Historic Kansas City Southern Belle No.1 rolls through region; When the Belle stopped in 1969, the Joplin Union Depot closed

GOODMAN, Mo. — Monday we caught the Southern Belle No.1 of the Kansas City Southern Railroad traveling south through our region.

Sources tell us the train is traveling to different points south of Kansas City. There is a merger/purchase by Canadian Pacific of KCS that was approved last December but there are still some hurdles to cross.  Some CP cars are being pulled by the Belle.

The train spent time stopped in Pittsburg, Kan. Monday morning. It was spotted traveling through Joplin a little after 12:15 p.m. More information can be read here.


The Southern Belle was a named passenger train service offered by Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS) from the 1940s through the 1960s, running between Kansas City, Mo., and New Orleans, La.

Joplin was one of the few stops on that route which began Sept 2, 1940 and ended on Nov 3, 1969. They included: Joplin, Texarkana, Shreveport, Alexandria, and Baton Rouge.

When the Southern Belle ended her route. That was the last passenger train at Joplin’s Union Depot which then closed the very next day. And it has continued to deteriorate for more than 50 years.

In late 2021 the Union Depot was placed on the Missouri Places of Peril list which includes endangered properties.

“It’s been here for over 100 years and people in the community have seen it sit empty since 1969 when the last train left the depot,” said Jill Sullivan, a member of the Endangered Properties program committee and  Executive Director of the Post Art Library. “I mean generations of preservationists and community members have been helpful to see something happen with the building and it’s pretty amazing that it’s just still there to begin with, that it survived urban renewal and other things that have happened over the decades in the city. And we’ve lost a lot of our historic buildings. But with Union Depot, it’s a very innovative building, it’s architecturally stunning, and the architectural design that Louis Curtis is known as the Frank Lloyd Wright of Kansas City. So it’s very significant in that.”

Now there are efforts underway, to bring new life to the building while preserving its historic significance. Read more here about possible redevelopment of the depot.

This KCS No.1 which is used for special occasions and celebrations. The train is based in Louisiana.


The last two years the KSC Holiday Express have taken a break due to COVID. But keeping our fingers crossed the train will run this Christmas season. Sources tell us there is no official schedule yet, but barring any COVID restrictions it will happen.

The train route is traditionally a fundraiser for the Salvation Army locations along the route. We will update information here on our news tab on KOAM News Now.

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Kansas City Southern exits CP deal to take CNI’s $34 billion

NEW YORK (AP) – Kansas City Southern has abandoned its agreement to be acquired by Canadian Pacific, choosing instead a competing bid from Canadian National Railway with a bigger price tag, but also greater regulatory risks.

The decision Friday comes one day after Canadian Pacific said that it wasn’t budging from its initial $25 billion buyout agreement made in March, even after Kansas City Southern said that a richer $33.6 billion bid from Canadian National appeared to be superior.

Canadian Pacific has consistently argued that a tie-up between Kansas City and Canadian National would have trouble getting approved by antitrust regulators and as recently as Thursday, said that it would not boost its original offer. Canadian Pacific has asserted that their combination with Kansas City Southern is most likely to get a green light from regulators.

U.S. regulators haven’t approved any major railroad mergers since the 1990s, and officials have said that any deal involving one of the handful of Class 1 railroads, a group that includes Kansas City Southern, must enhance competition and serve the public interest.

While Kansas City Southern is the smallest of the major railroads operating in the U.S., it controls key routes that connect the U.S. and Mexico, making it a very desirable prize and a potential antitrust hazard for a competing railroad that wants to own it.

The Surface Transportation Board has said it would consider whether any deal would destabilize the industry and induce more mergers. The board adopted tough rules for major railroad mergers after service problems developed after railroad mergers in the 1990s.

Kansas City Southern said for each share of its common stock, shareholders will get $200 in cash and 1.129 shares of Canadian National common stock. Kansas City Southern shares were up slightly Friday morning, to $295.62 per share.

In a letter to regulators Friday, Canadian Pacific said that it intended to proceed with its application for its approval to control Kansas City Southern based on its agreement from March.