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Silver Rails Rail Fest 2011 Day 3 7/19/2011

by Chris Guenzler

After another good night's sleep, I had breakfast in the Depot Inn & Suites lobby and learned that the Union Pacific Southern Pacific heritage unit was on a train at Baring heading our way. The group picked up their cameras then we drove to Santa Fe Lake where the best lighting of the morning close to the hotel would be.

Union Pacific 7668 East at Santa Fe Lake. A few minutes later we saw a headlight from the east.

Union Pacific 1996 West. We returned to the Depot Inn & Suites before I drove Nathan to Enterprise in Kirksville to get our rental van for our journey tomorrow to Rock Island and Train Festival 2011. After that we went out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point and heard that the Herzog train and crew would be on the move.

The Herzog Train passed beneath us. It was then back to the hotel to get our coolers and things needed for our last day of the La Plata Railfan Event and we headed east out of La Plata, taking US 63 north to Road KK which runs directly into Cranberry Road. I do not recommend this road unless you have a four- wheel drive vehicle. Our first stop was the old wooden bridge east of Gibbs.

The gang at the old wooden bridge.

BNSF 7562 West. We continued east on Cranberry Lane then turned left on Grade Lane, taking that north to Missouri Highway 6, turned right then right again on Clemson Lane to the grade crossing.

BNSF 7860 West at Clemson Lane.

BNSF 7863 East.

BNSF 7588 East. We returned to Missouri Highway 6 then turned right on Missouri Highway 15 to the bridge over the BNSF mainline.

We had a red-over-green signal but that signal went dark so we stayed on Missouri Highway 15 before turning right onto Route K which took us through Baring to where it turned into Route M, which we took north through Rutledge. After Rutledge we turned right on Route A which took us to South Gorin then another right onto Route U, which took us out to Sycamore Lane to our next wooden bridge.

The view of the old wooden bridge on Sycamore Lane.

Our group ready for the next train which was approaching.

BNSF 5031 East.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief. We made our way into Wyaconda where we had lunch at a bar there then parked across the tracks in the shade to wait for a train.

BNSF 630 West at Wyaconda. From here we started back towards La Plata.

The same train, BNSF 630, West at South Gorin. We continued west.

BNSF 7529 West at the Route A Bridge outside of Rutledge. We made it back to the Missouri Highway 6 bridge over the BNSF mainline.

BNSF 5127 East.

Everyone was ready for our last train here.

BNSF 1077 East at the Missouri Highway 6 bridge. We then returned directly to the Depot Inn & Suites where we picked up Bob Alkire and took him out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point where Elizabeth was waiting for us as she had walked down from the hotel. They had flown from Seattle to Kansas City and took the Southwest Chief to La Plata in advance of going to Train Festival 2011.

BNSF 5460 West was our train at the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. After that we returned to the Depot Inn & Suites for a shower before going to the Red Rooster for dinner then to Gibbs to try to catch the Southwest Chief in the last light of day.

A westbound BNSF freight came first, after which the North Track signal changed to green.

Amtrak Southwest Chief, with Amtrak Heritage Unit 184 trailing and three private cars on the rear, running an hour late at Century Lane in Gibbs.

The crossbucks caught my eye. We returned to the hotel and watched the "Railfans Chasing Trains" movie before I gave a preview of Rock Island from a DVD I own. I returned to my Pullman Suite where I wrote this story then called it a night. As you can tell, our La Plata Railfan Event was a major success for those who came.