Do More With Less – Katy Style
When railroad officials need to inspect their plant, they will do so via business car, passenger cars that have been converted for use by company officers. The Katy had 2 cars for this service, heavyweight observation cars numbered 400 and 401. These two cars were the traditional, proper tool for MKT executives to inspect the railroad.
In late 1971, the Georgetown Railroad was in the market for two business cars. They approached the Katy with an offer to buy the 400 and the 401. As the Katy was always cash-strapped, they sold the cars to the GRR.
Of course, Katy officials still needed to inspect the railroad. Always resourceful, the Katy improvised. MKT V-P B.R. Bishop ordered the Denison Car Shops to make an inspection car. After all, how hard can it be?
MKT Inspection Car 1045 was converted from an old boxcar. It entered service in 1973, providing a functional, albeit less luxurious, means for Katy executives to inspect their railroad.
The UP acquired the MKT in 1988. The UP, having a slightly different philosophy about how its officials should inspect the property, deemed the 1045 expendable.
The UP offered the 1045 to the City of Denison. Unable to find a place for the unique car, Denison passed.
Ultimately, the UP sold the 1045 to the U.S. Army. The intent was to rebuild it into an escort for military trains. Unfortunately, the need for guard cars on military trains was abolished in 1994, and the car was never refurbished for interchange service.
It’s currently at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, numbered FSO 1045. It does see use, rarely, transporting officials about the base.