f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Frisco Passenger Depot

Posted Friday, June 15, 2012, at 12:00 AM

June 15, 1960 Southeast Missourian

It was a matter of coincidence, but as Frisco Railroad today moved before the Interstate Commerce Commission in a hearing at the Federal Building to abandon passenger train service through Cape Girardeau, it also planned to close the passenger station this week and start next Monday razing the structure. The area occupied by the station is being turned back to the city and passenger facilities will be moved to the freight station. (G.D. Fronabarger photo)

Aug. 29, 1950 Southeast Missourian

Diesel passenger service has been inaugurated by the Frisco Railroad in this division, with the new streamlined type of locomotives to eventually displace all steam-driven ones. The picture shows a diesel-powered passenger train pulling into the Cape Girardeau station. (G.D. Fronabarger/Southeast Missourian archive)


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  • I miss the days of passenger trains. It was a rite of passage for kids to hop on the train in Cape for a ride to Chaffee.


    -- Posted by Ken1 on Fri, Jun 15, 2012, at 1:32 AM
  • In those days before I-55, the run to St. Louis Union Station took about 4 hours, but it was only 3:20 to Tower Grove. This was competitive with a drive up US 61. Still, passenger service was a major loss center for Frisco, and all railroads, in part because of ICC (read government) incompetence in regulating them.

    Frisco's 1960 ICC request to terminate passenger service may have applied to both the day and night trains, but the immediate impact was on the night run only. However, it was the death of the Sunnyland, too, as it was no longer possible to make a trip to St. Louis by train without staying overnight.

    As the photos imply, passengers were not the main revenue source for these trains. Rather the mail contract and Railway Express business provided the majority of the cash.

    -- Posted by JTL on Fri, Jun 15, 2012, at 7:09 AM
  • JTL is right. When I first transferred to Ohio University, I'd take the train to and from Cape.

    In their effort to kill off passenger traffic, the railroad fixed the schedule so I'd have a 24-hour layover in Cincinnati.

    Obviously, that wasn't going to work, so I started flying student standby.

    Then, of course, the railroad went to the ICC and said, "Look, nobody's riding our passenger trains. We want to get rid of them."

    Mission accomplished.

    -- Posted by Ken1 on Sat, Jun 16, 2012, at 12:50 AM
  • Checked out the passenger service, Sikeston to Chaffee, back in fifth grade, fer cat's sake, it was quite a class picnic, because my grandmother, God Rest Her, had ridden the train to South Carolina many times to visit Aunt June and family, back in the early Fifty's....always the first ride is the best.....my second was a trip on the Rock Island, St. Louis to Minneapolis as well as the return trip, winter of '66 to a fraternity national convention, layer cookies, and the support of brothers from SEMO got us there, and back, rail travel, in coach, no Pullmans on the train, rock and roll on the Rock Island....more memories come from my Cotton Belt family, I'll save 'em.....molater, kkr

    -- Posted by kkcaver47 on Sat, Jun 16, 2012, at 11:51 PM
  • Big Four seniority: move to Chaffee for a better job. I never went back north to see the family; they called me "Cock 'em high": give me some more fire for the boiler. Was that the bridge we just hit? Glad this isn't a passenger train. The darn crane shifted. We better notify the bridge inspector when we tie up...

    -- Posted by Hugh M Bean on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 11:29 AM