June Banner

Yes, I’m late updating the banner image this month. My apologies. I’m running on subjective time here.

Truth be told, I’m on another work trip, this time to lovely Killeen, Texas, which I think someone once said is “the farthest point from the bright center of the galaxy.” That’s a cruel and unjust exaggeration, though some portions of central Texas do bear a haunting resemblance to the desert planet of Tatooine, and I think I saw a Womp Rat hiding behind a creosote bush yesterday on my way to Anchorhead, where I got a great deal on a couple of droids I wasn’t looking for.

Anyhow, while searching for an appropriate banner to honor this singular occasion, I happened upon the whimsical photo now displayed above, in which choo-choo #531 of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, aka the M-K-T, aka “the Katy” (c’mon…K…T…KT…Katy…oh, never mind), is stranded on a flooded stretch of rail along with its hapless passengers and crew. One hopes they didn’t have to wait for the waters to subside before somebody came to their rescue.

This may be the first train I’ve featured at Frederation that doesn’t run on subjective time. It’s not going anywhere soon, no matter how you clock it.

The Katy was one of the most beloved railroads in the U.S., and the first to enter Texas from the north. It ran from St. Louis and Kansas City to Galveston, via Oklahoma, with numerous branch routes. Wikipedia provides a map of the line in 1918 and a summary of its history, including a wacky and dangerous publicity stunt that collided two fully-loaded trains and killed three of the 40,000 people assembled to watch the spectacle.

Sigh. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Additional information about the Katy and plenty of pictures can be found at the Katy Railroad Historical Society webpage.

The original image can be found at Legends of America, purveyors of fine Americana, and is available there for purchase in its full and complete high-resolution glory.

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