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The Big Circle Driving Trip 4/6/2012

by Chris Guenzler

Nathan Chidester and I met in the lobby of the Depot Inn & Suites in La Planta at 8:00 AM and headed to Gibbs via US Highway 63 to Route F to the bridge over the BNSF mainline. Even though it was cold this morning, we were not going to leave until we had one train in each direction.

BNSF 1029 West at Gibbs.

Next came BNSF 5091 West.

BNSF 4042 East was our last train here. We then took Route V north to Missouri Highway 11 to Route J, to Missouri Highway 6 to Route P and the bridge.

BNSF 4812 West. From here we returned north to Missouri Highway 6, turned right on Missouri 15 to the bridge over the BNSF mainline at West Baring.

The Southwest Chief at West Baring. Our route took us on Missouri Highway 15 to Edina where we entered Missouri Highway 6 and stopped at Casey's for petrol and snacks before taking Missouri Highway 6 east to West Quincy, but had some stops to make on the way.

A nice park in Knox City. Further east we stopped in La Belle.

The La Belle Chicago, Burlington and Quincy station was built by the Quincy, Omaha and Kansas City Railroad.

There is a train inside the station.

Railroad displays in La Belle. From here we headed east to West Quincy.

The BNSF yard at West Quincy.

Carl Sandburg 381 from Chicago waits to return as Carl Sandburg 382 later this afternoon. Back in 1993, I was ticketed here but was not able to go here due to the Mississippi River flooding that year. Nathan and I then drove into Illinois for about three minutes.

The Mississippi River.

Welcome to Illinois, The Land of Lincoln sign. We made two left turns and were heading back across the Mississippi River towards Missouri.

The new bridge across the Mississippi River.

A side channel.

The Mississippi River.

The Missouri Welcomes You sign.

BNSF 5436 North leaving West Quincy on the BNSF Hannibal Subdivision. We went north on US Highway 61 towards Keokuk with a planned stop in Canton.

The old Chicago, Burlington and Quincy station in Canton built in 1915 and on the BNSF Hannibal Subdivision.

BNSF 9135 South north of Canton.

BNSF's Hannibal Subdivision over the Des Moines River.

We entered Iowa and drove to our next stop of Keokuk.

Keokuk Union Depot, built in 1890, was used by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, Wabash and Chicago and Rock Island Railroads.

The original passenger depot in Keokuk was built by the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad in 1967, closed in 1983 and is owned today by the Keokuk Junction Railway.

BNSF 2025 and 2015 were here.

Keokuk Junction Railway / Pioneer Rail Equipment GP20 2047, ex. Santa Fe 3066, exx. Santa Fe 3166, nee Santa Fe 1166 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1961.From here we returned to Missouri, taking US Highway 136 to Missouri Highway 27 to Route C, that took us to Revere and the bridge over the BNSF mainline.

The view from the Route C bridge in Revere. We then drove north and back south on the first road that led us to the second bridge in Revere.

The view from bridge 2. We returned to Route C west to Missouri Highway 81 but that had a bridge out just before the bridge over the BNSF mainline so took Route NN to Route AA, which took us back to US Highway 136. We took that west to Route A and the grade crossing in Wyaconda.

The views at the second crossing at Wyaconda.

Herzog HZGX 187, an articulated maintenance-of-way tie train. From here we took Route A to Route U to Route A to Route M into Baring where we stopped.

The BNSF building in Baring is built on the site of the former Baring Santa Fe station.

A loading platform.

East Baring before the new signals are put in service.

Never a train when you need one. We went west on Missouri 15 to Route J to Missouri 6 into Kirksville where I bought KFC for my dinner and Nathan acquired his from Long John Silvers, then we returned south down US Highway 63 to La Plata and the Depot Inn & Suites. I worked on this story, relaxed then at 8:30 PM the two of us went down the Amtrak station for some night pictures.

The moon over the and Trainparty building.

The La Plata Amtrak station.

One more view.

The grade crossing.

The path to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point.

The Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point.

The path on the way back from the Lookout Point. We returned to the Depot Inn & Suites for my final night stay here on this trip.