Stack Train Over The Flyover At Santa Fe Junction in Kansas City


This BNSF stack train was heading west over the flyover, also known as the Argentine Connection, at Santa Fe Junction, back in September 2005. This photo was taken from the observation deck of the Liberty Memorial. The Santa Fe Junction area is vast and complex, with three levels of distinct rail lines.

The highest level is the flyover, which now serves as the primary way that BNSF trains get from the KCT tracks at Kansas City Union Station (outside of the photograph on the right) to Argentine Yard in Kansas City, Kansas. The flyover carries KCT tracks AC1 and AC2 above the lower levels; the stack train is on track AC2.

The middle level, is the KCT Highline Bridge that passes under the flyover, and carries rail traffic over the Kansas River. Once this bridge gets to the Kansas River, it becomes a double-deck bridge. You can see the Highline Bridge as it crosses the Kansas River in the upper right corner. A pair of tracks on the ground level also cross over the Kansas River on the lower deck of the bridge. The upper level of the Highline Bridge carries KCT tracks 74 and 75. Track 74 is the northern most track and Track 75 is the southern most track, on the bridge. On the left side of the photograph you can see a track split off of the Highline Bridge. That is the connector track between Track 75 on the Highline and Mainline 2 on the BNSF's Fort Scott Subdivision.

The lowest level at Santa Fe Junction are the ground level tracks. Originally, before the flyover was built, KCT Mainline 3 (ML3) and Mainline 4 (ML4) were the tracks used to get between Union Station and Argentine Yard. Those tracks descend alongside the Highline Bridge approach, starting at the signal bridge in the lower right of the photograph. KCT ML3 and ML4 cross the BNSF Fort Scott Subdivision at BN Crossing, which is just below the "Y" junction of the Highline Bridge, on the left side of the photograph. Due to the way the tracks are now configured, with the addition of the flyover, Amtrak's Southwest Chief still uses the ground level tracks since it cannot get into Union Station from the flyover tracks.

Photo taken: Kansas City, Missouri. September 27, 2005.

 Post Updates:

  • 2019-10-25 - Added more detailed information about the distinct levels of railroading.

Comments

  1. Great shot and view of this area. I have seen these terms lately like "Flyover" but was not exactly sure how it all worked till now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Shelly.

      Kansas City actually has two large flyovers. The one seen here at Santa Fe Junction, plus another flyover called the Sheffield Flyover, which is also owned the KCT. Both flyovers are on the same rail corridor, but Sheffield is on the eastern edge of the KCT rail corridor (closer to I-435) that runs between Santa Fe Junction and Rock Creek Junction. The Sheffield Flyover carries the KCT tracks above a number of railroad junctions that the ground level KCT tracks interchange with and cross. The Sheffield Flyover runs between Belmont Blvd. (western end) and Rock Creek Junction (eastern end). Here's a photograph of Sheffield Tower still standing next to the Sheffield Flyover. At least it was still standing in 2005, when I took the photograph.

      There is also a smaller flyover, though not referred to as often as a flyover, called the Sheep Jump, which is just north of the Sheffield Flyover. It carries UP traffic from Rock Creek Junction to UP's Neff Yard complex.

      Delete
    2. And, now I see that you have already seen and commented on that post of Sheffield Tower...

      Delete

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