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To La Plata via West Quincy 7/23/2013

I finally made it to West Quincy

by Chris Guenzler

The night passed too quickly and at 5:00 AM, Dave Smetko awoke me and after my morning preparations, we left his house for the Hanover Park Metra station where he dropped me off and I bought my ticket to Chicago. Once I moved to where the cab car would be boarding, I realized I had left my hat at Dave's house. I called him and he said he would hold on to it until the next time I visited.

Metra 2204 7/23/2013

I boarded the cab car and sat on one of the fold-down chairs with my luggage to the left on the floor behind the last seat in the front section of the car. It was the perfect place for someone with luggage on a big trip. The train took off and ran as an express after stopping at Bensenville.

My Metra ticket.

Two pictures from the cab car after Bensenville. The train arrived into Chicago as I talked with Conductor Tim about my train riding. I detrained and after being in the wrong long line, found Gate D and waiting for my train to Quincy on this cool morning here in the Windy City of Chicago. The Amtrak Police did spot searches of passengers' luggage but left me alone, after which I walked out to the train and boarded for what I thought would be Quincy.

Carl Sandburg 381 7/23/2013

I boarded a Horizon Car and set up the computer so I could be writing some of the stories from the trips. The train stopped at La Grange Road station then Naperville and later Plano, followed by Mendota, Princeton and Kewanee. Next the train would run to Galesburg and I started to take pictures along the route from there to Quincy.

The crossing of the former Santa Fe Railroad just before Galesburg.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 4-6-4 3006 built by Baldwin in 1930 is on display just beyond the station platforms at Galesburg.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railway Post Office car 1945 built by American Car and Foundry in 1924.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy sleeping car 2645 "Meath" built by Pullman Company in 1947.

Leaving the former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy mainline for the route to Quincy.

The route for Peoria takes off from Galesburg.

CP East Yard.

East end of the Galesburg Yard.

BNSF 4017 North was on the point of another train. We went by CP East Way and then CP Waterman.

BNSF 6213 was a DMU on a coal train.

BNSF SD70MAC 9817 was on the point of that coal train at Saluda and we were out of the Galesburg Yard.

Back out into the cornfields and other crops.

Trees are along the line.

The train ran through Avon, the hometown of Bart and Sarah Jennings.

More of the open Illinois countryside.

The town of Bushnell.

The crossing of the Peoria Western Railroad in Bushnell.

Field between Bushnell and McComb.

The Macomb Chicago, Burlington and Quincy station built in 1913.

Tennessee, Illinois.

A view on the way to Quincy. I received permission from Amtrak to stay aboard to West Quincy since I was ticketed there back in 1999 but never made it due to the Mississippi River flooding that year. So it will finally be new trackage for me to West Quincy.

The train ran by the fields between Macomb and Quincy.

The train arrived in Quincy and all passengers detrained except me.

The train departed for West Quincy and the layover track after the crew wyed the train.

We passed a large farm equipment yard just west of 24th Street.

Running through the trees on the way to the Mississippi River.

North 12th Street.

A road in Sunset Cemetery.

North 18th Street.

The train went under US 24, also known as 3rd Street in Quincy.

View through the trees. My train crew opened the top Dutch door so I could take better pictures than through my coach seat window.

The train crossed North 5th Street.

Our crossing of Bonansinga Drive.

We arrived at the connection with the Burlington Junction Railroad in Quincy.

Traversing a branch of the Mississippi River that has Quincy Bay to the north of the former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy bridge.

Looking south towards Quincy.

Looking north towards Quincy Bay.

The train returned to dry land.

A look back from where we had come.

You can see the Mississippi River bridge ahead of the train.

The train heads out onto the Mississippi River bridge.

Views looking towards the newer US Highway 24 bridge.

The muddy Mississippi River certainly lived up to that name today.

Views crossing the Mississippi River into Missouri.

We came off the bridge onto the soil of Missouri.

Curving away from the Mississippi River bridge.

On the way to West Quincy.

After the train is wyed, these tracks will take us into the storage area.

The train wouuld run under the US 24 bridge to clear the signal so we can wye the train.

The signal box was on stilts above the ground to protect it from flood waters such as those that occurred in 1999.

The storage track was to the left.

The train had to pull south to clear this signal bridge so that our crew could see the signal.

The train now headed to the wye.

These are the tracks that brought us to West Quincy and would bring us back after we turned the train.

Goodbye West Quincy for a few minutes.

The northeast leg of the wye came into view.

The train reversed past the north switch of the wye.

Our conductor then threw the switch and in a few moments the wying would continue.

The train pulled forward.

The AC Conductor threw the switch back to normal position.

The train headed to the northeast switch on the wye.

A look back from where we had been.

It was sure a beautiful day on this day of my life.

Still heading to the northeast switch of the wye.

Our conductor was dropped off to throw the northeast wye switch.

The train pulled forward to clear the switch, then he threw it back to normal position, climbed on and off we went to the West Quincy storage track.

The train had a red over lunar to get us into the storage track.

The track we took to turn the train.

The train entered the track that would take us to the storage track as we returned to West Quincy.

Entering the storage track.

The train pulled down the storage track and I closed the Dutch door and waited to be let off. I thanked my crew for the trip to West Quincy and once we stopped, the conductor put down a step box and I finally stepped off in West Quincy. It only took me 14 years, but I finally arrived at West Quincy. I felt very proud of myself. Thank you to my Amtrak Crew for getting me here. I walked towards the highway entrance but had one more picture to take.

The train at the layover track. Brad from the Depot Inn and Suites in Plata was meant to pick me up but he was not there so I called Maria and told her where I was. Brad had followed Bob Cox's directions and was on the wrong side of the yard. I spotted him and waved him over. The AC Conductor stopped by in his truck to make sure I was okay, after which Brad picked me up and as we talked, he told me he had spotted a depot on the way over. As we drove west we checked all the towns we went through, and in Lewistown, found it.

The former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy station in Lewistown built by one of its predecessors, Quincy Omaha and Kansas City Railroad in 1870. From here I showed Brad my way of getting back to La Plata, which was quicker that going via Kirksville. I checked into the Depot Inn and Suites and they gave me the Pullman Suite and started working on the stories from our trip. I had to take a break when Enterprise delivered my car, which was a Ford Focus. I had dinner at the replacement for the former Red Rooster, now called La Pachanga, where I had them cook my steak normal and it was okay. I worked on stories then watched "NCIS" before taking a sauna bath and called it a night.