Tag Archives: Wichita Kansas

Rail Fan Update: First Four Months Of 2017

LOTR Post 17-2014

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!

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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!

 

Wichita, Kansas Railfan Info

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!