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Tell It Like It Was - Slightly Derailed

Adapted from the original email-letter from Paul Ovaitt - Original date 3/28/21

Hello again, gentle readers. This minor correction to my MKT story is probably insignificant to most busy folks, but let’s face it, my status as a retired housepainter/carpenter, and my forced hiatus from music gigs due to Covid, leave me with too much time on my hands. So, I shall tell you that I recently gained better information about the fuel/water stations. A member of the Katy Railroad Historical Society, Raymond George, emailed more precise sites of fuel and water stations. I don’t know if it’s unethical to copy and paste his message, so allow me to paraphrase:

He searched the employees timetable for the 189-mile St. Louis Division of MKT. The earliest he found that listed the locations of Katy’s water tanks was from September 30, 1923. Situated north to south were Machens, St. Charles, Matson, Marthasville, McKittrick, Mokane, North Jefferson, McBaine and Franklin yard. Prior to 1923, coaling stations were at Matson, Mokane and Franklin. After 1923 local freight divisions were lengthened. (I suppose due to more efficient locomotives.) Now the coal stations were Machens, McKittrick and Franklin. Also in 1923, fuel oil tanks were built at Franklin to service their new and larger oil-fired engines.

To help you locate these and other stations, I have attached a map of MKT stations, which I received from the Library Of Congress in Washington. At moments like that, I’m glad to see the useful things my tax dollars can do for me. You might also be interested in the website of KRHS.

Stay well and curious.


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