Tag Archives: St Louis 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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St Joseph Missouri Rail History Hunting

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Welcome back to another edition of Legacies…On The Rails! I appreciate you joining me again as we close out another week here in early 2017.  So, what’s a Railfan to do on his birthday when he’s turning 29 for the 18th time and has the day off with his wife? Why a Railfan road-trip, of course!

Just as I indicated in my last posting as we planned on Wednesday 2/8/17, we headed about an hour north of Kansas City to St Joseph. By the time we hit town, it was time for lunch and our Google Maps search for food found us a cozy little place called The Diner On Francis Street https://www.facebook.com/TheDinerOnFrancis/ . It is owned and operated by Chef Karlon Ray Ables, aka: “Scrappy“.  He said he started the establishment last June but didn’t really “get going” until about August. Not only did a very appetizing aroma greet us when we walked in but “Scrappy” was a very gracious host, and was quick with the service and did a great job with my wife Denise’s Hot Beef Sandwich and my Cheeseburger that came with perfectly seasoned steak fries. It also turned out that he comes from four generations of railroad workers!

He shared that his Grandfather Roy Lease was an engineer for the Burlington and when the CB&Q 5614 Steam Locomotive (pictured above) was brought to St Joseph to be donated and displayed in its current home in St Joe’s Patee Park, his grandfather drove it from Omaha to St Joseph and “Scrappy” got to ride it from Forest City to St Joseph! We also met another friendly gentleman there whose neighbor and others he knows are big into model railroading and he knows several folks that have worked on the railroads in the area. I look forward to hearing from them so I can bring you their stories as well!

The Diner On Francis Street already had decor on all the tables that showed that Chef Karlon Ray Ables was ready for the Valentine’s Day crowd and we hope he sees lots of folks that day, ready for a romantic and delicious dinner!

With our stomachs full and content from Scrappy’s great home cooking, we headed to the Patee House Museum http://www.ponyexpressjessejames.com/patee/index.php that opened in 1860 as a luxury hotel that now houses pretty much everything for the St Joe history lover, including a replica old town street complete with businesses you could walk right into including Photography Studio, Newspaper Office, General Store, Dentist, Optician, Physician, Blacksmith, Undertaker, Barber, Bank, and Dressmaker.

Of Course, the most important to me was the Railroad Station complete with signals, schedules, and pictures, and many artifacts on display.

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But the “icing on the cake” as far as the museum goes for me was the  CB&Q/Hannibal & Missouri steam locomotive #35The Missouri“(the very first mail train).

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I picked up some postcards and even a key-chain, all with the #35 on them as souvenirs from their gift shop. I later realized that when my daughter Cara and I visited our cousin George Hess and his family for a day in March, 2015, I had my picture taken with a mural there in Downtown Chillicothe, Missouri (another town that the CB&Q was a prevalent railroad in) that you have seen in a previous blog entry, and it turns out that in a way of speaking, this is not the 1st time the #35 and I have crossed paths.

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There were also model train pieces and even a working layout in the facility as well.

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Our next stop was the Jesse James Home & Museum, https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g44880-d290950-Reviews-Jesse_James_Home_Museum-Saint_Joseph_Missouri.html on a different part of the property. It is where Jesse was living when he was gunned down by Bob Ford, and though he and his brother Charlie Ford were acting as hitmen hired by the Governor to assassinate James, they were not supposed to shoot him in the back, and were the arrested and convicted of murder, but later pardoned, and each was only given $750 each of the overall $10,000 they were promised, and were told to get out of town. Charlie later committed suicide, while Bob was eventually gunned gown in a saloon brawl.  This is of particular interest to us as it is believed that Henry Lafayette Barr, who married Jesse James’ daughter Mary Susan James is a relative of my wife’s on her Paternal Grandmother Daisy Mae Barr-Mapes‘ (wife of a KC Southern man, Denise’s Grandfather William R Mapes Sr, and mother of some KCS workers in the Mulberry-Pittsburg, Ks area) side, we just need to establish the official connection and I am in the processs of Geneaology research hoping to eventually do just that.

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Of course, of further interest to me is the fact that James and his various gangs wre known for not only bank and stage, but train robberies, as indicated in the Wanted Poster above.
Some of their train heists included their very first, and believed to be the very first Old West train robbery of the Rock Island & Pacific near Adair, Iowa July 21st 1873. They broke a piece of the rail and caused the train to derail into a ditch. When they didn’t find what they were looking for, they robbed passengers of their wares.

There is a historical marker at the spot of the robbery now, as there also are at the sites of all of James’ rumored 8 total train robberies. They also include the Gads Hill Train Robbery of the train from St Louis, Missouri to Little Rock that was currently in the stage of its journey that took it from Malvern Park to Hot Springs, Arkansas that took place just after they robbed the General Store in Gads Hill on January 15th, 1874 and the Blue Cut Train Robbery in Glendale, Missouri because they believed the Chicago & Alton train was carrying $1,000 to $3,000 in gold, but they found and got away with considerably less. Credit to westerntrips.blogspot.com , sundowntrailblog.com , and biography.com for much of this information.

Our final stop of mention on the day was the Remington Nature Center https://www.visitmo.com/remington-nature-center-of-st-joseph.aspx . On the way there, as it sits next to railroad tracks that sit along the river, I saw a BNSF coal train headed in our direction and as it was my only opportunity for actual live rail-fanning that day, I hoped to catch it in both pics and video, but #1 as coal trains are often known as “Coal Drags” because of their low speed, this one was anything but…..it had to be the fastest coal train I have yet seen as it was flat haulin’! #2, we had to turn around in Remington’s parking lot and let’s just say (as we were in her new car with her driving, my wife just does not have my lead train-chasing foot as I would behind the wheel of the Legacies On The Rails Cruiser, so these shots of Citirail (CREX) 1341 (ES44AC) and BNSF 5714 (AC4400CW) were the best I could get.

But the Remington Nature Center did also have displays related to railroads in St Jospeh, both past and present and a replica of the front of the CB&Q/Hannibal & Missouri “Missouri”, and information about it.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this bit of rail and other history from St Joseph, Missouri. I started this posting in Kansas City, Missouri but am finishing it from the Quality Inn in Wichita, Kansas where tomorrow, we’ll be on to our next railfan adventure!

As always, this is John LoshThe Losh-Man” reminding you to always follow the Lord Jesus Christ each day of your life which is the ONLY way to truly stay on track, and when it comes to trains, continue leaving Legacies…On The Rails! I’ll see you next time!

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