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Was the Missouri Pacific a Boring Railroad?

May 18, 2010

A Missouri Pacific manifest smokes it up at Texarkana, TX on May 30, 1980

The Missouri Pacific never had many hard-core fans because it was a boring railroad.  True of False? This question came up in a recent conversation with a railfan.

The MP was not a glamorous railroad like the Santa Fe with its warbonnet-led passenger trains. The MP had no spectacular scenery like SP’s Donner Pass or Coast Line. The MP didn’t have a storied history like the Union Pacific. So I can see how the MP never had as many fans as these other railroads.

Then again, neither fancy passenger trains, beautiful scenery or history add anything to the bottom line for a railroad, and that’s all that mattered to MP management.

The MP never won any railfan popularity contests. But when the UP was looking for a merger partner in the early 1980’s, who got picked?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Fernando Uribe permalink
    May 18, 2010 7:29 pm

    I NEVER thought of it that way…but then again…the MP had the most organized management of any railroad. It was so-near-perfect, that it brought attention from the federal government into what they were doing.

  2. James Brsdy Parker permalink
    January 27, 2011 7:39 am

    I worked 15 years with the MOP, boring, nit during my time, had some great pay-checks. Enjoyed my time as an Engineer, decided to move on.

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