Tag Archives: Kansas City

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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All Aboard For The Legacies On The Rails Art Show And Local Rail Action!

I’ve been needing to update this for some time. But now that I am, let me kick this off by inviting you to the Legacies On The Rails Railroad Art Show. this will be a month-long event and it “heads down the rails” on that journey with a reception on Saturday, August 1st, 2015 6pm-8pm CT at the Cathy Kline Art Gallery located at 8701 NW Riverpark Dr in Parkville, Missouri which is, you may recall from my February 11th posting, a former CB&Q Depot that also houses the Parkville Area Chamber Of Commerce.

If you are an artist interested in having your work displayed for sale during the show, you must contact Cathy Kline on Facebook under her name or Cathy Kline Art Gallery or cathyklineartgallery@gmail.com and have your work submitted no later than July 30th. The best part is, 10% of sales for August will benefit the Model Rail Experience at Kansas City Union Station-which I am waaaay behind on making an appearance at. Will do that this coming week. Looking forward to seeing a good donation made to them and hopeful that this can become at least a yearly event, if not more frequent-we’ll have to see. But I am so incredibly humbled that my friend Cathy is hosting this event, and naming it after the LOTR blog and Podcast, and I hope you will seriously plan to come and be a part of it!

Since my trips to Branson and Columbia, (almost forgot to share this), I have been to my yearly Losh/Worley Family Reunion (our 41st annual) in Willow Springs, Missouri. That was over the 4th of July weekend. Along the way,I made stops at the Jefferson Avenue Foot Bridge in Springfield, Missouri, that overlooks the rail yard there in Downtown Springfield and got lots of pics and video, as well as getting pics and video at the crossing that is just down the road from the Lion’s Club Hall where we have the reunion, in Willow Springs, and getting pics and video in Cabool, and Diggins, Missouri on my drive back to Kansas City. As technical difficulties have reared their ugly head today, just going to share the videos that I know you will still enjoy.

But, getting back to local stuff, I have been down to the gallery several times lately, delivering items to help bring more permanent railroad atmosphere, including HO Scale train cars, a brake service valve for standard railroad freight cars that comes courtesy of New York Air Brake, which you will also recall from a previous LOTR POSTING, and as I have been into getting some of my train photos enlarged lately, in addition to several 8×10’s I am now displaying with my rail collection at home, I had a couple 11×14’s made (all from the Gladstone, Missouri Wal-Mart’s Photo Center) that are from outside the Art Gallery, as well as in neighboring Riverside, Missouri, in hopes that they can be displayed there-although my skill as  a photographer may or may not be suitable for them to be displayed there but if not, I will simply bring them home and display them. Of course, anytime I go down there, I make time to watch and listen for trains, and have caught a few.

Was going to share photos too, but the aforementioned technical difficulties as far as time’s sake (and my nerves) goes, is making that impractical right now.

In addition to that, I got a really good tip from former school classmate and now buddy from New Life Baptist Church, Todd Hawes that the BNSF Yard off Metropolitan Ave behind the Walmart in Kansas City, Kansas was a hopping place, and he wasn’t kidding. Got these pics and video, by standing on a huge mound of gravel on an open piece of land next to Walmart. Thanks, Todd! I will return often. I also caught a WAMX Switcher working some “Oil Cans” off 22nd/Kansas Ave and got some UP Engines off SB 7th St Trafficway. KCK is a major rail hub that I encourage any railfan to check out! Again, just going to share the videos this time. Enjoy.

In addition, I took my daughter Cara out rail-fanning one day, (the first of hopefully many) in hopes that she can score some photos worthy of display at the Cathy Kline Art Gallery. We hit some spots in Liberty, Missouri, the Chouteau Grain Elevator off Birmingham Rd just southwest of N Brighton Ave/210 Hwy, and caught the train the freight cars we shot belonged to, led by Santa Fe Blue Bonnet #3174 over by the former Sam’s Town Casino.

Then, while I went to NKC Hospital to visit my mother-in-law who unfortunately is there for her nearly 15th time in the past year, and like some of the other times, has been stuck there for over a month now, I found a great vantage point on a hill on the  Armour Rd side of the hospital and shot trains leaving EB from the Norfolk Southern yard and got several pictures and a video. Glad I can share both this time.

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A couple days later, I even got a pic of my very first railroad Heritage Locomotive, in the Norfolk Southern Veteran’s Unit #6920 when I looked out of my Mother-In-Law’s hospital room on Sunday afternoon (that overlooks the NS Yard) and saw it sitting there. Unfortunately, it was blocked in so much that the best I could do was a long-distance shot from the roof of the hospital’s Pavilion parking garage. But I’ll take that!

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As always, want to give a shout out to all my fellow rail-fans, whose pictures and videos I continue to share daily on my Facebook page, like Jim Matuska, Justin Spencer,Dave Mcdowell, Shane Mason, Railfan Jason, George Li, Tim White. My friend Alan Dewey, who was a recent guest on the LOTR Podcast and this past weekend, was riding the Amtrak Missouri River Runner from Kansas City to St Louis, and I hope to be able to share his story either here, or on the Podcast soon. So many more to say Hey to. Also my thanks  to those who do railroad podcasts like Tim and Craig on the Model Railcast Show, the Model Railway Show, Tom Conboy’s Terminal Talk in both Podcast and video, the Let’s Talk Trains Show, The Scotty Mason Show, Tom Barbalet and company on Model Rail Radio, and The Rip Track Podcast. Your shows continue to help make my work-days go by much smoother, and also continue to inspire me to keep leave Legacies…….On The Rails!

Here again is Roy Acuff with the now signature tune of Legacies On The Rails, Wabash Cannonball. I’m John Losh, and I’ll see you down the line!

Anniversary/Rail-Fan Trip Was Well Worth It

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly Volume Three

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

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

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

Heartland N-Trak Of KC Is A Hidden Gem In Liberty

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Between 2010 and 2011 a great venue for model railroaders in the Northland area of Kansas City opened but because of its location, a lot of folks, like me, may not have known about it. That is Heartland N Trak Of Kansas City. N Trak is the scale of model railroading that is smaller in size than HO Scale. I have two people to thank for helping me find it. Brandon Gott-my friend and owner of nearby Barista De Casa http://baristadecasa.com/ and Jan Bratcher of Bratcher Cooperage http://www.bratchercooperage.com/ .

This 1000 square foot facility, located at 131 S Water St in the basement (Garden Level) of the Corbin Mill Square building in Liberty, Missouri, below the Stars Dance Studio, couldn’t ask for a better venue, despite its obscurity, as tracks that saw railroads service the building up until about 25 years ago, are right outside. Through World War II, it saw about 100 rail carloads of coal a year and if you dig down in some of its surrounding soil, you will likely find some leftover coal.

The group currently has 25 members, including President Dick Cooper, Tom Williams, Terry Downs and Bob Osbourne who brought his Grandson Shane Mason to the N Trak facility a while back and got talked into joining with him. Shane, with help from Mark Myers, is the group’s tech expert. He also posts You-Tube videos as promos for the group, as well as under his own tag of TheBrakeman17 like these:

Membership to the Heartland N-Trak Of Kansas City is $35.00 to join and $25.00 a year thereafter. You get a hat when you join, and there are t-shirts available for purchase. They meet the first Sunday of each month, usually gathering about 1pm and having the  official meeting at 3pm. They are open Saturdays 10am-3pm (sometimes as late as 4pm).

Here are some photos I took inside the Heartland N-Trak facility that will give you a better idea of their layout.

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The folks at Heartland N-Trak Of Kansas City want you to know that they will be open during the 2014 Liberty Fall Festival this coming weekend http://www.libertyfallfest.com/ and will also have a booth at Gladfest 2014
http://www.gladstonechamber.com/events/gladfest .

If you are in the Northland, or don’t mind driving to it and are looking for a great place to hang out with a wonderful group of fellow train nuts, then you need to come visit Heartland N-Trak Of Kansas City, in Liberty, Missouri! You know I’m famous for saying it-You’ll be glad you did!  They are just one more great venue in the KC Metro area that are leaving Legacies…….On The Rails!!

Here is some more railroad music for your listening pleasure!