Tag Archives: Chicago

September Is Busy Railfan Month In Missouri And Kansas

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, Kansashttp://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.
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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.

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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 ArcadiaRural 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.

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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. )
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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.

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Here is another episode of a railroad related Old Time Radio Show
https://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com/crime/calling-all-detectives/calling-all-detectives-48-10-14-286-suicide-on-the-great-valley-railroad

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
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Here is what Wikepedia had to say about the Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern Railroad

The Texas, Oklahoma and Eastern Railroad (reporting mark TOE) is a Class III short-line railroad headquartered in De Queen, Arkansas.

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!

 

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Great Rail Sites Volume 2: Delay In Block Productions

Welcome to Great Rail Sites Volume 2! When I am not out in the field taking constant rail photos and video, or writing this blog (in rough draft form on paper, then here on the site), or uploading all my pics to Facebook from my phone, videos to You Tube from my phone (sometimes through the Viva Video Editor) or  to my computer, then to Facebook, from my camera, and later to this site, I love to watch other railfan videos on You Tube.

That is where I found videos by today’s featured site Delay In Block Productions. http://delayinblock.com/ Using the term that means “If you stop or slow your train to below ten mph, you have to be prepared to stop at the next signal”, in late November 2011, Drayton Blackgrove of Jackson Michigan, who has had a lifelong love of trains started Delay In Block Productions. It was officially licensed in 2013. The goal? Very simple: to produce and share the best quality railfan videos available on the internet. And if I might add, not just videos of current railroads transporting their goods and passengers from Point A to Point B, but also to share the history, the heritage, and the people of railroading.

Since 2011 Delay In Block Productions has gone on to involve over 30 professional photographers. A few of them are listed on their website and you can visit it to view their full profiles, but they are: David Ferrell, Chris Campbell, Jim Stanton (who along with Drayton is one of my Facebook Friends), Jordan Hood, and Connor Short.

Delay In Block Productions website and You Tube channel feature trains from steam to diesel, streamliner to modern. They feature mainline railroads to excursion trains, passenger trains to freight. They feature current day railroads to fallen flags. Very simply put, no matter what you are looking for in railfan video entertainment, Delay In Block Productions that as of this writing had 421 You Tube videos and 321,150 subscribers just on the main channel not to mention their Trains For Children channel, has something for you! My favorite thing they do, is the narration. And, although I do my share of posting here on Legacies…On The Rails, as well as on my You Tube channel which is nearing 300 LOTR Fan Videos, and Legacies On The Rails Radio (Podcast), if I had the knowledge, skills, software and time that Delay In Block Productions‘ staff put into their work, there are some sites out there whose quality I  hope to someday see Legacies…On The Rails eventually emulate, and Delay In Block Productions would definitely be in my top 5. They definitely get 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks!

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But I think the very best way to share with you their origin and ongoing work is to share some of their You Tube Videos, beginning with Drayton Blackgrove‘s own story.

 

 

 

 

This edition’s Equipment Profile is this boxcar that I recently photographed at the North Kansas City/Avondale, Missouri Norfolk Southern Yard from the “Fallen Flag” railroad of the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad.

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The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad was, as Trains Magazine‘s April 10,2012 edition called it:
The railroad Abraham Lincoln so ardently championed in the 1800’s had changed dramatically in the ensuing century. On a mainly double-track speedway (enhanced with Automatic Train Stop in Illinois), diesel locomotives rushed goods from Gulf Coast ports and farms to a heavily industrialized North. Perhaps most surprising, the mighty Illinois Central by the mid-1970s was a cog in a larger machine — one component in a merged railroad (Illinois Central Gulf) that itself was part of a giant conglomerate with interests in real estate (La Salle Properties), financial services (Benjamin Franklin Savings), consumer products (Midas Muffler shops), and manufacturing (Waukesha Nuclear Castings). The railroad accounted for 31 percent of the income of parent IC Industries in 1973, a year when the ICG posted an all-time high revenue, thanks to strong grain, coal, and chemical traffic.

It ran from the Northeastern US to tthe Midwestern States from 1881-1988.

I am always encouraging you to accept and pursue a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ here on Legacies…On The Rails and hope you are doing that. I started attending a Men’s Study at our local Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (I am not a student, but simply attend a function there now and then) last night and it has me getting deeper into scripture to prepare to participate in the discussion. No matter how often you read God’s Word, you will always get more and more out of it!

I’m John Losh, “The Losh-Man” and until next time, when it comes to trains and everything that is railroading, just keep leaving Legacies…On The Rails!

Presidential Trains Take Us Back In Time

A few weeks ago, our family was planning a trip to San Antonio, Texas to watch my youngest brother-in-law’s youngest Son graduate  Basic Training for the National Guard. None of us were able to get enough time off for that distance, and as  is often the case, I was unable to get any of the time off, so  instead my girls chose to travel to Omaha, Nebraska for the weekend. Since I was not along for the trip, and I know rail-fanning can get old for those that are not “into it”, I really did not expect them to do anything train related.

But wouldn’t you know it, they stayed at the Sure Stay Plus at 305 N Fort Crook Rd, directly across from active railroad tracks, and among other places, they visited the  Omaha Union Station, taking pics of several pieces of equipment from models to real, steam to diesel. Those units included Union Pacific 4504 (SD70M), UP 5733 (AC4400CW), UP 6053 (AC4400CW), UP 7370 (ES44AC). Union Pacific CA-8 Class Caboose 25559 built October, 1964 (the year my Paternal Grandfather passed away) and retired 08/11/1986. Union Pacific Steam #1243 (4-6-0 built October, 1890 at Cooke Locomotive & Steamworks. A model of UP steam 9000 (102 foot long, 782,000 lb coal burning prototype 4-12-2 built 1926-1930: the real one  is on display at the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona, California. They also caught a ‘Fallen Flag” in a Southern Pacific Box car, that along with an ADM Tanker and lots of assorted covered hoppers, were on a mixed manifest.

The Sure Stay Plus is also unique in the fact that all the rooms are named after various United States Presidents. They stayed in the Warren G Harding Room.

As I am trying to be more diverse in what I bring to you, the readers here on Legacies…On The Rails, it got me thinking as I not only love trains, but I love history, so Presidents….and Trains…..Hmmmm! So let’s look at some connections of our Presidents and Trains, starting with the aforementioned Warren G Harding.

Built in 1911, The Superb was President Harding’s personal Pullman railroad car in his cross country tour in 1923. It was that year that he drove the final spike completing the Alaska RailroadThe Superb is the 2nd oldest steel private car in existence. The Superb had also been used by President Woodrow Wilson. It also carried President Harding‘s body from San Francisco to Washington DC by way of the Southern Pacific and the B&O Railroad. after his death on 08/02/1923. He had traveled hoping to improve his health and his image with the American people as his administration was was plagued with scandal in The Tea Pot Dome.  But high blood pressure, an enlarged heart, pnuemonia and an obvious stroke (though many speculated as  to a heart attack or food poisoning, even trying to cast guilt on Mrs. Harding or the Mob)  took his life. Mrs. Harding did not allow an autopsy of the President’s body. The Superb was temporarily renamed Pope Pius XI for his train from New York City to Chicago.  The Superb  was later an office car for the Charleston & West Carolina, Atlantic Coast Line, Seaboard Coast Line railroads.

The Superb was donated to the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Georgia and opened to the public in 1995 after a 20-month restoration. It was placed on the National Registry Of Historic Places on 03/09/1998.

President Franklin D Roosevelt made use of United States Railcar #1 in late 1942. It was later a part of his funeral train. He had traveled 243,827 miles in 399 trips by rail in his life. It is on display in Miami, Florida. President Harry S Truman later inherited US Railcar #1, used it for his 1948 “Whistle Stop Tour“, and enjoyed running it at 80 mph. The iconic pic of President Truman holding the famous “Dewey Defeats Truman” copy of the Chicago Tribune was taken at the St Louis Union Station.  The term “Whistle Stop” was actually coined by Robert A Taft as an insult to Truman.

President Rutherford B Hayes was the first President to travel Coast To Coast in 1857 after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

President Abraham Lincoln  used a train trip for his inaugural trip in 1861. It took twelve days, and 23 railroads. He later used the Executive Coach “United States” that was built for him in 1865. He was also the first President to use a train for Military purposes as he used it to visit Civil War Battlefields, including to deliver the Gettysburg Address which he put the finishing touches on during the train ride. Like President Harding, and others, it later carried his body home after he was killed by John Wilkes Booth.

On May 28,1886 President Grover Cleveland got engaged, and would later travel with his new bride to their honeymoon spot aboard the B&O Railroad.

President Zachary Taylor rode a riverboat from Louisiana, then a stagecoach to Uniontown, Pennsylvania, by horseback to Cumberland, Maryland, and the B&O Railroad to Washington

In 1853 President Franklin Pierce and his family were traveling on the B&O Railroad, when it derailed, and his son Benny was killed. The White House was always a sad place during his term as a result.

In 1857, President James Buchanan (who succeeded Pierce) rode the B&O Railroad to his Inauguration

President James Garfield was shot twice by Charles Guiteau in July 1881 at the Baltimore & Potomac Railroad station-planning to board a train for vacation but was without his security detail.

President William Henry Harrison was the first president to campaign on a train, as his 5 predecessors never rode them. He also took a train to Washington after he was elected in 1840. But John Quincy Adams was the first to actually ride a train.

President Theodore Roosevelt (before he was President) took lots of train rides on behalf of President William Mckinley. After Mckinley was killed in New York, in 1900, he rode a train to Mckinley‘s funeral. Roosevelt would become the first President with an entire train at his disposal, then dubbed the “Potus (President Of The United States) Train.

The Ferdinand Magellan is a Pullman Standard observation car refitted to serve as living quarters and office for Presidents from 1943-1958. and is on display at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Its last official use was by 1st Lady Mamie Eisenhower in 1954 on her way to cristen the world’s 1st Nuclear Powered Submarine the USS Nautilus in Groton, Connecticut.  President Ronald Reagan used it for a one day tour on 10/12/1984, traveling 120 miles in Ohio, from Dayton to Perrysburg doing Whistle Stop speeches.

President Dwight D Eisenhower campaigned aboard a train. On March 28th, 1969, he died of congestive heart failure. His body was carried aboard a military train on a B&O Railroad baggage car.

President Elect Barack Obama traveled part of President Lincoln’s Inaugural Route in 2009. He used the Georgia 300 car built in 1930, that was also used by President Gorge H.W. Bush for campaigning in 1992.

Prince Charles did a 5 day Whistle Stop Tour of the United Kingdom on 09/06/10.

I hope you have enjoyed this little Whistle Stop Tour back in time looking at connections to our nation’s leaders and the trains they rode.

I’m John Losh, “The Losh-Man“, and as always, I hope that the very first priority in your life is a living, breathing, active relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and if you have never come to know Him as your personal Lord & Savior, my prayer is that you will do that today!

And I’ll see you next time here on Legacies…On The Rails!

Wichita, Kansas Railfan Info

Later today, we will be doing some railfanning here in Wichita, Kansas: Home of Wichita State University see their website and Facebook pages :http://www.wichita.edu/thisis/ ,  https://www.facebook.com/WichitaStateInternationalAdmissions/ and the Kansas Aviation Museum. You can visit them online by checking out their website/Facebooks:
http://kansasaviationmuseum.org/ https://www.facebook.com/kansasaviationmuseum/
and the Mcconnell Air Force Base. Visit both their websirte and Facebook pages here at:
http://www.mcconnell.af.mil/ https://www.facebook.com/22ARW/

After attending the service at The Foundry Christian Church (see their website, Facebook:
http://www.thewichitafoundry.com/ https://www.facebook.com/The-Foundry-Christian-Church-124031667616581/ Pastored by my good friend, fellow CB&Q Railroad family member and brother in Christ Rev Craig Coffey, we will be starting with a visit to the Great Plains Transportation Museum. You can vist their website and Facebook pages:
http://www.gptm.us/ https://www.facebook.com/GreatPlainsTransportationMuseum/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf . More than anything, I am looking forward to checking out their collection of locomotives and rolling stock, as I know they have equipment from four of the seven railroads that I have family connections to: Santa Fe, Burlington Northern, Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific and hope they are ok with folks climbing onto them for pics. I also hope that Craig and I can record an episode of Legacies On The Rails Radio, as we are due for Episode 14.

If time allows this weekend (we lost most of our travel day on Saturday by attending a friend’s birthday party that had been rescheduled due to an ice storm (Happy 50th, Nelson Heinke!), I hope to check out the Amtrak Station in nearby Newton, Kansas see them at:
https://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServerpagename=am/am2Station/Station_Page&code=NEW https://www.facebook.com/pages/Newton-station/135677416466835 or at least find somewhere to do some live action railfanning in Wichita.

Here are some other links to railroad history in Wichita, Kansas:
https://www.ksdot.org/bureaus/burRail/rail/railroads/history.asp
http://www.wichitacountymuseum.org/wichita_rr_history.htm
http://kmuw.org/post/wichitas-union-station-celebrates-centennial-new-ownership-new-future http://wtarr.com/ http://www.kansas.com/news/local/article101465837.html    https://sfrhms.org/conventions/the-2016-wichita-express/

And, we may..to visit the Wichita Toy Train Museum that is also located here and you can visit them at http://www.wichitatoytrainmuseum.org/ as well as on
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WichitaToyTrainClub/ .

I hope you also get to visit Wichita, Kansas sometime if you have not already, or are not a resident of Wichita as it has so much to offer no matter what your interests are!

Hope you will check out my growing list of railroad related Facebook pages:

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (Burlington Route)
Railroad Bridges, Related Photos & Video
Rail Box Freight Car Fans
Fans Of The Kansas City Terminal Railway
Union Pacific Flag Units
Railroad Auto Racks

Give them a Like, and  please, please share all your great related pics and video on them!

Check out my You Tube: John Losh that as of Friday 2/17/17 has 249 Legacies…On The Rails Fan Videos and 16 so far for 2017!

Again, this is John LoshThe Losh-Man” reminding you that the only true way to stay on track is to accept and follow the Lord Jesus Christ every day and encouraging you, when it comes to trains and everything that is railroading, continue leaving Legacies…On The Rails!

CB&Q In Focus Volume 1

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Welcome back to Legacies…On The Rails!

With my Paternal Grandfather John Losh whose namesake I am and his brother Leonard Losh both having been career men with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, in honor of that fact, one of the railroad related Facebook pages I  created is Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (Burlington Route).

This year, I began inviting participants in that page to share their own Q stories, or the stories of friends or family members  that worked for the CB&Q, and giving me permission to also share them here on the blog.

Here are some recent stories that have been graciously shared and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to these fine folks for their willingness to share on the Facebook page and allow me to also share them here as well. I plan to make CB&Q In Focus a regular feature here on Legacies…On The Rails  first in 2017 and beyond, as part of my strategy to get more consistent and creative with the blog after only doing 4 postings total in 2016.  I plan to join the Burlington Route Historical Society this year so hopefully, that will lead to many, many more stories to share both here and on  Legacies…On The Rails Radio (Podcast) in the future!

From Joel Stirek:

I grew up on the C B & Q. I lived a mile or so south just off Cass and 63rd. I went to Maercker Grade School btw. I used to ride my bike into Westmont, get some penny candy at the Ben Franklin, and sit in the shelter on the North side of the track watching trains. I loved exploring on my bike and always knew where I was by watching where the tracks were going. I loved watching the freight cars go by with all the railroad adverts, especially from far off destinations. Many more memories and thank you!

From Earl Mc:

I too grew up with the Q. Lived in North Berwyn and would ride the bicycle down to the Q to watch trains. One time in the afternoon I was going to go shopping for my mom at the National Food Store on Oak Park Avenue across from MacNeal Hospital. When I got to the intersection of Oak Park and Stanley Ave which ran parrellel to the tracks on the north side, the gates came down. I could hear the Zephyr coming from the east. I wanted to get a better look so I started to ride my bike across Stanley. I was between a car and the curb. Well the car turned right and I flew over the hood of the car into the middle of the intersection. I was dazed but saw the observation car go by! I got to the side of the street as the gates went up. Had to straighten the baskets on the bike before I could load up the groceries. Mom and dad never did find out about that adventure.

I am always looking for great sites with CB&Q material and as my wife and I took tomorrow off for my 48th Birthday (really, I’m just 29 for the 18th time) and were thinking of a Day Trip for some rail-fanning and thought about St Joseph, Mo and I started researching its railroad connections, found this site:
http://www.stjosephmemorylane.com/railroads/railroads.html . It has tons of CB&Q pics and information, from equipment to Depots, Administrative Offices and more! The very first pic you see is of the CB&Q Silver Charger. It has a list of St Joe related railroad lines including:

CB&Q
Burlington Northern
BNSF
Chicago & Great Western
Chicago & Northwestern
Chicag0, Rock Island & Pacific
Hannibal & St Joseph
Kansas City, Clay County & St Joseph
Missouri Pacific
Northeast Kansas & Missouri
Rock Island
St Joseph Belt (owned by Mo-Pac)
St Joseph & Denver City
St Joseph & Grand Island
St Joseph & Savannah Electric
St Joseph Short Line
St Joseph Terminal
St Joseph & Western
Santa Fe
Union Pacific
Union Terminal

It has lots of great pics and other items related to many of the other railroads in that list.

I encourage you to go check out the site. I plan to email the site owner and see if I can get him to share about the site’s origins.

If you have not checked out my page Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (Burlington Route), won’t yo do so and send me a Member Request soon?

And until next time, this is John LoshThe Losh-Man“, encouraging you to continue to follow the Lord Jesus Christ every day of your life, and when it comes to trains, Continue Leaving Legacies…On The Rails!