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La Plata Spring Railfan Event 2015 Final Day 4/8/2015

by Chris Guenzler

We are dedicating the La Plata Spring Railfan Event 2015 to the memory of Winston Walker. We wish you were here with us and you are truly missed. This morning we were under a severe thunderstorm alert. After breakfast in the lobby, Jon and I went to the rental car and drove around to the side door looking for Jim who was missing. We soon found him and drove out to Missouri Highway 156 west to Missouri Highway 3, to US Highway 36 to Missouri Highway 5 to Route J in Marceline to Route E and the BNSF grade crossing there. I needed a westbound train picture and soon we heard a horn from the east and knew my wish had been granted.

BNSF 7913 West at the Route E grade crossing. From here we drove back to the Route J grade crossing and parked. Soon we heard thunder and started seeing flashes of lightning, so we decided to move to west Maceline taking Road 208 to Marceline Lake Road to Road 206 to Long Branch Avenue grade crossing. More lightning, thunder and rain; plus it was getting dark as night, so we decided to return to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point in La Plata where Jim wanted to interview us for his next Railfans Chasing Trains project. We drove through Marceline in the pouring rain and then drove out to US 36 still in the driving rain. I then turned to take the road to Bucklin and the dirt roads back to the paved roads by Ethel to get back to La Plata. That turned out to be my smartest decision of the whole trip because we soon came out of the thunderstorm and I stopped for some pictures of the clouds.

This was an amazing moment in my life as it seemed we were in the middle of this storm. We made it back dry to the paved road then went back into the fog. We returned to La Plata, stopping to see Amy Cox at the Silver Rails Event Center. With us now back in the fog I decided to drive us out to the old bridge east of Gibbs.

There is a steer near the tracks as the Live Animals Tour continues today.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief Train 4 at the old bridge east of Gibbs. We returned to the Depot Inn & Suites so I could get my computer and John could get his own van. Jim and I then drove out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point and set up for what we needed to do there this day.

Views from the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point.

We need a sign like this for the roof of the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point.

BNSF 6872 West was our first train of the late morning. Jim and John were really enjoying their photography and Jim would interview us between trains so we had to stop a bunch of times in order to take our train pictures.

BNSF 6992 West came by us next.

Ferromex 4094 West with DPU BNSF 6574 went by the Chris Guenzler Lookout Point next.

I had to stand on a chair in order to clear this when I take pictures here.

BNSF 7641 East went by us next.

BNSF 6962 West went by us next.

Union Pacific 8095 with DPU UP 7796 past us.

Union Pacific 5164 West went through La Plata.

BNSF 4175 East with CN 5743 and HLCX 8137, as well as four dead units in this motive power consist went through town.

This is how you normally find Jim as he take both videos and still pictures.

Our last train, BNSF 7265 East, with Jim and John doing what they do best. This train ended the photography of the La Plata Spring Railfan Event 2015. We all returned to the Depot Inn & Suites to clean up before heading to Colton's Steakhouse in Kirksville but I returned the rental car on the way. At an early dinner, I enjoyed a 12 ounce sirloin steak then we returned to the hotel where I went through the Exhibition of Amtrak History. I then returned to the Pullman Suite to do my clothes washing and write this story. At 7:00 PM, I showed Jon and Jim my four Winterail programs. After that, a sauna tub bath and my last night in the Pullman Suite.