Red Railroading: Miss Katy in the 1970s

Katy train at Clinton, Missouri on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad

This article originally appeared on June 21, 2017

Yes, there will be red. Plenty of red.


Up until now, most of our previews of Show-Me the Katy have featured the vibrant green and yellow-striped units of MKT’s latter years. But, our upcoming book will also highlight lots of trains hauled by engines decked out in Katy’s classy red paint schemes.


This month’s sneak peek features another nostalgic image by railfan photographer Don Kaiser.

We’re in Clinton

, standing trackside at the Sedalia Ave. crossing on a sweltering day in August 1971. Looking south, we witness a St. Louis-bound freight gathering speed as it takes out of town. GP40 213 leads two sister units and her freight past a small fire smoldering along the right-of-way.  The middle of the train is clattering across the diamond crossing with Frisco’s ‘High Line’ secondary line linking Kansas City and Springfield, MO.

This particular section of the main line was removed in the late 1990s. Sedalia Avenue now marks the starting point of the 240-mile Katy Trail State Park hiking and biking path. From Clinton south, the rails remain and are operated by shortline Missouri & Northern Arkansas.


Show-Me the Katy highlights the fascinating history of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad’s lines across Missouri. We’ll visit each era between 1870 and 1989, with a special focus on the last 25 years of operation. From the red era to the green, there are plenty of colorful Katy action shots to please any rail enthusiast. Stay tuned for details on the book’s release, expected later this year.