Tag Archives: Louis Seibel

Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly Volume Four

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience Weekly Volume Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!