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L&A / Kansas City Southern Matchcovers




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I have added the Louisiana & Arkansas Rwy and the KCS together on this one page because of their close relationship to each other. I also have added a little bit of history about the L&A that I obtained online from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I hope you enjoy the history and the covers.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Louisiana and Arkansas Railway (AAR reporting marks LA) was a railroad that operated in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. The railroad's main line extended 332 miles, from Hope, Arkansas to Shreveport and New Orleans. Branch lines served Vidalia, Louisiana (opposite Natchez, Mississippi), and Dallas, Texas.


The Louisiana & Arkansas Railway was incorporated in Arkansas in 1898 for the purpose of acquiring former logging railroad properties in Arkansas and Louisiana. The railroad was constructed and initially operated under the leadership of William Buchanan, a prosperous timberman with extensive investments in southwest Arkansas and northwest Louisiana. Buchanan's primary company, Bodcaw Lumber Company, was headquartered in Stamps, Arkansas, and that city also served as headquarters of the L&A until the late 1920s.

During the late 1920s, a group of investors led by Harvey C. Couch began acquiring Louisiana & Arkansas stock. These investors owned electric and telephone utilities in Arkansas and Louisiana, and believed that railroad ownership in their service area would also be profitable. When control of the L&A was thus secured on January 16, 1928, a new company was chartered in Delaware in 1928 to acquire the former Louisiana and Arkansas Railway Company and to acquire and lease the Louisiana Railway and Navigation Company. Louisiana Railway & Navigation operated a marginally profitable railroad between New Orleans, Shreveport and Dallas.

The L&A inaugurated a new premier passenger train, The Shreveporter, on December 30, 1928, operating between Shreveport and Hope, Arkansas. This train carried a through Pullman sleeping car between Shreveport and St. Louis, Missouri, in conjunction with Missouri Pacific Railroad. A second named passenger train, The Hustler, was added to provide overnight service between Shreveport and New Orleans, beginning on July 2, 1932.

The Harvey Couch interests began purchasing stock of the Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS) in 1937. After gaining control of the KCS in 1939, a decision was made to merge the two properties. Kansas City Southern was the surviving corporation, with the Louisiana & Arkansas as a KCS subsidiary, but the KCS president and the controlling stockholders were all from the L&A. This merger created "single line" railroad freight service between Kansas City and New Orleans, and on September 2, 1940, a new KCS-L&A diesel powered streamliner, the Southern Belle, was inaugurated to connect the two cities.

The identity of the Louisiana & Arkansas gradually disappeared in the 1950s and 1960s, as the Kansas City Southern name was adopted for all properties. By 1966, all reference to the Louisiana & Arkansas had disappeared from the annual stockholder reports of Kansas City Southern. The Shreveporter, once the pride of the L&A, was discontinued on January 24, 1962, and the Southern Belle was discontinued on November 2, 1969, ending all passenger train service on the former Louisiana & Arkansas.

In 1992, Kansas City Southern dissolved the subsidiary Louisiana & Arkansas Railway, although the former L&A route continues to be a major component of the Kansas City Southern.

The cover to the left is called a bobtail because the striker was cut off


The two sets of covers below look alike but the ones on the left were printed by the "Ohio Match Co." and the covers on the right were printed by the "Diamond Match Co.".







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