MODELING: Branchline Steam Power

One of my all-time favorite steam locomotives is the Katy 4-4-0.   Specifically, a model that Bruce Blalock owns.   Bruce is a lifelong Missouri-Katy-Texas Railroad fan and a very knowledgable historian.  The model is custom built masterpiece done by Kelley Morris.  Bruce commisioned Kelley to create a 1/4″ scale model of his favorite locomotive. Kelley is professional model maker and owns Kelley Morris Models and Miniatures.

Bruce Blalock Photo

I reached out to Bruce to supply some photos of this wondeful locomotive.  He was in the process of taking pictures for a clinic he is presenting at the Katy Historical Society convention.   Bruce supplied the photos and a little background to go with it.  The 311 and some of others were retained for branchlike passenger service. The two significant areas were Wichita Falls north (trains 53 and 54) and Waco west (trains 35 and 36). In Texas the consist was a 70’ RPO and a 60’ wooden coach made from a combine. I have one about 1/3 finished.

They were renumbered in four digits to have the 300 series available for diesel numbering in 1949 and were out of service by 1950. The 311 was retained by the Katy for a museum train which was donated to the St. Louis Transportation Museum in 1952 and it is the only surviving Katy steam engine.

The E-3 class of engines were built by Baldwin in 1890 and rebuilt by the Katy shops in 1924. Rebuilding is a funny word. The only pieces that I’ve determined that were from the originals were sand domes and tender trucks. They got new boilers from Alco, new longer frames and new, larger diameter drivers. I’m sure there were tax credits to rebuild rather than replace.

Thank you Bruce for sharing your beautiful American.


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