WAMX 2005 - Santa Fe Junction - Highline Bridge - Kansas City

WAMX 2005 - Santa Fe Junction
WAMX 2005 leads a quartet of engines south on Track 79 at Santa Fe Junction.
WAMX 2005 - Santa Fe Junction - KC, MO

In the late afternoon light of a fall day, WAMX 2005 leads a quartet of light running engines south at Santa Fe Junction. The string of engines has come down from the West Bottoms area of Kansas City, and were making their way to the lower deck of KCT’s Highline Bridge. The Highline Bridge is just out of view at the bottom, left corner of the photograph. Behind WAMX 2005, are MWLX 2017, WAMX 3855, and WAMX 3852. The locomotives are about to cross the Kansas-Missouri state line from Kansas City, Missouri, to Kansas City, Kansas. The state line is about 300 feet to the west (left) of the locomotives.

WAMX 2005 leads a light engine train across the Kansas River on the Highline Bridge.
WAMX 2005 - Highline Bridge - KC, KS

Above, the engines are now crossing over the Kansas River on the KCT's Highline Bridge, using KCT Main 4. The engines are nearing Adams Street Interlocking, where they will swing to the southwest and head back home to Mill Street Yard.

About the engines

The WAMX engines are owned by Watco Companies, and operate for Watco's subsidiary Kansas City Transportation. Kansas City Transportation handles switching operations for the Kansas City Terminal Railway in the Kansas City area. WAMX 2005 is a EMD GP20, and was built in 1961, for the Santa Fe Railway. WAMX 3855 and WAMX 3852 are EMD built GP35s, and were rebuilt as GP35Rs. WAMX 3855 was built for Southern Pacific in 1964, while WAMX 3852 was built for Southern Pacific in 1965.

MWLX 2017 is a GP7u, and it was originally built as a GP7 for the Santa Fe in 1953. At the time of the photograph, the engine was owned by Midwest Locomotive Works. However, it is now owned by Watco, and is number WAMX 1004.

The bridges

In both photographs there are a number of bridges seen. In the first photograph, the railroad bridge in the foreground is the eastern approach to the upper deck of KCT's Highline Bridge. The bridge in the middle of the photograph, just behind the locomotives, is Avenida Cesar E Chavez (formerly West 23rd Street). Beyond the Avenida Cesar E Chavez overpass, about three quarters of a mile north, is the Interstate 670 overpass. 

The span of KCT's Highline Bridge over the river is seen here late afternoon light.
KCT Highline Bridge

In the second photograph, and the photograph just above, the dual decks of the Highline Bridge can be seen. The Highline Bridge is owned by the Kansas City Terminal Railway, and it crosses the Kansas River at Kansas City, Kansas. The bridge is a truss bridge design. Originally, the span over the river could be lifted using hydraulic lifts. Both of the bridge's decks carry two tracks over the river. The upper deck carries KCT Tracks 74 and 75, while the lower deck carries KCT Mains 3 and 4. Also, in the second photograph, the Interstate 670 overpass over the Kansas River can be seen, with the Central Avenue Viaduct Bridge right behind it. Finally, in the far distance of the second photograph, an old unused railroad bridge can be seen.

For a better idea of the railroad bridge layout at Santa Fe Junction take a look at this post of mine, which shows all of the bridges in a view from the observation deck of the Liberty Memorial.

Tracks: 79, 80, 81, BNSF 1, BNSF 2, and 19th Street Yard

Tracks 79, 80, 81, BNSF 1, and BNSF 2 - Santa Fe Junction
Tracks 79, 80, 81, BNSF 1, and BNSF 2 - Santa Fe Junction

We are going to use the Avenida Cesar E Chavez (West 23rd Street) overpass, in this cropped version of the first photograph above, as a guide point. From left to right, we have Track 79, Track 80, and Track 81. The locomotives are coming down Track 79, and taking the switch to diverge and make their way to Track 330. KCT Track 79 and KCT Track 330 curve to the southwest and lead to the Highline Bridge's lower deck. Then to the right of Track 81, on the right side of the center bridge pier, are tracks BNSF 1 and BNSF 2 (Coal Route), of the BNSF's Fort Scott Subdivision. There is a short track segment to the left of the center pier, connecting between KCT Track 81 and BNSF 1. Between the Avenida Cesar E Chavez overpass and the Interstate 670 overpass is BNSF's 19th Street Yard. If you look at the upper, left corner of the cropped photograph you can see a string of freight cars and a BNSF switcher sitting in the yard.

Photos taken: November 9, 2007, at Kansas City, Kansas.


  1. Wonderful information on this area Tom. I wish I had been there yesterday as UP 4014 went through the area. I did watch on the Virtual Cam so the next best thing. People in the office probably freaked out when the whistle blew. LOL It was rather loud. Great photos, the light in the afternoon is great.

    1. Thank you very much, Shelly. I wish that I could have been there to see 4014 roll through KC, as well. I've photographed UP 844 and UP 3985 there, and it would have been nice to add 4014 to the list.


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