Tag Archives: Kansas City Missouri

Vacation Trips Yield Less Live Rail-Fanning Than Usual

On my trips in July from Friday 6/30-Sunday 7/2/17, as well as Wednesday 7/12-Friday 7/15/17, live trains just weren’t happening for me. This was despite the fact that I made my usual solo trip to the Losh/Worley Family Reunion (that I have not missed since I first attended in July, 2010), and went track-side in Willow Springs, Cabool, Fordland, Seymour , North Diggins and Mountain Grove, Missouri (as I stayed in Mountain Grove for my 2nd year in a row), and Springfield, I settled for just pics as in some locations my wait left nothing to show for it, and in others, the BNSF trains I found idling on the tracks never moved, and my time or patience ran out. I did catch one that was moving south through Seymour, and initially paced it, getting some video, but there were too many obstructions for me to feel it was even worth keeping or sharing the video.

I did, however try to follow the example of the site I covered earlier here on Legacies On The Rails, The Trackside Photographer, and at least took pics of the railroad landscape. Signal towers, signal boxes, tracks, crossing gates, etc, understanding that just like some of the locomotives, rail cars, etc that I am normally so busy catching in pics and video, these features may not always be around, therefor preserving a bit of history by getting those shots.

I then started vacation on Saturday, July 8th but never went anywhere until Wednesday, July 12th, as my wife, my daughter and I had to get some much needed painting done on our house. But on 7/12, my wife Denise and I headed to the Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska area. But, when I am with her, I normally spend little time if any sitting track-side unless I am approaching a crossing as we go from one place to another and a train just happens to be coming, or already on the tracks. Then I may get video, or a few pics. But on this trip, I was always too late at the crossings to catch approaching trains and settled for freight car or covered hopper pics, but no live locomotives.

On July 12th, we ate and Dan & Jami’s Railway Bar & Grill in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The food and service were good and though it was right next to the tracks, despite my mad dashes out the door to try to catch trains we heard coming, I always settled for various freight car pics. We later visited the Grenville M Dodge House (one of the architects of the Union Pacific Railroad) also located in Council Bluffs. We also stood at the Lincoln Monument, the site where President Abraham Lincoln stood and declared (referring to the aforementioned Union Pacific) “This is where I will build my railroad!”.

On July 13th, we visited the Union Pacific Museum in Council Bluffs, and the Durham Museum that located inside the Omaha, Nebraska Union Station. I also got my pic with the Golden Spike Monument in Council Bluffs, the site where the Union Pacific Railroad began building westward, to eventually meet the Central Pacific Railroad, completing the Transcontinental Railroad in Promontory, Utah on May 10th,1869.

Dinner that evening was at the Old Market Spaghetti Works in Omaha, after we visited Hollywood Candy & Antiques, and a few other antique shops.

On July 14th, in Omaha, we found a pedestrian bridge that goes over railroad tracks at Lewis and Clark Landing and then discovered that the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge (aka the “Bob Bridge“) also had the same tracks running underneath it. While we were on the “Bob Bridge“, Denise took a video of me clowning around, paying tribute to the character of “Achoo” played by Dave Chappelle from the 1993 movie Robin Hood: Men In Tights as halfway across the bridge, you can stand with one foot in Iowa, and the other in Nebraska. Unfortunately, despite waiting a bit on the bridge at Lewis & Clark Landing, I again failed to have any trains come my way and settled for pics of some some covered hoppers parked on a nearby siding.

We also took a riverboat ride on the River City Star, also located in Council Bluffs, as this is another of our favorite pursuits while we are on our various trips. We have also taken boat rides in our hometown of Kansas City, as well as in St Louis, Missouri, Hannibal, Missouri, Branson, Missouri and in one city in Texas.

We also took in the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall in Omaha. We also frequent the one in Odessa, Missouri.

The only real quality pics I ended up with on this trip came when we visited the Railswest Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs also on 7/14.

Dinner that evening was at Romeo’s Mexican Food & Pizza in Bellevue, Nebraska as we were staying the night at the Surestay Plus in Bellevue that I mentioned in my earlier blog on Presidential Trains that both my wife and daughter stayed at earlier in the year. We were in the Andrew Jackson Room. It was a really clean, impressive facility.

However, doing rail-fanning in Council Bluffs and Omaha, and Bellevue put me up to having done rail-fanning in 70 cities over 10 states since March, 2008. 21 cities over 4 states in the 2nd quarter of 2017 May through August thus far.

I did try to do some brief track-side time the morning of Saturday 7/15/17 before we headed home to Kansas City, but again settled only for pics I caught earlier before heading track-side.

Later that day we visited the Walnut Creek Recreation Area and the Nebraska Crossing Outlet Mall both in Gretna, Nebraska and the Strategic Air Command Museum in Ashland, Nebraska, (I will be covering that and another smaller air museum in Council Bluffs that we visited on my Military Air Fan blog here on WordPress) and finally the Finders Keepers Antique Mall/ Coffe Shoppe in Percival, Iowa.

I also had the week of July 16th-July 23rd off though my wife did not, and while I could have gotten in a ton of rail-fanning that week, it was so hot out (100 plus most days) I hardly wanted to get out. I did get one Norfolk Southern video on Monday 7/17, and a few videos in North Kansas City, Missouri and at at Kansas City Union Station on Friday 7/28/17 as I attended my very first meeting of the Kansas City Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society, that meets most 4th Fridays in the 3rd Floor Kansas City Terminal Railway Boardroom at Union Station: (check out my Facebook group Fans Of The Kansas City Terminal Railway) I have since started a Facebook page for them: see Kansas City Chapter NRHS. I planned to attend again on Friday 8/25/17, but something came up. Hopefully I will be back with them on 9/22/17. We were on vacation the week of  8/12-8/20/17 but I tried to concentrate on time with my family and did not get out to do any rail-fanning. That was my last vacation for 2017.

Here are my latest Legacies On The Rails Fan Videos from You Tube:

I hope that as I always encourage you to do that you are in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and pursuing Him daily through His Word, prayer, and active fellowship in a local church. And when it comes to trains and all things railroading, that you continue leaving Legacies…On The Rails!

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Rail Fan Update: First Four Months Of 2017

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I am happy to say that in addition to now having posted 13 previous blogs on this site compared to only four in 2016, and having become much more diverse in what I am posting about, this has been a very busy first four months of 2017 on the Rail-Fan front.

So far, it has had me in 12 different cities between the states of Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas:  In Missouri: Birmingham, Buckner, Granby, Kansas City, (and several areas in Kansas City) North Kansas City, Parkville, Sibley, and St Joseph. Just Wichita in Kansas thus far. In Arkansas: Eureka Springs, Rogers, and Springdale. I also took note of cities that I could identify as having rail lines by seeing tracks from the highway, as well as other cities I want to check out either in person or via the internet eventually to see if they do anytime I was not the driver on our trips to Wichita, Kansas and Arkansas this year. I noted 42 on the recent trip to Arkansas. So, this leaves a lot more cities to visit on my upcoming yearly pilgrimage to the Losh-Worley Family Reunion that will take me from Kansas City to Willow Springs, Missouri July 30th to July 2nd, and then vacation time I have from July 10th-22nd, 2017. There are many more sites in Kansas City, proper to check out as well as cities I want to return to.

I have photographed and/or filmed 20 different models of locomotives thus far, not to mention passenger cars, freight cars, coal cars, tankers, bare tables, covered hoppers, center beams, coil cars, empty or loaded Intermodal well cars, etc. The locomotive models are: Diesel: AC4400CW, ALCO C420, ALCO SW1, C449W, C4460AC, D840CW, D944CW, ES44C4, ES44DC,ET44C4, FP-45, GP38-2, GP40-3, GP50, NW2, SD70ACE, SD70M, SD75M, steamers: 4-4-0 and 4-8-4.

I have photographed and/or filmed 35 different railroads or companies with rail equipment, current as well as Excursion Trains and “Fallen Flags“, Heritage Units, display or in current road or yard use: Arkansas & Missouri, Burlington-Northern, BNSF, CB&Q, Central Kansas Rwy, Canadian Malting Co Ltd, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Caterpillar, Citirail (CREX), Chicago-Northwestern, Conrail, CSX, Denver & Rio Grande Western, Eureka Springs & North Arkansas, Ferromex, Frisco, GATX, GMTX Locomotive Leasing Partners, Grand Trunk-Western, Hannibal & St Joseph, KC Power & Light, Kansas City Southern, KC Southern De-Mexico, Kansas & Oklahoma, Kansas City Terminal, New York Central, Norfolk Southern, Rail Box, Rail Link Of Montana, Santa Fe, Soo Line, TTX, Union Pacific, Wabash. Now, mind you, these are just the ones I have been able to positively identify, but with all the various equipment you see on trains, it is sometimes hard to catch Reporting Marks on everything, or have time to look them all up.

In January through April, I did 29 of my now 36 Legacies On The Rails Fan Videos on You Tube. I was up to 261 LOTR Fan Videos overall by the end of April and am now up to 266 overall since the beginning of May. I also recorded Episodes #13, 14 of the Legacies On The Rails Radio (Podcast). You may recall my mention in my last posting that Episode 14 (in 2 parts) was recorded while riding a passenger car on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad!

So stay tuned to Legacies…On The Rails the Blog, the Podcast and the You Tube for more! I’m John LoshThe Losh-Man” reminding you that nothing truly matters in life outside of a daily relationship with Jesus Christ and that knowing Him as your Personal Lord & Savior is the only way to know for sure you will spend eternity in Heaven. So follow Him each day of your life through His word, prayer, and involvement in a Biblical local church. And when it comes to all things railroad, continue leaving Legacies….On The Rails! I’ll see you next time!

27th Anniversary Trip Yields Excursions And Makes Me A Frisco Fan!

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LOTR Post 17-013

As I have traveled to the Losh-Worley Family Reunion in Willow Springs, Missouri http://www.willowspringsmo.com/ from Kansas City, Missouri since July, 2010, and it involving so much time on the road, I had been getting frequent pics of Frisco Railroad cabooses in towns like Osceola, http://www.cityofosceolamo.com/ and even in Willow Springs, but initially to me, they were well preserved railroad rolling stock that I could get up close and personal with, and that was cool. I had even picked up an HO Scale Frisco Box Car on one of my trips from the Moccasin Trails Antique Mall https://www.facebook.com/OsceolaAntiques/ in Osceola.

But until the trip my wife and I took our recent trip to several cities in Arkansas http://www.arkansas.gov/ for our 27th Anniversary, that had us first landing in Eureka Springs, Arkansas http://www.eurekasprings.org/ on Sunday 4/23/17, later taking us to Rogers http://visitrogersarkansas.com/ Springdale http://www.springdalear.gov/ Bentonville   @ http://www.bentonvillear.com/and various other nearby cities, I never stopped to consider the true impact of this “Fallen Flag Railroad” known as the St Louis-San Francisco or simply just “Frisco“, whose motto was “Ship It On The Frisco“, and whose logo was patterned after dried raccoon hides, that at one time were being sold at some old time depots in the road’s early days.

According to Wikepedia Incorporated in Missouri 9/7/1876, and formed from the Missouri Division of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad, The Frisco operated in the Midwestern and South Central U.S. from 1876 to April 17,1980 (how appropriate that our trip was also in April.) At the end of 1970 it had 4.547 miles of road on 6,574 miles of track not including its subsidiaries Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railway, and the Alabama, Tennessee & Northern. It was absorbed by one of my family connection railroads, the Burlington Northern on my wife’s birthday 11/21/1980. The Frisco one of only two railroads (the other being The Katy) that were authorized to build on Indian land.

The city of Frisco, Texas http://www.friscotexas.gov/ is named after the railroad and as the aforementioned Frisco logo is patterned after dried raccoon skins, the Frisco High School mascot is the Fighting Raccoon.

The Frisco had 16 steam locomotives #19, #1351, #1352, #1355, #1501, #1527, #1529, #1621, #1625, #1630, #4003, #4018, #4500 and #4524. In its time of operation, it also operated several stream-liner diesels. Today, the road is operated by the Burlington-Northern-Santa Fe (BNSF).

On Sunday, 4/23/17 after arriving in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, we checked into the Green Tree Lodge http://www.eurekaspringslodge.com/ where the owner graciously upgraded us to the Honeymoon Cabin at no extra charge once she found out it was our anniversary, and I have to tell you the cabin was extremely luxurious, and even included a jacuzzi tub, a back deck, and we felt really spoiled. She also found out that I am a huge rail-fan, and directed us to the location of the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad that we could walk around and take all the pics we wanted to.

Later that evening, we visited the Lake Leatherwood City Park in Eureka and I recorded one of my Moments Of Tranquility Videos, at a nice waterfall area. I encourage you to check out this growing series on You Tube, as I encourage anyone feeling overwhelmed by life to “Take 5 and have a virtual sit” by streams, creeks, ponds, fountains, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, from our various travels as well as our local Kansas City area and to focus on a scripture verse about water.

We stayed there Sunday and Monday nights. Later, we realized my wife had left her glasses behind and we called the owner, she had found them, and fortunately, though we were in Bentonville at that point, we were returning to Eureka Springs the following weekend for their City-Wide Garage Sale, as well as to ride the aforementioned Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad https://www.esnarailway.com/ as it was only running Saturdays in April, so we were able to pick them up then. I am giving the Green Tree Lodge 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.

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Our next hotel stay was the Super 8 in the aforementioned Bentonville, Arkansas. You can find it on pretty much all the booking websites. It was clean for the most part, except for one area of the bathroom on some vertical support type structures attached to the tub, and we had some issues with getting the TV to operate properly. I am giving it 3 out of  5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.

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On Tuesday 4/25/17 we were in Rogers, Arkansas. First order of business was lunch after visiting with Ashley Matsumara at the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber Of Commerce http://www.rogerslowell.com/ where she presented me with a very cool Rogers Arkansas Chamber pin in the shape of a steam locomotive, and we both agreed that every railroad town ought to have something like it to present to visitors. I am giving the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber Of Commerce 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.

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Lunch was at Pop’s Hog Wild Barbecue https://www.facebook.com/popshogwild/ just across the street from the Chamber as the wonderful smoky smell that every barbecue lover knows, was wafting across the street and was not to be denied. Gary took really good care of us there. I had a pulled pork sandwich meal and Denise had the pulled pork nachos. It was a gorgeous day to sit outside and enjoy some Arkansas barbecue! I even took pics of Gary’s tattoos (though I am normally not a tattoo fan) because they were Batman and The Joker and I included them in a new Facebook Album I started (one of many I started on this trip) called The Batcave. I give Pop’s Hog-Wild Barbecue 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.

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And as we began to walk around the town of Rogers, with me in my Kansas City Southern Locomotive t-shirt, people immediately gravitated to us and realized I am into trains and began to share their stories of family members that worked on railroads and how much of a Frisco town Rogers is. I have not had that kind of welcome by so many people in any town we have visited in all our travels over the years. We certainly appreciate their very generous hospitality! The people of Rogers, Arkansas are definitely in a class by themselves and I give them 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.

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Folks that we met included Myra, the owner of The Trolley Line Bookshop https://www.facebook.com/Trolley-Line-Bookshop-221526167897843/ . She grew up with her father and several other relatives working on the Union Pacific Railroad and when she found out it was our anniversary week, she presented us with a gift in a mystery book that was written by a local author and takes place on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, that is also carried in the railroad’s gift shop. While we were there, Character Actress Sondra Torchia https://www.facebook.com/sondra.torchia stopped by. She calls herself “a Katy Brat” as her father worked on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad.

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So, of course, for her wonderful Rogers, Arkansas hospitality, and the cool name of her store, I give The Trolley Line Bookshop 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.

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We also visited The Rusty Chair Antiques  https://www.facebook.com/rustychair/ where owner Julie Loose made us a sweet deal on an AT & SF Caboose print, and she had a couple other AT & SF items in the store including a caboose heater and a bucket.

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Here is another railroad themed business in Downtown Rogers, The Rail: A Pizza Company https://www.facebook.com/The-Rail-A-Pizza-Company-127680870619752/

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And the Iron Horse Coffee Company https://www.facebook.com/Iron-Horse-Coffee-Company-114000608623293/

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Tuesday evening, we checked in to the Super 8 Hotel in Bentonville, where we would stay Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and we headed to the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad facility in Springdale where I took several pics and a short SD70ACE power move video, and ordered our tickets for the excursion trip we were to take on Wednesday evening.

Wednesday started out rainy, foggy and a bit chilly. I was told they had several inches of rain overnight, and when we attempted to visit the War Eagle Cavern, check them out http://www.wareaglecavern.com/ as we love doing cave tours and had done the Cosmic Cavern http://cosmiccavern.com/ in Berryville, Arkansas http://www.berryville.com/ earlier in the week, but due to all the rain, water levels in the cave prevented them from giving tours but they did let us take the trail that leads to a cave exit so we could see the water pouring out and all the streams that run along the outside. I recorded another Moments Of Tranquility video there as well.

From there, we headed to the War Eagle Mill, https://wareaglemill.com/ hoping to take the tour there, but they were just closing up, again, due to rising flood waters. Upon our return to Kansas City, my wife found pics online that showed the War Eagle Mill, and other areas we were in on the trip, including the Beaver Bridge http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/beaverbridge.html  in Beaver, Arkansas http://www.beavertownarkansas.com/ that we had crossed twice trying to get home on Saturday 4/29/17 during heavy rains and rising waters under water. Didn’t realize until I started working on this posting how much of a landmark the Beaver Bridge is.

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The War Eagle Mill just after we returned to Kansas City.

And, of course, Wednesday evening, we took our train ride on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad. These folks were also extremely gracious in the fact that there had been a change in their schedule so that instead of just a regular excursion that evening, there was a group of 60 children from a local school that were now riding as well. And as with the Green Tree Lodge upgrading us to their Honeymoon Suite, the Arkansas & Missouri gave us a train car “The Explorer” pretty much to ourselves, except for the Conductor, Christopher and one of the other train crew being with us for a good portion of the time,  and in addition to more pics and video, I recorded a two-part Episode 14 of the Legacies On The Rails Podcast with Christopher.

Thursday, 4/27/17 we were back in Rogers, Arkansas, and checked out The Cottage At The Barn Antiques https://www.godowntownrogers.com/cottage-at-the-barn anbd had a picnic lunch at The Railyard Bike Park http://rogersar.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/The-Railyard-57 and I got to go catch a very short Arkansas & Missouri Railroad freight train. Then we walked the trail that ran from The Railyard to Lake Atalanta https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arkansas/lake-atalanta-trail that has a stream that runs along the trail and empties into the lake, so I took the opportunity to record my third Moments Of Tranquility video that was then posted to You Tube along with the Legacies On The Rails Fan Video of the train.

Later in the day we visited the Crystal Bridges Museum Of Art http://crystalbridges.org/ in Bentonville.  We later checked into our final motel of the trip, the Country Mountain Inn http://countrymountaininn.com/ back in Eureka Springs. The owners are a wonderful Christian couple that we had a great time of fellowship with as we checked in.

On our anniversary Friday 4/28/17, we rode the Eureka Springs Trolley http://www.eurekasprings.com/transportation/transport.html originally meaning to use it to get to the various locations that the City Wide Garage Sales were going on, but quickly figured out that wasn’t happening because if we got off at stops that were not assigned Trolley stops, it would be even longer and harder to get back on each time. So instead, we chose to get off in Downtown Eureka Springs and walk around the various shops there. We later returned to the Country Mountain Inn and retrieved our car and took it to catching the last two hours of the garage sales. Dinner that evening was at the Forest Hill Restaurant http://foresthillrestaurant.com/. When we first arrived and for most of our meal, we were the only ones there except for the staff. The facility was clean, the staff was friendly, the food was good. There is a gift shop that you pass through as you enter that looks like a part of a Christian bookstore. I give the Forest Hill Restaurant 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.

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Later that night, we enjoyed having a bonfire with the owners of the Country Mountain Inn.

On Saturday morning 4/28/17 we headed back to Downtown and rode the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad. And, who knew that on the trip with us would be another couple from our native Northland area back in Missouri with their anniversary being the same day as ours but Jimmy Jay and his wife Sabrina Jay from Excelsior Springs, Missouri who had been married since 4/28/01, and are also our Brother/Sister in Christ were on the train with us. Jimmy and I are now Facebook Friends and hope to eventually get together for further rail-fanning! It is truly a small world! We were riding the ES&NA Passenger Car #2585 and were pulled by the former Missouri Pacific Alco #2742 that has 600 tracktive effort horsepower.

But there was a challenge that lay ahead for Denise and I that I eluded briefly to earlier. It had rained all night in the area we were in and rain had steadily picked up as we were riding the train and as we headed back to Missouri. The route our GPS (nicknamed “Dorothy”) was taking us kept leading to nearly flooded or already flooded roads during torrential down-pouring rain. We were really scared of getting trapped and were both getting frustrated but God was faithful and we eventually found our way out but it had taken us 4 hours to reach 71 Highway when it should have taken just 1. Here are is a pic Denise later posted of the Beaver Bridge that we had to cross twice that was later quickly under water.

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I’m John Losh “The Losh-Man“, and I pray that with all the references I make to it here in the blog and on my videos that if you had not already done so before reading any of my posts that you have now entered into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and are experiencing the joy of following Him each and every day.  If you haven’t, you can still do so! And, when it comes to trains and all things railroading, Continue leaving Legacies…On The Rails! I’ll see you next time!

 

Joseph (Joe) Henry Witten: Conducting Family Legacies…On The Rails!

Legacies…On The Rails Volume 17-011

Welcome back to another 2017 Blog Edition Of Legacies…On The Rails! Today, I have another awesome family story to share and want to thank my new friend Lee Witten that I just connected with via You Tube this week, for graciously allowing us to share in his Father’s Legacies…On The Rails and for his expedient response to my inquiry as I send out nearly daily invites via Facebook, Linked-In, You-Tube, Twitter and more and sadly only a few respond here and there, but I figure those that the Lord wants to have the stories shared of, he will prompt the right folks to respond, so I’m ok with that.

So, I won’t waste any more time but let me introduce you to Joseph (Joe) Henry Witten:

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Joseph (Joe) Henry Witten, was a Union Pacific Railroad Employee for 30 years. He was born in Ogden, Utah, June 5, 1914 and became a Union Pacific Brakeman on the Wyoming Division, 8th subdivision on August 14, 1936. He made Conductor on November 10, 1943. He was 19th in seniority at the time of his death October 15, 1974.

I had inherited his final Freight Conductors Train Book covering the 6 month period of April 17 to October 14, 1974.

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Seeing that it contained specific data for each trip, I decided to do an interpretation of these last 6 months by transcribing the information into a computer data base and augmenting with what supplemental material that related to this time period as a snapshot of his career on the railroad. I have endeavored to find as many photographs of the cabooses he worked on as well as the head end power on each trip.

The locomotive and caboose numbers were critical in identifying the type of locomotives and cabooses on each trip. By researching books, railroad museum archives and the internet, I was able to find many of them though not all. However, there is enough representatives to give a good idea of their physical appearance.

A copy of this material has been donated to the Utah State Railroad Museum archives so that future generations can have a record of the work of a railroad trainman during the era just prior to the end of the use of cabooses on major railroads.

In 1945 a Union Pacific photo journalist did a story about a day in the life of an engineer named E. H. Cook. Dad happened to be part of the story as Cooks Conductor. Two photos included dad as seen here giving engineer Cook his orders in front of Big Boy #4020 and with his brakeman on the caboose leaving the Riverdale Yard for Green River, Wyoming.

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After my fathers death, my mother passed on to me his final Conductors log book, one of the few pieces of memorabilia that she had. I was given his last railroad pocket watch as well.

I didnt understand some of the data such as the codes for the train types, but other railroaders at the museum including a fellow who actually worked with dad, filled me in. One thing led to another and I began to create a computer database of the information in his log book.

From the caboose and locomotive numbers I searched through our library and the internet trying to find photos to include in my computer transcriptions. Then I found ARCHES, an organization devoted just to cabooses! I quickly joined up and received the Captive Cabeese publication. What a great resource to help me locate any still existing cabeesethat dad had worked on during those last 6 months of his life. Then Don Strack came out with his book on The Union Pacific Caboose and I gleaned more information including a few photos.

In the summer of 2003 I was able to visit 3 of dads former cabooses. I visited two places in the Midwest that were identified as having a caboose with my dads numbers. The first was in Falls City Nebraska. Ive never been there before so I stopped at the town hall and found a local Policeman in the hallway who told me he thought the caboose I was looking for was down by the old UP Depot on the edge of town.

I followed his directions and there it was, UP #25241 sitting on a section of display track coupled to an old flat car and box car next to the depot. The windows were boarded up, paint was peeling, rust was building up but it was still intact. Dad worked on this caboose June 18, 1974 on an east bound trip to Greenriver, 61 car Los Angeles Extra (LAX) train pulled by two UP Centennials, 6927 and 6909 with an EMD DD35B unit.

The disappointment of that experience was soon changed to elation when I reached Abilene, Kansas and found UP #25466 still in operation on the Abilene And Smokey Valley Railroad, a little tourist line that runs out of Abiliene about 10 miles.

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I arrived at 10 minutes to 3 and went into their little ticket/gift office in a converted box car and introduced myself. What makes this caboose extra special is that it was the last one that dad rode, October 14, 1974 and he died October 15. The train was a 63 car Los Angeles Forwarded (LAF) westbound Greenriver to Salt Lake. Head end power were two SD40s, a DD35B unit and a GP30. At Curvo they had an air hose break between cars #31 and 32 at 3:45 a.m.and were back up running at 4:10 a.m.

I showed the crew the binder with all the information Ive been compiling and the last entry with UP #25466. They seemed very pleased about this bit of history of their caboose and I was given a ride on it for their 3 p.m. run.

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The emotion of being in that caboose overwhelmed me for awhile. I had a few private moments inside to collect myself then enjoyed the ride sitting up in the cupola with the conductor and trading stories. He was a retired school teacher so we had even more in common to chat about. On the way back they let me ride in the cab of their Alco S1 locomotive.

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Finally on June 28, 2004 my mother and I drove the 200 plus miles from Ogden to the West Central Utah town of Lynndyl where I believed we would find UP #25280. Lynndyl is a little railroad town on Union Pacifics Los Angeles Line. We had no trouble finding the town park where UP #25280 sat next to a children’s playground.

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Dad rode UP #25280 on June 5, 1974, Salt Lake City to Greenriver. The train was an ore drag with 102 cars. There were 5 SD40s on the head end.

We took some photos and found that the door had been broken open so went inside and looked around. There was some grafitti here and there but it was in pretty good shape. im worried that its not being well taken care of and just eroding away.

Here is a narrative that can be derived from the information on the log sheet to the left.

June 1, 1974, Eastbound

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Joe reported for work at 3:50 a.m at the Salt Lake City Office. Picked up train LAD 31, Los Angeles to Denver. Left the station at 6:20 a.m.. Engineer was F. Hicks, Head Brakeman Regnier and Rear Brakeman, Stamey. There was no Fireman. Lead locomotive was a DDA40X #6930 Centennial. There was one second unit, Centennial #6938.

The train had 21 loaded and 35 empty cars for a total tonnage of 2830. In North Salt Lake they picked up 17 cattle cars at 952 tons at 6:25 a.m. In Ogden they picked up 18 loaded, 20 empty cars for 2247 tons between 7:20 and 9:35 a.m. At Mile Post 888 there was an air hose problem on the 49th head car RBCS 2666 X box car for Golden, Colorado. Time to repair air hose from 12:45 to 1:15 P.M. Arrived Green River at 2:35 p.m. with 55 loaded and 53 empties with total
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I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this trip back in time with Lee Witten‘s Dad Union Pacific Conductor Joseph (Joe) Henry Witten as much as I enjoyed being honored with the humble privilege of receiving it from Lee and sharing it with you!
Got a story of your own, or one of a loved one like this that you would like shared here on Legacies…On The Rails? Email me at legaciesontherails@gmail.com and I’ll be sure to share it with all the rest of your railroad family around the world!
Today’s Railroad Equipment Profile goes to this New York Central Railroad Swift Stream car that I recently caught at the Kansas City Union Station. As you know, the New York Central Railroad is one of the most recognized and iconic railroads in history, usually in direct competition with the Pennsylvania Railroad. This post World War II model is one of an 11 car order that he NYC got from The Budd Company in 1949. But instead of indulging in too much info myself, I am going to invite you to visit this fellow WordPress Rail Blogger‘s page which at this time appears to be the most definitive source of information out there on these fabulous cars. http://nycswiftstream.com/ .
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For today’s Railroad Old Time Radio Feature, instead of just a solo episode, I am choosing to invite you to visit the page the features all 26 Episodes of 1930’s broadcasts of The Green Valley Line. https://archive.org/details/GreenValleyLine . I’m having trouble getting You Tube Videos to post correctly, so going to forego our ending theme song and a You Tube Video the Green Valley Line I wanted to share.
But want to remind you that the most important pursuit in your life each day should be staying faithful to a walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. I finished the book of John yesterday for 2017 (reading New Testament books in reverse order) and started Luke today so I’m right in the thick of the story of John The Baptist‘s ministry, Christ‘s birth and the start of His ministry. I try to read through scripture cover to cover or find devotionals to go through for half the year, then start reading as many scripture books as the rest of the year allows and it never gets old. There will always be something new for you to learn and grow from no matter how many times in your life you read it on your own, or in church, group Bible studies, etc.
I have a weekend all to myself this week and plan to do lots of rail-fanning in it and look forward to sharing what happens in our next visit!
Well, this Sunday is the 1st of the three yearly times that the Mid America Train & Toy Show comes to the KCI Expo Center here in Kansas City, and I’ll be there, looking for good buys, covering it for the blog, recording some podcast material, and hopefully seeing some of you. Here is the link: http://www.midamericatrainandtoyshow.com/
As always, this is John Losh, “The Losh-Man“, “Mr Legacies…On The Rails” saying may God bless and keep you and those you love until next time, and if I don’t see you here, if I don’t see you there, I hope one day I’ll see you In The Air!
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Great Rail Sites Volume 1: Nick Ozorak: Master Of The Roundhouse

Welcome To the 7th installment of Legacies…On The Rails for 2017,and my 34th overall edition.  Glad you have again joined me and I have a real treat for you today! I had said I wanted to be more eclectic with what I shared here on the blog, and one of the directions I am going is to review other cool sites that I know you will enjoy.

I could not start this any other way but to share about my Facebook Friend Nick Ozorak, a lifelong railfan from (and who resides in) Meadville, Pennsylvania and is a 2013 graduate of Allegheny College with a degree in Film Study.  For over 10 years, Nick has been igniting the passion of railroaders and railfans alike with his websites  like his first one, At The Railyard http://attherailyard.com/ and his You Tube videos by the same name. The At The Railyard site and most of his videos are dedicated to profiling railroad simulators.

My favorite so far of those is the Monon (Hoosier Line) because, though this may seem insignificant to some, I have a small personal connection to it. Though I mainly concentrate on collecting items related to the railroads I have family connections to, I also pick up random pieces here and there to not only have a more diverse collection, but also for the history lesson, and I happen to own a Hoosier Line box car. I thought I had a pic handy to share but guess not. But I can certainly share Nick‘s video.

And while Nick has been doing At The Railyard the longest, before I knew about that site, I had been for quite some time, listening to and thoroughly enjoying his railroad podcast known as The Roundhouse Podcast http://theroundhousepodcast.com/ . Nick started The Roundhouse Podcast in 2015 with (as he shares in his very first episode) three specific goals in mind.

  1. Create episodes with meaningful content
  2. Explore new topics in the hobby
  3. Connect with all of us as railroaders and railfans and connect all of us as  a community

Well, for now 54 episodes since the inception of The Roundhouse Podcast, Nick has done a superb job of doing all that and more. He has covered freight roads, passenger railroads, excursion railroads. Logging railroads, and rail related special events. Railroad hotels, restoration and preservation of historic railroad equipment, and railroad films.

As you see above, episodes of The Roundhouse Podcast can also be found in video form on You Tube.

Starting with Norfolk Southern, he has gone on to cover such topics (always with very interesting and engaged guests who interact with him very well, as he is great at scripting the interviews so it makes things flow very smoothly). Nickel Plate 765, (which, again, I have a personal connection to. Since my opening theme here on the blog and the LOTR Podcast is The Wabash Cannonball, if you search images of the Wabash Cannonball, the NPR 765 is the one that appears the most, and I use it as wallpaper on my phone).

The Norfolk & Western 611. Chris Eden-Green‘s (another mutual Facebook Friend) Steam Locos in Profile. I recently posted a pic of a t-shirt my wife got me,on Chris’ Facebook page, thinking the steam loco looked European, asking if Chris could identify it. Brian Mcdonnell responded that it is the N&W 4-8-0 #382 on the Abingdon Branch in Virgina: affectionately known as The Virginia Creeper.

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He has covered the Strasburg, Pennsylvania Railroad, President Lincoln’s Funeral Train, The American Freedom Train. I also happen to own a collector plate from said train and have also photographed one of the steam locos that led it. Nick has covered the restoration of a Royal Husdon steam locomotive. The model train manufacturer Rapido Trains, and so much more. He has done all this from his studio, as well as from inside passenger train cars, the cabs of steam locos, diesel locomotives, and track-side.

Nick’s iconic Roundhouse theme is “In days past, the roundhouse was where the railroad worker united with the steam locomotive, both to prepare for the journey ahead. Today, it’s where we examine the history, the industry, the machines, the hobby, and the passion behind railroading. News, interviews, stories and more. So climb aboard! This is…..The Roundhouse!”

Nick always includes a “Question Of The Day” on The Roundhouse Podcast, and asks us as listeners to interact with him, and that he will (and faithfully does) share the best answers on the following show. His very first Question on Episode 1 was “What railfan activities are you most looking forward to in 2015?

In Episode 9: You Career With Norfolk Southern Part 1 was sharing answers from Episode 8’s Question: What news are you most interested in sharing? In Episode 20: Restoring A Royal Hudson, asked the Question: What aspect of Canadian railroad history fascinates you the most? I think you kind of get the idea of the interesting interaction Nick creates for us as the listeners with this method.

In closing, though he did not state this goal in his opening episode, I believe Nick Ozorak has a 4th goal for The Roundhouse Podcast, At The Railyard and everything he does, that he not only strives for, but succeeds in doing. So I have to say that Goal #4 is to strive for a level of quality that always makes you want to keep coming back for more. He is one person that makes me want to do better with the Legacies On The Rails Blog, the Podcast, and my videos, and I will continue to keep coming back! I hope you catch The Roundhouse Podcast soon. You’ll be glad ya’ did!

Nick sums up how he brings us all together as a railroad community in this, “Remember, The Roundhouse…Is Our House!” I am giving Nick Ozorak , At The Railyard and The Roundhouse Podcast my Seal Of Approval with 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks!
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Well, in addition to the Facebook pages I have mentioned previously:

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (Burlington Route)

Railroad Bridges, Related Photos & Video

Rail Box Freight Car Fans

Union Pacific Flag Units

Railroad Auto Racks

The Wabash Cannonball

You can now also check out:

Caterpillar Train Collectors

If you would like to send me a story, or suggest a topic, or be featured on the Legacies…On The Rails Blog or Podcast, or even if you live here in Kansas City and want to get together for some railfanning, email me at legaciesontherails@gmail.com .

As always, this is John LoshThe Losh-Man” reminding you that if you haven’t already, seek a relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ, and follow Him each day through time in his word, prayer, and involvement in an uncompromisingly Bible believing and preaching local church.  It’s the ONLY WAY to truly stay On Track!

As I read in I Corinthians this morning, Chapter 9, Verse 16 stood out. “If I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast in, for necessity has fallen on me. Yes, and woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” And when it comes to trains and everything that is railroading, continue leaving Legacies…On The Rails! I’ll see you next time!

Wichita Railfanning Nearly Goes Bust

Welcome back to another 2017 edition of Legacies…On The Rails! I truly appreciate you continuing to follow the blog and hope you are checking out the soon to be updated podcast on Podomatic.com as well!

As you know, this past weekend was destination Wichita, Kansas. The drive down on Saturday 2/18/18 after attending a birthday party was smooth and uneventful and as my wife drove first, I was able to make notes of some potential railfan sites, either for those of you who may not have been there, or for myself in the future, as I guarantee there will be return trips to Wichita. Those sites include:

I can’t recall the exact exit but it is shortly after SB I-35/Lamar Ave

I-35/119th Olathe, Kansas as the bridge goes over the tracks

SB I-35 just before Exit #148 (Hwy 131 to Lebo, Ks) tracks run under the highway

SB I-35/Burlingame Rd (Exit #131 to Emporia, Ks)

City of Cassaday, Ks

On the drive down, we ate at Braum’s Ice Cream & Burgers in Emporia, Ks. Check them out at http://www.braums.com/stores/emporia-ks-store-265/ . The food was good, their prices are reasonable, the facility was clean and the staff was friendly and quick with service. The only issue I had was the fact that instead of paper towels in the restroom, there was a hand dryer. Now for some, that may be acceptable but let me tell you why it is not for me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that deals with this. 1. I’m a Diabetic and often go into restaurant restrooms to test my sugar before eating. I would like a clean, dry place to lay my supplies on the counter. Most people don’t clean up after themselves and leave the counter and the floor all wet. If there are paper towels, I can rectify this for myself and 2. I would also clean up after myself and leave the restroom better than I found it as is my normal practice. This is why I am giving Braum’s 4 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.
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Once in Wichita, we stayed at the Quality Inn Airport. Check out their site by visiting  https://www.choicehotels.com/kansas/wichita/quality-inn-hotels/ks041 . Our room was clean, modern, very spacious and nicely decorated, though the restroom was in need of some serious updating. The staff was very friendly, there was a full breakfast served each morning in their dining area whose ornate ironwork and trees reminded us of something you would likely see in the French Quarter of New Orleans. So, again, I am giving 4 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.
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On Sunday 2/19/17, we attended  the service at The Foundry Christian Church
http://www.thewichitafoundry.com/ where the congregation and staff including my buddy Craig Coffey were all very friendly and welcoming, and we enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship and worship (giving 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks)

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Then went on to  have lunch at Spangles http://www.spanglesinc.com/ . It was another clean, friendly place that in this case had that classic diner feel with lots of classic TV, Movie and Rock & Roll items on display. We were there to have lunch with with Craig & Cynthia Coffey, and we all took  advantage of their Classic All American Meal package that came with a burger, fries, a soda and either a a sundae, shake or mud-slide. I had my burger with bbq sauce and Denise had the strawberry mud-slide while I had the Reese’s Peanut Butter mud-slide. I never had to use their restroom so I can’t comment on it but I am giving them 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks
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We then headed to Downtown Wichita expecting to check out the Great Plains Transportation Museum. see their website by checking out the following link: http://www.kansastravel.org/wichita/greatplainstransportationmuseum.htm only to find out that I missed seeing on their site that they are only open Sundays from April to October. I took these pics from outside the facility.

At first, I thought they were the best I was going to get of the locomotives and rolling stock in their collection. But, thanks to a later visit to Hewitt’s Antiques  Check them out at:
http://www.hewittsantiques.com/www.hewittsantiques.com/Welcome.html where I picked up three HO Scale Spirit Of 76 Bicentennial train cars, and met some older railfans that also come to Kansas City on a regular basis in addition to having a regular first Friday of the month gathering at Hog Wild Barbecue http://www.hogwildpitbbq.com/ there in Wichita, they clued me in to a nearby ramp that would allow me to walk up and get pics of all the Transportation Museum’s equipment. Between the unique layout of the store, friendly guy running the place and the great info I picked up  that led to these pics:

I am giving Hewitt’s Antiques 5 out 0f 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks!
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Also tried stopping by the Wichita Toy Train Club & Museum: you guessed it: Closed.

I gave them my contact info, and hope to meet up with them when they come to Kansas City and even hope to get back down to Wichita for a weekend for one of their gatherings in the near future. After taking pics of all the awesome equipment, I was able to catch this BNSF led auto rack train that has also been shared on my Railroad Auto Racks Facebook page. It was appropriate to catch some Kansas City Southern 125th Anniversary cars on my 250th LOTR Fan Video. The reason the bottom of the the train is obscured is similar to the reason I only caught the trailing DPU’s of the coal train in St Joseph, Missouri.

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Later, we walked the trails at Chisholm Creek Park http://www.gpnc.org/chisholm.htm and got some great exercise as we enjoyed their paved and wooden trails, streams, prairie land, and enjoyed watch a deer as another couple that were there were taking pics and video of it. Nothing better than a walk in a gorgeous park on an equally gorgeous day, and I am giving the park 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.
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Dinner that night was at the Monterrey Mexican Grill. You can check them out on their Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/monterreymexicangrillwichita/  . They offered a clean enjoyable atmosphere with decor that made you feel like you are walking the sidewalk of a classic Mexican town, taking in all the business storefronts.  The staff was friendly, and were quick with service. The food was excellent. The fajita meals Denise and I ordered were each big enough that we could have just shared one. I did have to go find our server when we were ready to go and needed our guest check, but she was again quick to respond and even got us refills on our sodas to go. And hey, there were real paper towels in the restroom (even if the paper towel dispenser was motion activated). I’m going to rant a bit here and say, have we grown so lazy, or so germophobic, (or both) as a society that we need motion-activated lighting, motion-activated sinks, motion-activated flushing urinals or toilets, or motion-activated paper towel dispensers? What happens when those fancy gadgets break down? I’m a firm believer in the following phrase (and say it frequently in many places that are part of my life) as Mr Scott said in Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock: “The more ya’ overtake tha’ plumbin’……tha easier it is ta’ stop up tha’ drain!” And when people rave about how much easier some things will make life, I again refer to Scotty “Aye, and if me grandmother had wheels, she’d be a wagon!” But anyway, I’m giving the Monterrey Mexican Grill of Wichita 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks

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On Monday 2/20/17, after breakfast at our hotel, we stopped at the Wichita Kmart that like most these days is going out of business where among many other things we bought, I purchased a Caterpillar Train Set that was originally $17.99 but with the discount was just $9.00. I have a Caterpillar Train Set in I believe O Scale and I’m not big into Caterpillar items, but I figured I am always adding to the other various areas of my train collection, so why not Caterpillar? I may even start a Facebook page for Caterpillar Train Collectors as I have done a search as I do before I start other pages to make sure my idea would not be boringly redundant, and there doesn’t seem to be one currently. I’ll update you in my next posting if I do. Not going to rate Kmart as the fact that they are going out of business, and you already know whet most stores in that process look like, it would be pointless.

On our way to have lunch at the home of Craig & Cynthia Coffey, I saw the Kansas & Oklahoma https://www.watcocompanies.com/services/rail/kansas-and-oklahoma-railroad-ko/ train and though I wasn’t sure if it was coming our way or going away from us as it was on switching operations, it was something unique that I had never seen  and that is always a thrill, so here you go:

Well, there you have it. The trip wasn’t a total bust, as I got a weekend away with my wife, got to fellowship with some great friends, get lots of exercise and still came away with several great rail pics, a couple videos and something else to report about here on the blog.

Again, hope you will check out the Legacies On The Rails Podcast on Podomatic.com and I will be updating it most likely on March 2nd, and that you will also check out all the LOTR Fan Videos on my You Tube Channel, as well as the following Facebook pages:

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (Burlington Route)

Fans Of The Kansas City Terminal Railway

Rail Box Freight Car Fans

Railroad Bridges, Related Photos & Video

Railroad Auto Racks

Union Pacific Flag Units

As always, this is John LoshThe Losh-Man“, encouraging you to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior if you have not already, and follow him through His word and prayer each day, stay in an uncompromisingly Bible believing, Bible preaching church, as these are the only way to truly stay on track. And, when it comes to trains, and everything that is railroading, continue leaving “Legacies…On The Rails!” I’ll see you next time!

 

Confessions Of The Pastor Assisting Railfan

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Welcome back to Legacies….On The Rails! I’d say after 9 months, it’s about time, wouldn’t you??? Well, as you can see from the picture above taken just last Friday 9/16/16 of the Illinois Terminal Heritage Unit (Norfolk Southern 1072) at the North Kansas City/Avondale, Missouri Norfolk Southern Yard, my railfanning of late has had a large emphasis on 1. Hunting the “Heritage Units“, which are specially decorated locomotives most in my current favorite model, the SD70ACE, that celebrate the heritage of what are known as the “Fallen Flags“, the railroads no longer in operation today. most of them have been absorbed by still operating railroads.

I am also enjoying getting pics and or video every chance I can of the Fallen Flags that despite being taken over by other companies, have either not yet repainted some of the fallen flag equipment, or maybe don’t plan to repaint some, again…to keep that no longer operating “road’s” history and heritage alive.

In the months since my last posting, I have caught nearly 10 of these specially decorated Heritage Locomotives. The one you see above came on a tip last Friday from my Facebook/Railfan buddy Darryl Hall Jr. He has tipped me off that NS 8105 (the Interstate Railroad Heritage Unit) may be at my local yard today or tomorrow and I hope to add it to my trophy list of Heritage Units caught so far.

Here are some more Heritage Unit Pics.

Here are some pics of those Fallen Flag equipment that are simply still in original paint that I have been catching as well. I also created a Facebook album just today on my page (John W Losh II) that features all these pics.

But, for you to really get the jist of my railfan exploits since my last posting, here is Episode 10 just recorded earlier this morning of the Legacies On The Rails Radio (Podcast) that I am actually planning on making a major part of this blog, so that I have to do less typing, since I already do a rough draft on paper, it is easier to speak than to type.

I hope to be reporting this Saturday as I will be heading from Kansas City to Columbia, Missouri to take my son (a Political Science Major at the University Of Missouri) to the Mizzou/Delaware State football game, and plan to make some railfan stops along the way, including Blackwater, Mo (home of the Iron Horse Hotel) as I have been there twice before, but have not had time to stick around long enough to catch any trains there, but should most certainly this time.

Until next time, continue to follow the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart, mind and soul, and when it comes to trains, continue leaving Legacies….On The Rails!

 

Local Rail-Fanning And Out Of Town Trips Yield Much More Than Expected

As I sit here listening to Tim Harrison and Craig Bisgeier on Model Railcast Show #210, http://themodelrailcastshow.com/2015/06/mrcs-show-210-the-rose-knows-op-special-with-mike-rose-and-lawrence-order-swu-safe-wiring-unit-with-larry-eggering/ , that they were kind enough to mention me and the Legacies On The Rails Podcast in, I have to tell you that the last time I thought of doing a posting on here, I though “Well….I don’t have much to share except for a few local pics”. Even though I had more than enough pics to share from my usual local haunts of the KC-Front St KC Southern Knoche Yard, and the North Kansas City located BNSF Murray Yard, and  Norfolk Southern to also finally discovering where Mid-America Car is off KC’s Riverfront Rd just across from the Knoche Yard and getting some shots there. Too many to share everything. We started vacation on the weekend of June 21st and I don’t return to work until July 10th, so lots more time for rail-fanning.

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Then, my wife and I taking yet another get-away just the two of us, returning to Branson, Missouri and on the way there, I caught some pics and even a short video from the BNSF Yard in Springfield, Missouri.

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Once in Branson, we did not initially plan to, but later decided to again ride the Branson Scenic Railway.

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Once on board, all the Branson Scenic Railway staff like David, who has been with them since just after our last ride in July, 2014, after retiring, and driving around the country solo is his RV for a while, but finally settling in Branson to be near his sister who is a local resident,and who really loves all the people he meets on the BSR, and John, who was in the Kansas City area for thirty years before retiring and loves trains, and people, and Karen, and David, all took really good care of us.

They seated us with Norman & Carrie Bruggeman from Waterloo, Iowa who are newlyweds, having just gotten married the previous Saturday in Waterloo, after four years of traveling together as he drove a truck, and later we sat for a bit with Dale & Joann from Cincinatti, Ohio.

While in town, we checked out various antique malls and thrift stores, and I picked up a few items for my growing railroad collection. I also picked up some from the Trade Fair Mall (Antiques) in Osceola, Missouri both on the drive down and the return trip to Kansas City.

Speaking of my collection, I have now rearranged how some of it is displayed, and have had some of my pics turned into 8 x 10’s that have now been added, and have also used 3 x 5 index cards to place near the various trains and train cars that state what railroad they are from, and its history-which has been just that, a great history lesson for me. Some of my recent acquisitions include items relating to  Canadaian Pacific’s The Dominion Steam Locomotive, The St Louis-San Francisco Railroad, New York Central, and New Haven. If you really want to see everything, I would suggest, if you are already my Facebook Friend, check out my albums under Railroadin’ and My Railroad Collection. If you are not, send me a request at John W Losh II. You will also see that I have now also began to modify postings of other friends’ rail photos as well as my own, to further share my faith in Jesus Christ by taking the Road # from the various trains, and finding scripture verses to post that correspond to the Road #.

I then, upon my return to Kansas City, had to meet a buddy that I had sold some of my sports card collection to in the past, as he was buying some more that I found in my rec-room closet, and I knew that right near there,I could always find freight cars sitting on a siding, so I took a few moments to go shoot them.

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The next day, we had to turn around and leave for Columbia, Missouri where our University Of Missouri student Son lives and works, as our Daughter Cara was a State Finalist in the National American Miss-Missouri Teen Pageant. Here is a video I put together using my new favorite app Viva Video, of pictures from the weekend, both at the Pageant, as well as time with our Son.

And, though Columbia is practically a ghost town as far as railroads go, I was able to find some free time, and drove a couple exits east on I-70 and found some freight cars outside a Honeywell facility, as well as a cool locomotive outside Colt Transload.

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But then on Sunday, I was able to be in what is what I call my “Home Church Away From Home” of Renick Church in Renick, Missouri where my Cousin Robert Turpin (the one I told you early on is largely responsible for starting me on the Genealogy journey that has led to the rail-fan in me coming to life) and his family attends, which was great because though I have been in his area numerous times over the past year, just for a few hours here and there, his schedule had not been allowing for us to get together and had really missed him and his family. I was privileged to have him introduce me for the benefit of those who may not have known me, and to let them know that I was taking pics to turn into a video, and I also got to lead the closing prayer at the end of the service. Here is the video.

But as far as being a rail-fan is concerned,the best….was yet to come! I soon found out that as Manager for two Fastenal Stores in the area, Robert services all the local railroads, and that his family’s current home in Huntsville, Missouri has railroad tracks actively used daily by all the same Norfolk Southern and BNSF trains that I see come through the Norfolk Southern Yard here locally. He was even able to take me to the Norfolk Southern Yard in Moberly, Missouri, as well as showing me the exterior of the local rail museum in Moberly that includes a Wabash Caboose and a Pullman car on display. It is my hope that this recent re-connection we made will lead to him nailing down a weekend soon for me to come stay with them, as we could pretty much just set up at the edge of his backyard and shoot pics and video all day long, and who knows where else he could take me.

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Here is a video I put together from my pics from all these recent rail-fan excursions. Again, using Viva Video.

Now, during that same weekend, I had hoped…to meet with Tom Conboy of the Terminal Talk Model Railroad Podcast, https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/terminaltalk-model-railroad/id595057410?mt=2 but his schedule of church commitments just didn’t allow us to. And, as the Assistant to Pastor Russ Steel of local New Life Baptist Church, I certainly understand what it is to be busy in ministry. Here are some of Tom’s recent videos.

And, since I was there, here are some pics that Robert posted earlier today of a Loram Maintenance Of Way train that he caught near his home.

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I jokingly stated on Facebook that this is what happens when your Rail-Fan Cousin comes to visit for the afternoon-he has been assimilated! But, I am have yet another out of town adventure with lots of rail-fan potential yet to come. This Friday, July 3rd, I will point the Legacies On The Rails Cruiser in the direction of West Plains, Missouri, via Springfield Missouri where I will return to the Jefferson Avenue Foot Bridge that my wife and I visited in April, 2014 which is a great Rail-Fan site. This is before heading to my Hotel-the Super 8 in West Plains, where I will stay for two nights to attend my Losh/Worley Family Reunion (the 41st Annual) at the Lions Club Hall in Willow Springs, Missouri on Saturday July 4th. Willow Springs, from what I’ve read, has 20-30 + trains a day passing through, via tracks that are right near our reunion location and that’s just what I know for sure is on my agenda at this point. Indications are that there is a BNSF yard in West Plains, and the list goes on. So, the towns of West Plains and Willow Springs will be assimilated-resistance to Legacies On The Rails is futile!

I also hope to record more Legacies On The Rails Podcasts along the trip. Here is the link to all the current shows.http://www.podomatic.com/podcast . One of them is not a Legacies On The Rails show, but I needed somewhere to Podcast the audio of a speech my daughter gave at the National American Miss Pageant, so be sure and check it out as well.

Let’s wrap up with some Woody Guthrie-This Train Is Bound For Glory . 

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I’m John Losh, thanking you for tuning in again, and hope you will continue to as we continue to leave Legacies……..On The Rails!

Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly Volume One

Welcome to the first edition of Model Rail Experience Weekly. This will be an effort to document the weekly activities and special events at, as well as the history and volunteer staff that make the Model Rail Experience at Union Station possible. I am a relatively new volunteer there and am not sure just what my role will be but I suspect as I am a less than technical or mechanical person, though I am willing to try anything asked of me, I suspect  that it will be largely in a documentary role through this blog, pictures and videos.

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On Friday, February 13th as I was arriving to put in some volunteer hours at the Model Rail Experience, I parked and began my day with what every rail fan loves to do, especially at Union Station, getting pictures and video. This  Union Pacific stack train was preparing to move out West-Bound, so I go the photo and the video. That’s one thing that visiting Union Station will always provide any rail-fan with, picture and video opportunities. So be sure to visit the rear lot when you come and see what you can catch. Once I was inside the Model Rail Experience, Ted Tschirhart who heads up the volunteer staff at the MRE, informed me that it had been a pretty typical week at the MRE  and that the MRE staff were preparing for a layout at the Johnson County Home & Garden Show at the Overland Park Convention Center this past weekend 2/20-2/22 . I will have a report for you on how that went in the next edition of Model Rail Experience Weekly. Ted also shared that one of the greatest needs the MRE has right now is someone that could put lighting inside the many buildings featured in the various scale layouts. If you are someone with that skillset and would like to help, please come see Ted at the Model Rail Experience.

One of the things we at the MRE seek to begin doing is to educate folks about the various different scales of model trains being run at the MRE and to eventually create a user guide to have at each layout so those observing can do more than just that, but be able to begin to comprehend what they are seeing and the operations, locomotives and cars that make up the set. I chose to begin with concentrating on the HO Scale. This is the most popular gauge of model railroads out there, and provides for the most track, car, locomotive, scenery and other supplies to help HO Scale modelers create the best and most interesting layouts that their imaginations, as well as help from online videos, model rail publications, podcasts, clinics and tv shows can create. Here are a couple of pictures of the HO Scale layouts featured at the Model Rail Experience. HO Scale is actually 1/87 so one foot equals 87 feet. Here is something from Wikipedia about HO Scale Trainshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HO_scale .

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This particular HO Scale layout got its start in Match, 2014. It had two mountains recently added. Some of the rocks you see are real, some are made from plaster and are painted. It can run up to 13 trains on the layout. The day I was there, Ted had trains running from CB&Q, Santa Fe, Rio Grande, Union Pacific, Baltimore & Ohio, KC Southern, Norfolk & Western, Perie Marquette, Ashley Drew & Northern, and Reading. There were many, many other railroads represented by locomotives and cars that were just serving in a display role. I asked Ted if he knew how many individual rail cars and locomotives make up any certain layout and he said too many to guess. There are easily hundreds just on this layout alone, and more are added as the MRE acquires more pieces through donations or purchases allowed by the MRE budget, that comes strictly through donations. Some of the buildings on display in this, or any of the MRE layouts represent actual businesses past or present in Kansas City, Missouri. Most are donated while others are scratch-built by MRE volunteers, either at the MRE facility, or in their own model rail workshops at home, and brought in to be added to the layouts. My next step was to begin to get to know more of my fellow Model Rail Experience volunteers, and sought their wisdom to learn more about the history and operations of some of the MRE layouts. Here they are with one of the layouts that is made up of
several different scales.

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Left to right are Louis Seibel, Dave Taylor and Bob Ryan. Louis resides in Olathe, Kansas. He was formerly a part of the volunteers that ran a model rail layout that was on display at the Kansas City Museum. It was started in 1985. When the layout was moved to Union Station in 1991 (and is now a part of the layouts the guys are with in the picture), he came with it. He is a member of the Mokan Rail Joiners that turns 35 years old this year as well as being part of the Turkey Creek Division on the National Model Rail Association. He prefers working with HO Scale and also does garden railroading.

Dave has been a Model Rail Experience volunteer since 2005 and prefers to work with all the various scales that we feature.Bob Ryan started at the MRE in 2008 after a church family member brought him down and got him into it. Bob enjoys the variety of activity that being a MRE volunteer provides and especially enjoys doing projects here from scratch into a finished product. Bob has a Lionel layout in his home.

While I was there on 2/13/15, I had the opportunity to speak with Bob Deaddy from Lenexa, Kansas who was visiting the MRE with his wife and four grandchildren, ranging from age four to ten. He said he has never seen such a diverse model rail facility like the MRE before but did remember seeing a layout that the Model Rail Experience had in the main lobby about five years ago. He said his family had a 4×8 layout in their home when his children were young. He has fond memories of actually jumping on and trains in the early 1950’s when he lived near Springfield, Ohio. Not a practice that anyone in the rail community will encourage today that I certainly understand as a certified speaker (still looking for my first presentation or table opportunity) for Operation Lifesaver-the rail safety program, since December, 2014.

Another thing that made Friday 2/13/15 interesting is that we had a visit from Larry Elmore of Discover Vintage America Magazine, who interviewed all the MRE volunteer staff for an upcoming edition of the popular magazine that you will find in antique stores/malls, flea markets and much more. https://www.facebook.com/DiscoverVintageAmerica

We hope you will come see us at the Kansas City Union Station’s Model Rail Experience soon and maybe think about joining the volunteer staff or making donations that will help us continue to leave Legacies………..On The Rails!

Legacies On The Rails Roadshow Rolls Into Parkville, Missouri

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As I sit here at home, watching DVD’s of “All Aboard: Great American Railroads” that I received from my wife for Christmas 2014, I am more excited to write this post than probably any other I have done on any of my blog sites!  Among my various Facebook pages is Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (Burlington Route). It currently has 28 members. Among its newest is my Facebook Friend and brother in Christ, Craig Coffey.

Recently I asked if there are any of the old CB&Q depots still standing. Craig immediately shared the fact that the building that had once served as City Hall for Parkville, Missouri is a former CB&Q Depot, and the current City Hall in Weston, Missouri (that is also a rail museum) is also a former CB&Q Depot that Craig’s own father’s items are on display in. I then found sites like this one:

Parkville, MO train station

It documents all the still existing depots in Missouri. I also located sites that document all the still existing steam engines on display in Missouri. This gave me an exciting idea. The Legacies On The Rails Road Show that will make at least weekly “Whistle Stops” (a nod to the old steam era as well as to President  Harry S. Truman‘s “Whistle Stop Tour“) at some of the depots and steam engine displays located here in the Kansas City, Missouri area and eventually at many of the others across Missouri, and being recorded on video and pictures and being shared here on the Legacies On The Rails blog. Later there will be the state of Kansas and many others to take on!

I decided that Parkville, Missouri would be the very first “Whistle Stop” on the Legacies On The Rails Roadshow and had just the person in mind to accompany me on this new adventure. Brandon Gott-my longtime friend, also brother in Christ and owner of the Barista De Casa coffee shop http://baristadecasa.com/ that I frequent and do a lot of my writing from, and is mentioned in the acknowledgements of my latest book project 30 Godly Lessons From My Life-Volume One https://www.createspace.com/5275569?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026 had recently told me about a guy he knew I would want to meet. His name is Jordan Gallacher. Jordan is a brother rail-fan and loves taking photos of moving trains. His Twitter handle is @railmaster87. He is taking guitar lessons like I probably should be since I own one that I can’t play. He loves biking and walking. Here’s the thing: Jordan is blind. just from what I heard, I  already admired him., so yeah, had to meet him! So we became Facebook Friends and arranged to meet at Barista De Casa yesterday morning, and once I had my raspberry mocha in hand, we headed to the Legacies On The Rails Cruiser and off to downtown Parkville.

On the way into Parkville on 9 Highway, we got lucky and caught this east-bound BNSF Coal Drag.

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There would be other rail videos (most I’ve captured in a single day) and pictures to get but the real treat was the fantastic lady we would soon meet when we arrived at the 1889 erected CB&Q Depot that as I mentioned later served as Parkville, Missouri‘s City Hall that currently houses the Parkville Chamber of Commerce.….and the Cathy Kline Art Gallery. (CathyKlineArtGallery@gmail.com) .

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Here is Cathy outside her gallery with her promo banner, as well as displaying a news article about the history of this former CB&Q Depot that was active for passenger traffic until the 1970’s. Cathy was also featured in the Novenber-December issue of North Magazine in an article she authored called “Present day masters in Parkville” on pages 54,55. Cathy has the distinction of being the only local gallery that features the work of Kearney, Missouri resident, artist and sculptor Gary Staab whose work has been featured on the Discovery Channel, and he has produced sculptures for the Smithsonian Institute, Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the National Geographic Society. And that’s just to mention a few of his accomplishments! You can view his work at http://www.staabstudios.com/

Here is a piece that quickly caught my eye that she did of Colorado’s Silverton Narrow Guage Railroad that I own some collectible items representing and a DVD that profiles it.

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Here are some pics I took of old photos from the history of the Parkville Depot.

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Here is one of the two windows that passengers used to be able to purchase their tickets from:

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Among the many pieces on display in the Cathy Kline Art Gallery are these pieces painted by others that Cathy teaches art to that are their renderings of the depot building.

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Here is Cathy-assisted by her dog “Bogie”-named after Humphrey Bogart-which anyone that knows my love of classic movies knows I was loving, giving us the tour of the depot and her gallery

Here is a KC Southern Coal Drag that rumbled past the depot/gallery (which is now my new favorite rail-fan spot):

But what developed during our visit was potentially the start of a great addition to the Legacies On The Rails Roadshow. Cathy was fascinated by some of the info that Jordan and I shared about trains and said she would love to incorporate more railroad pieces into the gallery and maybe even feature a section of them in her upcoming show “Wine & Spirits & Art-Oh, My!” I hinted that may-be it could be named the Legacies On The Rails section. She loves the title and what it represents, and says she can do that! We even discussed doing an eventual railroad-only art show wait for it….the Legacies On The Rails Art Show that could feature not only railroad art, but a model railroad display (here’s where the boys from Heartland N-Trak Of Greater KC, the Great Northern Railroad, and Union Station’s Model Rail Experience that as I shared last time, I am a new volunteer with, could get involved. Could even have a table for Operation Lifesaver.

Could become a yearly event, and though she and I need to discuss that later, I’m thinking maybe eventually a traveling show that could visit other former train depots! Cathy shared that the current Parkville City Hall has some railroad items on display (turned out to be all CB&Q which I was loving) so that was the next stop for Jordan and I before we called it a day, for me to return him to Liberty and me to head to work. Along the way, we heard this coming behind us on Main St and as I started to come about, Jordan’s heightened senses told him it was too close for me to catch the front of but I was convinced I could still do so. Guess what-he was right! Later as I sat there, I thought “Wait, I should still capture some of it!”

Here are just some of the CB&Q treasures displayed in the upstairs of Parkville City Hall (not showing all of them, don’t want to spoil it for ya’):

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This first stop was everything Jordan and I I hoped for but soooo much more! So I hope you look forward to many more “Whistle Stops” along the Legacies On The Rails Roadshow, and I’d like to thank Craig Coffey for helping ignite this idea, and thank Cathy Kline and the Parkville Chamber Of Commerce for helping preserve and care for the Parkville Depot, as it continues to leave Legacies…..On The Rails!