Monthly Archives: March 2015

Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly Volume Four

20150313_09551020150313_115644

Welcome back to Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly. This is for the week ending March 13th, 2015 and I apologize for my tardiness in getting this posted but I have been dealing with some technical issues. There will not be a blog for the week ending 3/20/15 as I was not at Union Station but was instead meeting with Cathy Kline of the Cathy Kline Art Gallery housed in the former CB&Q Depot in Parkville, Missouri to discuss details for the Legacies On The Rails Art Show that will be held in August, 2015 with the official date yet TBD. I will post an update as soon as possible (has to do wit my work schedule) but I am happy to say that 10% of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience! Ted had asked me about looking into a fundraiser for the MRE so there’s a great start!

After I arrived and got the above photos and video from Union Station‘s back lot , I went in to the Model Rail Experience and found Ted Tschirhart and Fritz Gastreich hard at work on model rail road piece repairs-Ted on a steam engine, and Fritz on one of the G Gauge Amtrak passenger cars, repairing a coupling that had come off. Louis Seibel was dealing with some issues with cars on one of the mixed gauges layout tracks.

20150313_10140020150313_102315 (2)20150313_111040

I soon discovered something else I thought was cool. I had thought I was the youngest member of the Model Rail Experience volunteer staff, until I met Steve Cassity and his eight-year old son Jaden Cassity. Steve brought Jaden down to the MRE a few years ago, where he became simply enamored with the various model train sets and now Jaden is a volunteer right along with his Dad. Below is Steve, and Jaden is working on righting one of the G Gauge trains that had derailed. Steve and Jaden both commented on how Jaden’s current size is a real advantage because when one of the trains breaks down or derails in part of a layout that would be hard for one of the adults to reach, Steve can simply lift Jaden up over the plexi-glass and let Jordan either retrieve the piece for repair, set the train back on the track, back it up, or pull it forward. Or even simply move a piece that is simply needing transfer from one track or layout to another, return a piece to a track after it leaves the Model Rail Experience Office/Repair Shop. Steve says that Ted has become a great mentor to Jaden who admires Ted very much. There was also a bonus for me in the fact that I got to meet Steve’s brother Fred Cassity, who invited me to come and tour New York Air Brake in Riverside, Missouri where they refurbish braking systems and other parts for trains. I took him up on that on Wednesday 3/18/15 and my next blog posting will cover that. It will actually be the first of likely a series of postings as I make more visits to their facility in the near future.

20150313_123528 (1)20150313_131715 (1)

So, as usual, a few different things to focus on this session. One of those is yet another of the various scales of model rail layouts that can be found in the Model Rail Experience facility.  this time, it’s N & Z Scale. Here is the wall hanging in the MRE that tells you about the two similar scales, followed by a video that I was able to get.

20150313_103521

Here are  internet links regarding the N & Z Scales. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N_scale
http://www.raildig.com/introduction/beginning/ . There is a local N Scale club, Heartland N Trak of Greater Kansas City https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heartland-N-Trak-of-Greater-Kansas-City/146824552150060?fref=ts that I frequent and that some of our Model Rail Experience volunteers are part of, in case you’d like to check it out.

Next is our guest spotlight. My next door neighbor and Kansas City, Missouri Firefighter John Donnelly recently brought his son to visit the Union Station and the Model Rail Experience and when his wife Tanya Donnelly shared these photos, I requested and was granted permission to share these photos. She said they both had a great time and will definitely come again soon! I so appreciate her willingness to allow  me to share these!

11062254_10205977981870709_6932686814593308070_n 11021513_10205977982630728_5600461398468700420_n 11042293_10205977982990737_4423929237316455237_n 11001914_10205977983430748_6763115130088949970_n 11045294_10205977983790757_4760995701395474014_n

Next, want to continue to share some of the assorted railroad company pieces we have at the Model Rail Experience, including a Union Station Tribute car, Union Pacific, Santa Fe and Missouri Pacific. Here are some pics and a video for you.

20150313_11234420150313_11435220150313_11481120150313_11404720150313_10273620150313_10213020150313_103903

Again, I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing more of the people-from visitors to volunteer staff, to the displays that make the Kansas City Union Station’s Model Rail Experience a must visit!

I’m John Losh. For Legacies On The Rails, and the Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience, thanking you for what you have done in this area and reminding you to continue leaving Legacies…………..On The Rails!

Advertisements

Chillicothe, Chula and Kearney Missouri Fill Out Last Two Weeks for Legacies On The Rails Road Show

Once you read my very first posting on Legacies On The Rails, you knew that it was genealogy research and discovering the rail history in my family along the way that got the “train bug” to bite me. One of the family members on my paternal grandfather’s side that I went on to discover is what led to the 3/5/15 Legacies On The Rails Road Show trip to Chillicothe and , Chula, Missouri.

On this trip, I was able to accomplish several things. Taking my daughter Cara Losh along, just as I did on the last Road Show trip to Columbia, Booneville and Warrensburg, Missouri. Visiting with my cousin George Hess and his wife Shirley and son Tim. Getting to eat barbecue, and visit one of the historic depots-specifically in this case, the former Wabash Depot that currently houses Wabash Barbecue, in Chillicothe, Missouri. Taking a trip to visit some sites that have great signifigance for our family history.

Cara and I left our Kansas City home about 8:30am on Thursday 3/5/15 and after a brief stop at Barista De Casa http://baristadecasa.com/ (also where some of this post was written) to get her a frozen hot chocolate (the only remedy in her book for a sore throat), we headed for Chillicothe and our first stop-the home of George, Shirley and Tim Hess.

George worked as a mechanic for the Burlington-Northern Railroad for seven years-just three years shy of drawing a pension on the night shift in Livingston, Montana while servicing oil rigs during the day and serving as pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Grey Bull, Mt. He had recently sent me this photo from his days on the railroad.

Livinvzfon mt whefre I worked on RR (1)

This started with selling of the family farm in Meadville, Missouri in December 1972 and heading to Montana to meet with Bennett Delmar-a Missions Director to discuss several different churches that needed pastors. He and Shirley were soon flying to Casper, Wyoming, then going to Grey Bull, where he preached on a Sunday night and visited several other churches in the days to come.

He got the call to come pastor a church some time after they were back home in Missouri so they loaded a U-Haul truck, towing one of their cars behind it. He wasn’t getting paid much so one of his church members got him on as a mechanic with the Burlington-Northern Railroad on the night shift and he serviced oil wells during the day. George shared stories of several incidents that could have been even worse. Like one night he was backing up a consist but had not opened a switch, which the consist forced its way through. When he tried to drive it back forward, the brakes wouldn’t release and he realized the rear car had derailed. He called his foreman at the roundhouse, who dispatched crews from Billings, Montana with heavy equipment to set things right.

Back in those days, they were still using way-cars (cabooses). George remembers that air lines would break and he would have to crawl up under cars in 40 below temperatures with a flashlight in his mouth. one such night he was under a car, had crawled out to get a wrench and as he was about to crawl back under, someone building a consist struck the caboose. Another time, he was on a locomotive, when someone hit it and struck him in the back. In a separate incident, he was dis-assembling an engine when someone opened a valve, releasing the oil, causing him to slip and injure his back.

George and his family later moved to Aliance, Nebraska where he became a chemist for the railroad. He actually even helped set up their lab there. The conditions were poor because the building had no exhaust. Part of what he did was to burn off oil to determine how much copper and other elements were in the oil, and how much oil was getting into the water. He did this for a year before he returned to Missouri for a reunion but ended up staying, and enrolling in the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, graduated in 1984 and went on to pastor several churches, including Eden, Missouri and eventually Highlands Baptist Church in Boise, Idaho.

After hearing all these great stories, and George and his family showing us their beautiful collection of self-made quilts, we headed into town, stopping briefly to check out these great murals pained on various buildings.

20150305_13324720150305_13325811068857_902846639735425_265128667_n

Then we headed on to Wabash Barbecue, located in the former Wabash Railroad Depot,  Where I also checked out some rail cars parked on tracks right next to it.

11063330_902846716402084_1081063930_n20150305_13201220150305_131951

I later found a page with a picture of the locomotive that made me believe it is there specifically for display and I then wondered if anyone would have cared if I had simply climbed aboard her to have my picture taken.

While at Wabash Barbecue http://www.wabashbbq.com/menu.html I asked about their history and received a take home menu, sponsored by several local businesses, but it unfortunately only had the history of their sister location in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, where I also did a nearly year long radio show on http://1027thehog.com/ . Their history can be found at this link http://www.wabashbbq.com/history.html . But the food and the service were outstanding. I took several photos inside Wabash Barbecue but dropped my camera one day since, which appears to have broken a sensor it it, rendering most of the files on the memory card unrecoverable.

We later drove on to Haysville, Missouri to visit family history sites, including the house and land that my paternal grandfather John Losh grew up in, and some family graves. As we left Chillicothe, I caught this shot of a railroad bridge over 36 Highway and these photos on our way back, in Chula, Missouri.

20150305_13482420150305_15070620150305_15081120150305_15085120150305_150910

Later, we wrapped up the day back at the Hess home over lemon cake, ice cream and coffee before Cara and I headed back to Kansas City. What an enjoyable day it was indeed and I am hoping to bring my wife Denise to Chillicothe for another visit with the Hess family on one of my weekends off in April.

On Wednesday, 3/11/15, I headed out to the former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Depot in Kearney, Missouri, located at 301 W Washington St. Unfortunately, no one was there to tell me about the Depot and the building was locked, so the best I was able to get were these photos at the depot, and of some cars across the street of cars parked at the Nutrena Kearney Feed facility across the street, and this brief video. With my camera broken and my phone running out of space, I was (and still am) a bit limited in what I am able to record.

20150311_10475720150311_10503920150311_10490020150311_104934

 

I finished out my day on 3/11/15 with another stop at Barista De Casa for some coffee and writing time (got another blog to write in the near future that will include a story I got from one of my visits there) and caught this video from the Richfield Rd Bridge in Liberty

And these photos over near the Ameristar Casino-where my daughter will now be working near at the early learning center.

20150311_15130320150311_145306CrsonBrdge20150311_151637

So, overall, a decent couple of weeks of rail-fan activity. I have taken many more photos since, but since my first priority right now is getting those sent to Cathy Kline at the Cathy Kline Art Gallery in Parkville, (who I meet with again tomorrow 3/20/15 to discuss some potential details for the Legacies On The Rails Art Show), and geting photos downloaded for the next Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly, which has proven difficult with technical issues, I will save those for another time. Or you can follow me on Facebook to see photos I post on my page and several other rail-fan pages.

I wanted to finish up this session with a musical-pictorial documentary dedicated to Harv Kahn-the now late railroad photographer. But I have to say that though all the photos are very enjoyable, some of these photos (because I am unaware if he has permission to be on any of the properties the photos were taken from), by today’s legal and safety standards, were taken from spots that are normally not deemed safe, or allowable. My involvement with Operation Lifesaver and my belief in what it stands for, indicates that I must mention this.

Until next time, I’m John Losh, reminding you to keep leaving Legacies……..On The Rails!

 

Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly Volume Three

20150306_104823

And, last but not least on this week’s agenda, last time I said we hoped to see you at the Mid-America Train And Toy Show at the KCI Expo Center. http://www.midamericatrainandtoyshow.com/ Though I hope you were able to make it, here is a short video and some pics from that.

20150308_08595220150308_08594620150308_09042420150308_09024620150308_09003620150308_09080220150308_090059~220150308_090843

 

Well, that about wraps it up for this edition of Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly. I’ll see you next time, hoping that you come pay Union Station and the Model Rail Experience a visit soon, and keep coming back. It promises to be a great time for the whole family!

I’m John Losh, reminding you to keep leaving Legacies……….On The Rails!

Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly Volume Two

MreSign

Welcome back as we head into Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly Volume Two! This edition is for the week concluding on 2/28/15. I hope that since my last posting you have had the opportunity to take your family to visit all the great family activities that your Kansas City Union Station has to offer, including the Model Rail Experience! We are now proud to announce that  Discover Vintage America Magazine‘s March Edition is out and features a tow page spread on pages 14 and 15 that covers in great detail the history of the model railroading hobby as well as how Union Station has evolved to include the Model Rail Experience. You can get copies at your local antique malls, flea markets and more or view it online at http://www.discoverypub.com/feature/index.html . We at the Model Rail Experience would like to express our sincere appreciation to Larry Elmore and Discover Vintage America for doing this wonderful feature! Here is the photo of some of the MRE crew that was featured in the article.

MREStaff

You hopefully know me well enough by now to know how I started off my day at Union Station last Friday. Looking for the opportunity to get pictures and video of real trains. And, as usual, I was not  disappointed as I got my first Amtrak pics since Locomotive #180 was idling on the tracks by the back lot just waiting for me to share it with you and it wasn’t long before a Union Pacific manifest (guess I said BNSF in the video….my bad) came rumbling by. I wasn’t as close as I would have liked to have been for the video-was actually hoping to get it from the warmth of the Legacies On The Rails Cruiser that you see backed in during the video but I had just come from where you pay to park. Didn’t get all of the train because it was only 10 degrees, I had no gloves with me and my fingers could only take so much.

Amtrk1Amtrk2

I was pleased to discover when I arrived inside the Model Rail Experience that Louis Seibel had just brought in a cart full of boxes…….and boxes of model rail cars, locomotives, cabooses, scenery, tracks and more that had just been donated. Remember, everything at the MRE is by donation, and I’m told there is more to come from this same donor, so we were certainly grateful! Here are the guys beginning to look over it next to the Santa Fe mural painted by Teresa Keene (artshpgrl@yahoo.com) .

Mre1

 

Then, after our usual lunch at the Pierpont’s Restauarant http://www.pierponts.com/ where my favorite (as it is for several others  in the MRE crew) is the Train Burger (and if you come on Fridays it’s cookie day), and I discussed the recent Johnson County Home & Garden Show with Ted, we headed to the basement of Union Station to begin really going through these wares to figure out what there was and was not immediate need for, and what items the members of the crew may want to purchase of the excess for their personal collections (all funds going to the Model Rail Experience). I picked up some HO Scale pieces myself.

MreLunchMre3

 

Ok, so I want to focus on a couple of things this week. Last week we focused on the HO Scale Gauge trains. This time, we will focus on the Lionel O & S Scale layout. Then I will show some of my favorite pieces we have from the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad.

MreOSScaleMreLionel

Here is what we have hanging on the wall near the Lionel O &S Scale layout, and an overall view of said layout.

MreCbseDisplMreKCSCbse

 

Here are a couple of pics from the layout, starting with something I currently love to visit in real life, a caboose display. Then there is a caboose from Kansas City Southern that my wife’s paternal grandfather worked for, as did some of his sons, One of them is still in current service with KCS. The caboose bug recently bit me as I think they are cool and now that they are rarely ever used anymore and most are just on display here around KC, around Missouri and all over the country.

Mre11MreYlwCbl

Here are some KCS box cars that are part of the Lionel S & O Gauge layout, along with a replica of the exact cable car that is on display out in the back lot of Kansas City Union Station, where I take my pics and video both before and after I come work my volunteer hours at the Model Rail Experience. Here is something from the internet about  O Gauge trains. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_scale .

MreCBQ1MreCBQ2MreCBQ3MreCBQ4

Here are some of our Chicago, Burlington & Quincy pieces. I also hope that we will see some of you at the Mid America Train & Toy Show at the KCI Expo Center tomorrow. We will not have a table there but many of the Model Rail Experience staff attend the show, both to pick up items for our own personal collections, as well as to scout potential pieces for the MRE layouts. http://www.midamericatrainandtoyshow.com/ .

Until next time, go check out KC’s Union Station and the Model Rail Experience. I’m famous for saying this during times I’ve done part time radio in the past-You’ll be glad ya’ did! I’m John Losh, reminding you to keep leaving Legacies………………..On The Rails!

Legacies On The Rails Road Show Has Busy End To February

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

The last week of February proved to be a busy and fun experience for the Legacies On The Rails Road Show. It started with me planning to take a solo trip to Warrensburg, Missouri on Sunday, 2/22/15 to visit my Cousin Renita Tilton who was in the hospital there with cancer (would appreciate your prayers for her and her family) and do a bit of Road Show or general rail-fan stops along the way. But then my wife and daughter wanted to come along and also go visit my son John who attends the University Of Missouri, lives and works in Columbia. This was initially due to the fact that my wife thought Warrensburg was a lot closer to Columbia then they are, so what would have been maybe a four hour excursion for me, turned into a twelve hour day for the three of us. But it was worth it.

So, after having breakfast with John at the Columbia IHOP, we headed back toward Warrensburg. But not before stopping a couple places along the way. The first was the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Depot in Downtown Columbia that is now the Shiloh Bar & Grille.

Next it was on to another former MKT Depot in Booneville, Missouri. Unfortunately, it was not open to allow us access to see what is on display inside, but we were able to enjoy the sight of this beautiful Spanish style building’s exterior as well as the MKT 134 Caboose that is on display outside and get some pictures and video.

BnvlDepotMeDeniseBnvlMeCaraMktCbseMeMktCbse

And, of course, you already saw the caboose by itself at the start of this posting. Then after visiting my Cousin in the hospital, the next stop before heading back to Kansas City was the former Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot, currently used by Amtrak, BNSF and Union Pacific in Downtown Warrensburg. It opened in 1889-the same year that the former CB&Q Depot that I recently posted about in Parkville, Missouri that currently houses the Parkville Area Chamber as well as the Cathy Kline Art Gallery https://www.facebook.com/cathyklinefineart was built. Stop in and check it out and stayed tuned to Legacies On The Rails for updates on the Legacies On The Rails Art Show that we hope to have take place there in early Summer. Unfortunately, though the Amtrak/BNSF/UP Depot building was open and I did, as you can see in the video, take a quick look inside, there was no one there to tell me about the depot and no trains coming or going at present. But I did help myself to the Amtrak Vacations Magazine that was part of the free literature they had available.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

On Monday, 2/23/15, I headed back to Parkville, Missouri briefly and caught these BNSF and Union Pacific videos.

Then on Wednesday, 2/25/15, Jordan Gallacher and I headed up to Weston, Missouri to visit the former CB&Q Depot that currently houses the Weston City Hall, has some great CB&Q items on display including some that belonged to my friend Craig Coffey’s father during his days with the CB&Q Railroad and has a caboose on display that was originally a Union Pacific car but is now painted in the green & yellow Burlington-Northern scheme.It was painted this way and moved to Weston after the family of Ed Kirk, a Burlington-Northern Engineer who was killed in a car accident on his way to work (like my grandfather John Losh of the CB&Q was killed on his way home from work in Keokuk,Iowa in 1964), wanted something to honor Ed’s memory, bought it in St Joseph, Missouri, had it moved to Weston and BN paid to have it put on rails.

Unfortunately, the video I took there of City Clerk Kim Kirby telling us about the depot and the rail videos I got of Union Pacific and BNSF trains rumbling through Weston and one of them as it passed the depot were lost when Jordan and I returned to my home after the trip, and I thought I had all the pics and video saved to my computer and started the upload process of the videos to You Tube, removed my camera’s memory card from my computer and cleared it. But I had saved the photos. And, as my friend Craig (who also told me the Ed Kirk story) said, that just means a repeat visit to Weston in the near future.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

There are more pics, but they are on Jordan’s camera. And,on our way to take Jordan home to Liberty, got this video of a UP manifest from the Richfield Rd bridge over the tracks just north of the Canadian Pacific Depot in Liberty. I was busy trying to take pics without using my zoom (didn’t realize digital zoom mode was off and kept getting blurry photos when zooming) that I missed the lead locomotive of the three engine set.)

I wrapped up the week with my now usual Friday morning volunteer session at the Model Rail Experience at Kansas City‘s Union Station, but I will cover that later this week in Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly-Volume Two.

My Legacies On The Rails Road Show destination for this week, on Thursday 3/5/15 accompanied this time by my daughter Cara Losh will be the former CB&Q Depot in Chillicothe, Missouri and a lunch get together for Cara and I with my Cousin George Hess, also a  former railroader.

Well, as usual, let’s close with some railroad music-this time with Arlo GuthrieThe City Of New Orleans

Until next time, I’m John Losh encouraging you to keep leaving Legacies…………On The Rails!