The Missouri Pacific Hisorical Society welcomes all to it's 2017 annual convention, October 5-8.

Please read the following messages.


Thomas Austin, Convention Host

It is my honor to host the 2017 MPHS/CEIHS Convention in Mt. Vernon, IL. We have a great convention lined up for those in attendance this year. Before I get into that, I want to say “THANK YOU” to the MPHS Board of Diectors for shoosing Mt. Vernon as a site, and for “merging” our collective efforts with the C&EI Historical Society Members, as well. Mt. Vernon is an important point on the railroad today, for the Union Pacific Railroad, as well as our beloved MoPac and C&EI Railroads back in the day. Today, while run through traffic abounds from NS and CSX, UP dominates the former C&EI/MP line with container traffic from Chicago to points south and west (just as MP Chairman and President Downing Jenks predicted way back in the late 1960’s as MP was attempting to acquire the C&EI). An occasional coal train is seen returning at Mt. Vernon via the connecting Pinckneyville Subdivision, but that traffic is sparse, if any at this time. David Forbes, Rene LaVoise, and I have a very good lineup for MPHS/CEIHS members this year at Mt Vernon, and that begins with the Hotel accommodations.

The new Drury Inn and Suites is our hotel this year, and it’s a building that has been constructed within the last 10 years, with all the modern amenities we seek in today’s world. Parking and several eateries are located nearby, and its location is right off Interstates 57/64 in Mt. Vernon. I’m sure that the rooms will be more than adequate for us as we set up shop there for the weekend in October!

David, René, and I have several excellent presentations lined up for our group this year, combined with keynote speaker Woody Sutton (of the Missouri Pacific Railroad Illinois Division), who will share his thoughts on the final years of the MP and its operations in the area. We have tours lined up for the former CEI/MP yards at Salem, IL, and a Friday “Rail fan” tour of the Boulevard of Steel (C&EI) as it heads south through Little Egypt ( Southern Illinois). We have also arranged for a tour of the Crab Orchard and Egyptian Railroad in Marion IL, at the end of our rail fan tour. In addition, we have arranged a special early opening of “Chucks's Depot” in Marion, IL for those going on the rail fan tour drive. Chuck’s Depot is the largest hobby shop in the entire tri-state area, and they stock a plethora of MoPac, IC, and C&EI equipment for your perusal.

Presentations will include (in addition to Woody Sutton) will feature Norm Shacklette (MP RR) and his tales of working the Mt. Vernon, IL area on the MP; Rick Schroder will present “The MP arrives in Danville, IL on the C&EI”; Edward Bridges will present a clinic about the Crab Orchard and Egyptian Railroad and the MP in the 1970’s-1980’s; which will outline the operations of this important partner that still interchanges freight with the Union Pacific and BNSF at Marion, IL. Edward is the official historian of the Crab Orchard and Egyptian Railroad, and has worked there for many years between his services to the USA. Edward has a large collection of MP “artifacts” that pertain to both the former MP and C&EI lines.

Those members who also enjoy model railroading will benefit from the following presentations:

1. ExactRail: Blaine Hadfield will present an overview of his products and the level of research and accuracy that he strives for; There is a possibility of a new product announcement in HO scale at the show.

2. Bluford Shops: Craig Ross will present his clinic “I’ll buy five!!” Which explains how manufacturers decide on what to produce for the model train industry.

3. Tom Austin: Yours truly will present a clinic on variations of the MP GP15-1’s using the Athearn Genesis model. (Brian Banna will not be in attendance this year due to scheduling conflicts, so I am doing a diesel modeling clinic this year; which will expand last years’ trial run).

4. Jerry Michels: Jerry will present his Coal Belt Electric clinic on the commuter services provided to the area coal miners when coal was king in Little Egypt.

You don’t want to miss this years’ meet…and I am again honored to be hosting the event for the MPHS. I served as your Archivist for 9 years, and enjoyed that time in my life, and am glad to be of service to the MPHS again. I feel that the MPHS is blazing a trail, much like the MoPac did many years ago.

We hope to see you all in Mt. Vernon this October!!!

René LaVoise, Vice-President

I would like to take this opportunity to extend to you a personal invitation to attend the Missouri Pacific Historical Society’s Annual Convention in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, “The King City”.  This year’s convention will be a joint event with the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Historical Society (CEIHS) and will focus on the history and operations of the MP and C&EI railroads in the southern Illinois area.  This is an area rich in railroad history, not of just the MP/C&EI and their predecessors, but of several railroads all reaching the Illinois coal fields. 

Tom Austin (MPHS) and Dave Forbes (CEIHS) have lined up a wide variety of presentations related to both railroads with a good mix of history and modelling being represented.  On Friday morning they will host a driving tour along the C&EI right of way to Little Egypt region.  Included will be a visit to the Crab Orchard and Egyptian Railroad and Chuck’s Depot hobby shop in Marion, IL.  Signup for this will be at registration and car-pooling is encouraged.  Those wishing to railfan, convention host and local walking encyclopaedia, Tom Austin will have maps available showing the points of interest.  Saturday evening will be a BBQ banquet diner and Woody Sutton’s (former Superintendent of the Illinois Division) presentation.  Sunday morning is planned a group tour of the newly rebuilt UP yard (ex-C&EI) at nearby Salem, IL.  The recently repainted MoPac Heritage locomotive UP 1982 will be on display.

An important part of the event is the annual MPHS business meeting.  I would encourage all, whether an MPHS member or not, to attend.  This is your opportunity to hear what the MPHS officers are working on and to provide feedback, ask questions or make suggestions.  The more active involvement from the membership, the better the MPHS can serve everyone’s interests now and in the future.  In addition this year will be elections of officers and directors for the next two years.  If you have ever thought of becoming more involved with the society and have an interest in a position on the board, please contact either myself or Kevin Love.

There are several deadlines you should be aware of that are fast approaching.  The first is September 5, 2017 when the convention fee discount of $30.00 expires along with the guaranteed hotel room rate at the Drury Inn & Suites.  If you have not already done so, please make every effort to complete both before the September 5th date.  The second deadline is October 1, 2017.  Those planning to attend the Saturday evening banquet and Woody Sutton’s key note presentation, as well as the Sunday morning group tour of the newly expanded Union Pacific yard in Salem, IL, are encouraged to signup no later than October 1st.  This will allow us to provide accurate head count to the banquet caterer and space is limited for the Salem Yard tour to 30 guests.  Information on all the above can be found on the annual convention pages at

While Mt. Vernon may seem a little off the beaten path, it is conveniently located at the intersection of I-57 and I-64 and is about a 1 ½ hour drive from St. Louis, MO which hosts Lambert International Airport and Amtrak.  Those traveling Amtrak from either Chicago or New Orleans there are stops at Carbondale, IL and Effingham, IL, each of which is an hour’s drive from Mt. Vernon.  Those flying note that the discount airline Allegiant has service into Mid-America airport located east of St Louis on I-64 near Belleville, IL which is an hour’s drive from Mt. Vernon. 


Charlie Duckworth, Marketing Manager

At this year’s convention we will have the second book to be published by the Missouri Pacific Historical Society. It is titled "Down the Iron Mountain - Route A pictorial Railroad History through Arkansas." The book is hardbound, 8 1/2” x 11’ with 152 pages and over 255 illustrations. 240 of these illustrations are period photographs of St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern structures before 1925. The rest are maps, period brochures or timetables. Over 100 photos are of stations and depots. Tthe remaining photos are of seldom seen section houses, tool houses, berry and cotton sheds, telegraph cabins, and even the single hole privies. Dimensions are provided for the buildings in the book and the surrounding structures, as well. The depot photos came from several sources, including the Missouri Pacific Historical Society archives, National Museum of Transportation, Bill Pollard and other private collections.

Keeping the modeler and rail historian in mind, the photos were printed as large as possible. The captions include what type and the number of rail customers at each location (saw mills, wagon manufacturers, livestock dealers, etc). The photos are organized in geographical order so the reader will see the stations as they would riding a passenger train. The chapter with the depot photos starts at Corning, Arkansas and goes through to Texarkana and then from Little Rock to the Ft. Smith area with several branch lines being documented.

Only 650 books are being printed with each being individually numbered.

Chapters are:
- History of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad
- Background to the ICC Valuations
- Depots and Buildings along the Iron Mountain
- Definitions of the Buildings and Structures in the Photographs
- Station Design and Colors
- Dimensions of the Structures
- Bibliography
- Index

Missouri Pacific Historical Society member price is $49.95*
Non-member pricing will be $54.95* until September 1, 2017 after which the price will be $59.95*
* shipping excluded

To reserve your book, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . There is no money due until you are notified that your book is available and instructions will be included on how to pay.


Kevin Love, President

This year’s convention is stacking up to be one of the best. I am really looking forward to working with the fine members of the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Historical Society as we put on this joint event. I encourage everyone to make the trip and enjoy all of the events that we have planned.

The crew at the MPHS is constantly looking for new ways to make our conventions memorable and this year will be no exception. Take a look at the latest schedule posted on the website for all of the details. We intend to have the Company Store open for most of the event instead of just Saturday afternoon. Bring your wallet and be prepared to take home lots of MP items. We will have a long-time member’s collection of MoPac related HO scale models and various memorabilia for sale along with other surplus items from our archives. Also, there will be a few never before offered data CDs along with Charlie Duckworth’s new book on the Iron Mountain. Details on the book are available elsewhere on the website.

Make sure that you get signed up for all of the activities that you are interested in. Swap tables are in short supply, so reserve yours, now, or you could miss out. Woody Sutton is the keynote speaker at our banquet this year. The banquet is an extra cost item and it is a requirement to hear Woody speak. Paid reservations are required in advance. This is necessary in order to give the caterer an accurate count. An excursion to UP yard in Salem, IL is planned for Sunday morning. Transportation will be provided and seating is limited. Per Union Pacific’s request, you must go with the group in the provided transportation. Use of private vehicles will not be allowed. Check out the convention web page for all of the details.