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Don's Rail Photos

North Central Texas RR


We might call this "Now you see it, now you don't," or "Easy come, easy go."  The North Central Texas came and was gone before we realized it.
When the Rock Island folded in 1980, the trackage into Dallas via Fort Worth was assigned to the Katy to operate as the Oklahoma-Kansas-Texas.  Apparently the Katy wasn't too enthusiastic about this arrangement and pulled out early in 1982.  The cities of Dallas and Fort Worth joined together to purchase the Rock Island trackage between these two cities and set up a new company called Railtrans.  Up to this time, governmental involvement was unheard of in Texas.  While other states were setting up short lines using designated operators, the only activity in Texas was a few small purchases of rail lines by shortline operators.  For example, in 1961, the Belton RR purchased the Katy line into Belton.  In 1967, the Gorman Peanut Co. bought the Texas Central RR from the Katy and kept the trackage from Dublin to Gorman, plus the trackage from Stamford to Hamlin or thereabouts.  In 1973 the Texas Export RR took over the Rock Island branch to Graham.  Compared to the northeast, this was almost nothing.
The North Central Texas was formed to take over rail service from Dallas, thru Fort Worth, and then to Chico.  The first locomotive on the property was the gaudily painted 612, named "C. F. Tucker Courtney, Jr."  It was built by Electro-Motive in September, 1952, #17349, as Florida East Coast 612.  XTRA purchased it in January, 1982, and then leased it to the NCT.  In July, 1984, when the line quit operation, it was stored at the old Katy roundhouse in Fort Worth, which was being used by TG Ry for car rebuilding.  When the roundhouse burned a few years later, the remains were scrapped.

Other power used at the start up was a group of Katy GP7s leased on a daily basis.
The next power to arrive on the scene was a group of Alco RS11s from XTRA.
310, RS11, was built in March, 1956, #81467, as Norfolk & Western 310.  It later went to the Border Pacific RR as 310 in March, 1984.

343, RS11, was built in June, 1957, #82342, as Norfolk & Western 343. I have no record of it's disposition.

405. RS11, was built in June, 1961, #83695, as Norfolk & Western 405. It went into the XTRA lease fleet in April, 1984.  It was sent as Florida West Coast 405 in 1980s and transferred as New Hampshire & Vermont 405 in 1990s.  It was sold and rebuilt as Lake State Ry 1195 "City of East Tawas" in 1995.  It was retired.

Then came the GP7s.

613 was built by Electro-Motive in May, 1953, #18444, FN 5183-3, as New York Central 5740, Class DRSP-4n. The steam generator was removed and the locomotive was reclassified DRS-4n. In 1966 it was reclassified ERS-15. In 1968 it became Penn Central 5740, Class ERS-15. In April, 1976, it became Consolidated Railroad Corp 5740 Class GP-7. XTRA purchased the locomotive in 1981 and renumbered it 613. After a short time on the NCT as 613, it was sent to the North Central Oklahoma as 613. In August, 1986, it went to the Wisconsin & Calumet as 613. It is now Chicago Rail Link 613.

614 was built by Electro-Motive in May, 1953, #18452, FN 5183-11, as New York Central 5748, Class DRSP-4n. It was converted and reclassified DRS-4n. In 1966 it was reclassified ERS-15. In 1968 it became Penn Central 5748, Class ERS-15. In April, 1976, it became Conrail 5748 Class GP-7. XTRA purchased it in 1981 and it became 614. It was NCT 614 from 1982 until early 1984, when it went to the North Central Oklahoma. It also went to the WICT as 614 in 1986. It is now Chicago Rail Link 614.

1500, GP7, was built by Electro-Motive in April 1953, #17979, FN 5184-9, as Pittsburgh & Lake Erie 5733, Class DRS-4L.  It was reclassified Class ERS-15 in 1966 and renumbered 1504 in December 1971.  It was sold to Monongahela Ry as 1500 in December 1975.  It was then leased to NCTR as 1500 in July 1982.  It was later sold to Cimarron River Valley Ry as 1500 and then to Kyle RR as 1500.  It was then transferred to Natchez Trace RR as 1511 and became Eastern Alabama Ry 1511.  It was sold as Universal Transportation Co 1511 and sold as Locomotive Sales & Leasing Corp 1511.

1506. GP7, was built by Electro-Motive in September 1951, #14582, as P&LE 5685, Class DRSP-4g.  It was rebuilt as Class DRS-4g and reclassified Class ERS-15 in 1966.  It was renumbered 1524 in December 1971 and sold to MGR as 1506 in December 1975.  It was then leased to NCTR as 1506 in July 1982 and used as Enid Central RR 1506.  It was later sold to CRVC as 1506.

1508, GP7, was built by Electro-Motive in September 1951, #14578, as P&LE 5681, Class DRS-4f.  It was reclassified Class ERS-15 in 1966 and renumbered 1528 in December 1971 and sold to MGA as 1508 in December 1975.  It was leased to NCTR as 1508 in June 1982 and used as ENIC as 1508.  It was later sold to CRVC as 1508.

The headquarters for the short line was at the Peach Yard in Fort Worth. There was another locomotive there for a period of time, but it is not known whether it was actually used. Here is Diesel Engineering Services 711, an 80 Ton General Electric of unknown history.

Begun in 1982 and gone in 1982. The Katy took over the line again using Railtran owned trackage between Dallas and Fort Worth. Peach Yard is virtually gone. And who even remembers the North Central Texas?

Here is some more information from Bob Courtney.

There were three Centrals which operated pieces of the Rock between OKT stints (just 10 months all in 1982). They were all owned by the defunct Virginia Central parent company. North Central Texas had Dallas to Fort Worth to Chico. North Central Oklahoma had Chickasha to El Reno and some other trackage. Enid Central had El Reno to Enid and some short branches.

There were 2 unit painted NCOK. Both were Alcos, one an RS11 and the other an RS32 low nose. They were blue and silver with gold lettering which looked good on delivery, but it did not weather well. There were 3 XTRA (leasing company) RS11s in solid red (311, 343, and 405). They started out in Oklahoma, but they spent the last 5 months until October on the NCTR, where they replaced leased MKT chop nose GP7s 104 and 105. They joined red/white/blue ex-FEC 612 which came to the NCTR in January.

In the last month, NCTR 613 and 614 arrived on the property painted in blue. Up until their arrival (did they ever actually work for the NCTR?) the pattern was for 612 and one of the RS11s to handle the Ft. Worth work (Chico turns and interchange), while the other 2 Alcos handled the Dallas work (a still busy Brookhollow Industrial District and Dallas interchange: in the mornings. They would then turn to Ft. Worth in the afternoon/evening. When needed, the RS11s were swapped as they were worked on only in Ft. Worth.

Bob never shot the GP7 in Dallas except at the locomotive rebuilder (Diesel Electric Service Co.) which was near Mesquite. They also did Farmrail 617 and 621 which were ex-FEC. They also did a GP7 for Iowa Northern and several ex-SP S6s which Bob never got to see.

He had the privilege to ride a pair of RS11s from Mockingbird to to switch the Dallas Times Herald one evening right after photographing the RS11s with NCTR marks on the cab.

He also chased and photographed the final run from Dallas to Ft. Worth. It left Mockingbird in daylight, but it arrived well after dark at Peach Yard because a truck was parked on a spur to the past pick up near 121 and 820. It was not fun waiting after dark at Peach because he was remembering the motor cycle gang headquarters near there (before the 40somethings with Gold Wings bought it.)

Thanks to Bob for the memories.


Roster info: Eric Fotaug


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