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Silver Rails Railfest Day 2 7/18/2011

by Chris Guenzler

We all left the Depot Inn and Suites at 7:00 AM by taking Missouri Highway 156 west out of La Plata. The gates went down at the BNSF tracks and we prepared for the first train of the day.

Union Pacific 8543 East. From here we continued west to Missouri Highway 3, taking that south onto Route J into Elmer where we spotted a headlight coming our way.

Union Pacific 7444 East with DPU's on the rear. We stayed on Route J until we turned left onto Route F which took us into Ethel and straight onto Missouri Highway 149. Another left onto Beaver Street then left on Crystal Lane took us to our first wooden bridge of the morning.

The old wooden bridge just west of Ethel.

Our group on the old wooden bridge just west of Ethel.

BNSF 5233 West came under us. We left by back-tracking north to Beaver Street then turned left onto Bayport Avenue to our second old wooden bridge.

A close-up view of the bridge.

It would be great for an eastbound train.

A more distant view of our location.

Our group's shadows down on the ballast.

BNSF 5204 West with a DPU on the rear. We continued down Bayport Avenue, turning right on Bison Street to Missouri VV then another right to our next old wooden bridge of the day.

BNSF 4728 East with Norfolk Southern 9439 as the rear unit. We went back south on Missouri VV to Missouri Z, turning right to reach the tracks at a grade crossing.

The Southwest Chief with Amtrak Heritage Unit 181 at the Missouri Z grade crossing. We went west of Missouri Z and turned left on Anchor Road to our last bridge of the morning.

Our fourth photo location, which no longer exists.

BNSF 7384 East. We went south down Anchor Road and turned right on Apple Street, which turned into Newton Road. Here we had two Union Pacific trains pass each other before we arrived.

The DPU's in the middle of the train and the rear of one of the two trains we just missed. From here we drove north to Missouri 129 which we took south towards Bucklin but stopped at the BNSF grade crossing.

BNSF 6254 East. After that we stopped in Bucklin where there was a train in the siding on the former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy line. After that we all were hungry so went to the Corner Cafe in Marceline for lunch then drove over to the station but the gates went down across Santa Fe Avenue.

BNSF 8236 East, after which we moved one crossing east to Crocker Street.

BNSF 5129 West with Oakway SD60 9025 as the second unit at Crocker Street in Marceline.

BNSF 7407 East. We returned to Missouri Highway 5 then turned on Broadway Street, went under the BNSF and turned left on Landau Drive north to the BNSF grade crossing.

BNSF 7234 West at Landau Drive.

BNSF 4100 East. We learned that the BNSF Matt Rose Special train had just flown through La Plata so decided to move to catch that train, taking Landau Drive north to Lisbon Road, turning right onto Mohawk Drive and set up to catch this special train.

A BNSF Special train with CEO Matt Rose aboard came with BNSF 6618, "Stampede Pass", "Rollins Pass", "Topeka", "Fred Harvey" and "Glacier View". With that we drove up to US Highway 36 which we took east to Callao, then turned left onto Route 3 north to Missouri Highway 156. Here we turned left to get to South Gifford to show everyone the old station.

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy South Gifford station. We returned to La Plata, stopping at to show our guests that then went back to the hotel for a two hour break where I wrote this story before driving to Kirksville for a good meal at Colton's Steakhouse. In the evening, I showed our group the Exhibition of Amtrak History before showing them my programs in the hotel's meeting room before we called it a night.