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Jim Crow McKeen Cars

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January 15, 2017 by Madison Kirkman

We remember January 15th as Martin Luther Kings birthday. Martin Luther King fought against segregation in the Jim Crow south in the 1950’s and 60’s until his tragic assassination in 1968.

The Jim Crow Laws allowed businesses and government to provide ‘separate but equal’ facilities to non-white people. These services however were often poorly maintained when for use by backs, while white amenities were better taken care of.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Brown vs. the Board of Education that separate was not equal. That was 1954, and it still took time for people to accept it, that was how the black boycotts and protests, which was primarily ran by Martin Luther King, where there to change how blacks were treated.

Putting this all in perspective, there were two McKeen cars that were sold to Railroads in the South that requested that they be built with separate sections to split Whites from Blacks. The two cars were the Norfolk Southern #90 (different railroad than the current railroad) and the Southern Railway #3. Both Cars were 70′ long, and the Southern Railway Car had two sets of dropped doors. One in the back and one in the center. The only other car built like this to my knowledge is the Norte De Cuba #800.

Here are photos of both cars at the begging of their lives, both cars were unique, and neither survived to 1940.

Norfolk Southern #90

N.S.#90 Plan

Southern Railway #3 – Courtesy of Marvin Black Collection

Blueprint of Southern Railway #3 – Courtesy of Marvin Black Collection


I am Working on the Website Again

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November 19, 2016 by Madison Kirkman

I know I haven’t update much of the website in the past months, with how busy an actual McKeen Car as kept me, it’s been difficult balancing Sleep, School, Work, 3-D Drawings, Homework, running such Facebook Pages as the McKeen Group, “Ahead of the Torch,” and a few other railroad related related groups. I do a little of each most everyday, but there’s only 24 hours. I am going to try to really really update my website, and I’ve started with the Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad, and the Northern Pacific Railroad Pages. I am also going to work on other pages as I really need to update some of them… Not that history is changing, but that I’m acquiring more and more information that I haven’t had time to add to the website. Lastly I want to say, thank you all for your support in my project, we are now a 501c3 Non Profit under the eyes of the IRS, and we are finishing up the process with the State of California. Again, thank you everyone for you’re help, it really does mean a lot when someone tells me that received most of their information from my website, and that it was a great help in their conquest for knowledge on even the smallest of railroads.

-Madison Kirkman


Santa Fe M-101 Postcard

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June 8, 2016 by Madison Kirkman


Erie McKeen Car Postcard

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June 5, 2016 by Madison Kirkman


McKeen Car “Cuyamaca” in Ship Creek, Anchorage, Alaska

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May 31, 2016 by Madison Kirkman


Pennsylvania Railroad McKeen Car #4701

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May 25, 2016 by Madison Kirkman


We Made it Into the San Diego Union Tribune

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May 21, 2016 by Madison Kirkman


S.O.H.O. Award

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May 20, 2016 by Madison Kirkman


McKeen Motor Cars and Switcher engine on the Minneapolis & Northern Railroad

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May 5, 2016 by Madison Kirkman


Australian McKeen Train

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May 2, 2016 by Madison Kirkman