Trains of the Past: Southern Belle Passenger Train

These trains brings back memories of the days when passenger trains were still on the tracks across the country. I remember the Southern Belle the best because of trips to Kansas City but also rode Missouri Pacific to Indianapolis to report to my new post at Fort Benjamin Harrison on a snowy day in January of 1963.

I can remember in 1962 when my high school graduation present was a train ride by myself to Kansas City, Missouri to see a baseball game.

That trip was 47 years ago but I can remember it like it was yesterday. I boarded the train in Alexandria, Louisiana in the afternoon and the next morning the train arrived in Kansas City, Missouri.

I can still remember some of the stops along the way like Texarkana, Texas,  Sallisaw, Oklahoma, Neosho Missouri, Joplin, Missouri and Grandview, Missouri which was close to Kansas City.

After a long night of traveling it was good to finally arrive in Kansas City after about 17 hours of traveling from Louisiana to Missouri.

Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri which was built in 1914 and was at the time the second largest train station in the United States.
Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri which was built in 1914 and was at the time the second largest train station in the United States.

While I in Kansas City I got to see the New York Yankees play the Kansas City Athletics in a doubleheader. I can remember Hall of Famer Whitey Ford losing a 16 hitter which I think was a complete game. The highlight of the doubleheader was seeing both Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris hit home runs. Only a year earlier Maris had set the single season home run record when he hit 61 homers and Mantle had hit 54 that year.

In a few days I boarded the train for the return trip to Louisiana and wish today I could make another trip on a passenger train but passenger trains mostly are in bigger cities now.

Still the memories of that train ride will always remain.