The month of September, 2017 was an active one for me as far as rail-fanning goes. It began on Labor Day Monday 9/4/17 as my wife, daughter and I went to visit the Grinter Sunflower Farm located just west of Kansas City in the city of Lawrence, Kansas. http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/article170172727.html It is famous for its vast stretch of large sunflowers. We then walked around in Downtown Lawrence and caught this Prairie 2-6-2 Santa Fe #1073 on display.
Then after having lunch at Noodles & Company, we headed to the Lawrence Amtrak Station.https://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServerpagename=am/am2Station/Station_Page&code=LRC There, I was able to take pics of the interior and exterior of the building but also caught Amtrak P42DC Engines # 174 & 200 that pulled into the station with several passenger cars behind them just seconds after I arrived. They were there only minutes before pulling out again, which I also caught.
The Kansas Pacific Railroad opened a line from Kansas City to Lawrence, Kansas in 1864. According to the Kansas Historical Society, the first locomotive to operate south of the Kaw River, the “Ottawa” crossed it in Lawrence November 1st, 1867. To qualify for bonds, the Leavenworth, Lawrence And Galveston Railroad had to lay track from Lawrence to Ottawa by January 1st, 1868. It was completed just one day ahead of the deadline.
Next up was a Sunday 9/10/17 visit to the city of Mulberry, Kansas where my Father-In-Law Bill Mapes grew up and where his father William R Mapes Sr and some of my Father-In-Law’s brothers worked (and one still does) for the Kansas City Southern Railroad. We had been invited to attend a birthday party at the home of Denise’s Aunt Connie Bright. While I was there, I visited a couple of local crossings (shown in pics below) but missed a couple of trains that came through.
Mulberry (formerly known as Mulberry Grove: again according to the KS Historical Society) was founded in 1866 by N.W. Taylor and was originally on the Cherryvale Division of the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad.
On our way back to Kansas City, we passed through nearby Arcadia as well as Fort Scott, Kansas where I took these pics.
Arcadia, Kansas began as Hathaway, after its founder Phil Wing Hatahway in 1857 (later changed to Arcadia “Rural Beauty” at the suggestion of Hathaway‘s sweetheart from Chicago. The story of how present day Arcadia was established is through the legend of the “Nighttime Post Office Switch.” It involved the railroad being extended from Fort Scott to the coal fields of Crawford County, missing Old Arcadia by about 1/25 mile. The coal company put in a coal loading switch, naming it Finley after Captain George Finley who helped build the station. Where mailbags were picked up and dropped off later led to a post office getting the name of Arcadia rather than Finley literally overnight.
The next time I had a weekday off with no other plans, I finally made it to one of the many Missouri towns I had been meaning to visit (as far as rail-fanning goes), as I used to attend weekly sales meetings there when I was in toner cartridge sales with Laser Supercharge back in the early 2000’s, Pleasant Hill. The Missouri Pacific Depot there was constructed in 1903. Like other cities in the KC area, such as Parkville, Lee’s Summit, and Weston, in addition to displaying many original railroad artifacts, the depot is also the current office of the Pleasant Hill Chamber Of Commerce. Pleasant Hill (that started on a bet according to local historian Jeff Wilson (that I was introduced to by Tina from the Chamber Of Commerce) was originally platted in 1844 and was moved to its current location when the railroad was built through, in 1865.
Jeff owns two local businesses, Resto 101 and Retro On The Rails (and that one is also located in the Depot building. Check out both on Facebook. I felt like a celebrity as once Tina introduced me to Jeff, I was allowed tours of Retro On The Rails as well as the Bally Peddler next to it that were not even open that day. I promised to return with my family some weekend as these businesses are only open Thursday thru Saturday. I also offered to help in any way I can with any railroad related special events they hold in the future. I caught two Union Pacific trains, one likely a grainer and the other a mixed freight (and appropriately enough it even had some Missouri Pacific gondolas in the manifest. )
Next up was Blue Springs, Missouri after I attended a Kansas City Chiefs Red Friday Pep Rally hosted by Community America Credit Union on Friday 9/15/17. I caught a Kansas City Southern train headed through town with two Gray Ghost locomotives on point as the downtown area was just opening its Fall Festival.
Here is another episode of a railroad related Old Time Radio Show
Here is a recent posting from our friend Nick Ozorak and The Roundhouse Podcast:
Today’s Railroad Equipment Profile is this box car from the Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern Railroad that I found on the south side of the North Kansas City, Missouri/Avondale, Missouri Norfolk Southern Yard
Here is what Wikepedia had to say about the Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern Railroad
TOE operates a 39.8 mile line in Oklahoma from the Arkansas state line (where it interchanges with De Queen and Eastern Railroad, an affiliate with whom it shares its headquarters) to Valliant, Oklahoma (where it interchanges with Kiamichi Railroad).
TOE traffic generally consists of forest products. TOE was incorporated in 1910.
Hope you have enjoyed this look at my September In Railfanning, sorry it took me so long to get around to it. I’m actually disappointed that though I have more than ample time to work on it these past three weeks, I just couldn’t get motivated. It’s a long story, but it got done in the end. I’ll get you up to speed on October and November soon.
But, for now, I’m John Losh, “The Losh-Man“. And, as I always do, I want to remind you to follow the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart each day of your life, and when it comes to trains and everything that is railroading, continue leaving Legacies…On The Rails!