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Denver to McCook, Nebraska 10/1/2020

by Chris Guenzler

We woke up at the Crawford Hotel at 6:30 AM and after we checked our Internet, we went down to the Snooze Eatery where I had French Toast and bacon while Elizabeth had sausages, eggs, hashbrowns and toast. After we paid, we went out to the ticketing machine for and bought two regional three-hour tickets to get us to where we were going. We walked to the platform and the security guard informed our train was running late.

An Airport Line train came into Denver Union Station.

The same train left the station.

Another A Line train arrived into the station. After about twenty minutes, Elizabeth and I walked down to the end of the platform and waited ten more minutes for our train to arrive.

Finally, our N Line train came into Denver Union Station and we boarded the first car. This line only opened ten days ago and is the newest of the electric commuter lines in Denver. The train departed and our tickets were checked. The train will make stops at 48th & Brighton/National Western Center, Commerce City/72nd, Original Thornton/88th, Thornton Crossroads/104th, Northglenn/ 112th and Eastlake/124th with two future stations in 2042 at York/144th and North Thornton/Hwy 7.

The BNSF locomotive facility in Denver.

CSX ES44DC 5287 was laying over in Denver.

The Denver Union Stock Yard Company building.

DPUs on a coal train.

The Front Range of the Rocky Mountains without fire smoke.

A graveyard makes an interesting scene.

Another interesting scene with the water. We arrived at our end point and detrained as our train was taken out of service to become the "spare train". The train we could have taken back left before we could cross over to it.

The train we just missed.

Our train at Eastlake/124th.

Our out-of-service train pulled down to wait to come back into service.

Our train back to Denver came into the station.

A picture from the opposite platform.

Crossing the tracks in front of our train.

Our train ready to take on passengers. We boarded this train and had nothing but delays all the way back to Denver. We returned to the Crawford Hotel and I put up my miles while Elizabeth tried to upgrade us from roomette to bedroom on the other Amtrak trains we would be riding. One was sold out, one was too expensive but she was successful for our return trip on the Coast Starlight. I then walked over to Enterprise and had to wait over an hour until I could receive a car. Instead of the car I had selected, they gave a Dodge minivan at no additional charge as a way to apologize. I called Elizabeth who was waiting in the room and she checked out and a bellboy helped her take the luggage to the curb where I picked her up and we headed to our first stop at the town of Strasburg.

The Strasburg Union Pacific station at Comanche Crossing.

Union Pacific bay window caboose 24522.

The display board about the completion of the Kansas Pacific Railroad in Strasburg. From here I will show Elizabeth the other railroad related items in Strasburg.

Denver and Rio Grande Western tool car X3339.

Great Western Sugar Company 0-4-0T 6.

KRXX 1230, a former New York Central slumbercoach.

KRXX 1232, another former New York Central slumbercoach.

Pacific Fruit Express NW-2 1048.

Canadian National, maybe White Court, car east of the grade crossing in Strasburg. From here, we drove to Limon and Elizabeth's first time to the Limon Heritage Museum & Railroad Park Complex.

Milwaukee Road brachline combine 2758.

Union Pacific caboose 25670.

Great Northern 14-section Pullman sleeping car built in 1914.

The crossing stop sign gate.

Where the Rocky Mountain Rocket section ran to Colorado Springs.

Limon Union station used by the Rock Island and Union Pacific railroads.

Limon museum scene.

Where the Denver section of the Rocky Mountain Rocket went.

A Limon scene.

Rock Island wedge snow plow 95580. From here I took Elizabeth down to Hugo so she could see the roundhouse project.

Hugo Union Pacific Roundhouse restoration which has been ongoing since 2003.

Hugo roundhouse.

USA caboose which is really a CB&Q caboose 135--.

Union Pacific flat car 909231.

Pacific Fruit Express Mechanical Refrigerator car 300944.

The rear of the Hugo roundhouse. From here we went into town and found the station I knew about so Elizabeth could take pictures of it.

Union Pacific Hugo station. We then drove up to US 70 to our next stop in Siebert.

The Rock Island Siebert station. From we drove the short distance to Stratton.

The Rock Island Stratton station.

Looking both west and east down the Rock Island line, now the Kyle Railroad. Next we went to Burlington.

The Burlington Rock Island station. From here, while Elizabeth was in City Hall, I asked a young lady in a car next to me if there was a museum in town. She said to go straight down 15th Street. We went there and found the Pioneer Museum. We went inside and told the lady that all we wanted to do was take pictures of the train station from Bethune and she said to go ahead, so we did.

Rock Island Bethune station at the Pioneer Museum in Burlington.

The Rock Island speeder at the museum. We thanked the lady before we continued east on Interstate 70.

First we entered Kansas and saw a Kyle Railroad train stopped along the tracks. Since Elizabeth lost my Kansas map in the rental car and we could not find it, we stopped at the Kansas Welcome Center and picked up a state map. We got on a local road and back-tracked about five miles, finding a grade crossing that took us directly to the train.

Here is a picture of the train we found.

Utah Railway MK-50-3 5006.

CORP SD40T-2 4075.

Utah Railway MK-50-3 5004.

Kyle Railroad GP38-3 2128.

The motive power set. We then drove to Goodland to find our next station.

The Rock Island Goodland station.

Kyle Railroad snow plow 06. We returned to Interstate 70 and drove to Colby.

The Rock Island Colby station now a museum. From we went to Exit 70 and I gassed up the rental car. As we left, I noticed another train station and we drove over to it.

It turned out this Union Pacific station came from Grinnell, Kansas which is now a antique store. We headed north up US 83

The sunset west of Rexford. We left and was heading up US 83 when we saw another Kyle train.

This Kyle train had just two units, Utah Railroad MK-3 5002 and Buffalo and Pittsburgh SD-40-3 3341, with a very long grain train.

Welcome to Nebraska sign.

The moon over Nebraska. We checked into the Cedar Inn in McCook.

Elizabeth in our room in McCook. We worked on this story but called it a night and would finish it in the morning.