Kansas City Southern No.1 rolls through region on Historic Southern Belle route

Joplin was one of the few stops along the Historic Southern Belle Route. Terminal points of Kansas City to New Orleans and stops included: Joplin, Texarkana, Shreveport, Alexandria, and Baton Rouge.
Photo is KCS No.1 at Goodman, Mo. it's an executive train and styled as the 'New Southern Belle' since 2007.

GOODMAN, Mo. — Monday we caught the ‘New Southern Belle’, aka KCS No.1 traveling south through our region.

Img 2815


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 KCS No.1. You can see the glass wall at the end of the train is a CP car.

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.


1941 postcard, public domain.


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.

Train station

Joplin Union Depot, date unknown, photographer unknown.

“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 is an executive train which is used for special occasions and celebrations. This 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.

The locomotive pulling the KCS Holiday Express is one of four that were created as executive trains, painted in the traditional colors, and dubbed ‘The New Southern Belle’. The express is based at Kansas City Union Station.

Stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to cover stories where you live. Scroll below to sign up for our JLNews1st email list so you don’t miss an article.

• Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller honored with quarter BIT.ly/3MoDMmB
• 49cc scooter I-44 fatal crash BIT.ly/3GXxk52
• Car veers off 76 Country Blvd into hotel pool BIT.ly/3GV3Rs4
• I-44 closes JPD Major Crash Team BIT.ly/3MlOXMN
• Man charged 2 Felonies RE stolen truck pursuit BIT.ly/3M847F9
• T-Bone crash, W 7th BIT.ly/3PUamj4



View this profile on Instagram


Joplin News First (@joplinnewsfirst) • Instagram photos and videos