Katy Red 37 Years Apart

Missouri-Kansas-Texas No. 106 in Kansas City, Kan., in July 1978.

Missouri-Kansas-Texas No. 106 in Kansas City, Kan., in July 1978.

Union Pacific's MKT heritage locomotive at Vermilion, Ohio, last week.

Union Pacific’s MKT heritage locomotive at Vermilion, Ohio, last week.

up1988v00

up1988v04nose

up1988v05side

NS 7629 was added to the motive power consist so that the train had a leader with cab signal capability on the Cleveland Line. The unit was added at Vermilion.

NS 7629 was added to the motive power consist so that the train had a leader with cab signal capability on the Cleveland Line. The unit was added at Vermilion.

I was able to catch Union Pacific No. 1988, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas heritage unit last week after it had stopped to add a cab signal leader.

I never would have thought that back in July 1978 on a trip to Kansas City that I would be seeing a tribute to Miss Katy sitting in front of me in Ohio in 2015.

In 1978 I was just happy to catch a few units still in the older red scheme as the “John Deere” green and yellow had pretty much covered most of the MKT roster.

Ten years after making my original photo, the MKT was merged into the UP and Armour yellow or the cutting torch ended seeing any more Katy

Then the UP Heritage program happened. Although not faithful to the original scheme, I’ll take it. The two tone reds and the large The Katy lettering added a splash of color to an otherwise dull day.

Historical correctness aside, we railfans have had it pretty nice out here with all the nods to railroad history, both by the UP, my company (Norfolk Southern) and other carriers. It is truly a golden age for these kinds of tributes.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

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