a smaller carrier surrounded by other railroads merging to form mega systems. By the latter part of the decade, the MKT itself was in the process of being merged into the Union Pacific; her days an independent railroad were numbered. Ken Kaiser, a railroad enthusiast, living in Clinton, Missouri along the line to St. Louis, saw the writing on the wall; he sought to capture the last days of his favorite hometown railroad. With his home camcorder in hand, he was there to witness the Katy’s last hurrah in Henry County.
That rare footage has been compiled into this feature presentation- Katy's Country. It's a 65-minute guided tour and trackside seat to all the exciting train action. You’ll see an eclectic mix of colorful locomotives heading up freight and piggyback, coal, and local trains bouncing along rickety rail through Henry County- much of which was abandoned soon after these memories were captured. The trains may be gone, but these memories live on.
Show-Me Katy: Memories of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (Book)
Climb aboard the Katy with television journalist Michael Landis for an illustrated tour of one of the most scenic rail routes in the Midwest! This 176-page book focuses on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) Railroad’s routes across southeastern Kansas and central Missouri. Enjoy nearly 300 action-packed photographs of freight trains winding through prairies and small towns, over lush hills, below towering bluffs, and across big rivers. Insightful "Backtrack" articles provide a look at historic points of railroad interest along the way. Interviews with former MKT employees, detailed maps, and informative graphics help tell the story of this often-forgotten corner of the Katy system.
Revisiting Katy's Country: MNA Railroad's Clinton Branch (DVD Video)
The Missouri-Kansas-Texas "Katy" Railroad’s route to St. Louis served small towns across the Show-Me State for more than a century. Highlights of that operation, as they were in the 1980s, were featured in Main Track Media’s popular feature DVD presentation, Katy’s County, and book Show-Me Katy. The Katy was bought out by Union Pacific in 1988, and by 1990, most of the former MKT across Missouri was gone.
Decades later, in 2020, we ventured back to the MKT's remaining rails, which are operated these days by Genesee & Wyoming's Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad. Now known as the Clinton Branch, the tracks still serve an important role for the farming towns found along the way. In this program, Revisiting Katy’s Country, we follow a local train between Walker, Missouri, and the end of the line at Clinton, Missouri. Watch the train as it switches railcars at grain elevators and other industries; clatters through the picturesque countryside of west-central Missouri; encounters wildlife along the tracks, and glides across a long bridge spanning the waters of Truman Lake. We recreated many of the scenes which appeared in Katy’s Country and Show-Me Katy, providing before-and-after comparisons between the decades. Towns featured include Walker, Harwood, Schell City, Rockville, Appleton City, Montrose, La Due, and Clinton. Through this professionally produced and narrated HD video, you’ll learn about the interesting history of this railroad and how it compares to current operations. The trains of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad may be long gone. But, many of the tracks and memories live on in Revisiting Katy’s Country.