Facebook Page

The trip from South Holland, Illinois to Sallisaw and McAlester, Oklahoma 6/20-23/2023

by Chris Guenzler

All pictures are taken by Elizabeth Guenzler as I accidently deleted mine.

6/20/2023 Elizabeth and I arose and following our Internet duties and breakfast at the motel, we checked out and I drove us south on Interstate 80 to Interstate 44 through St. Louis, Missouri, where we exited at St. James to find a station.

St. Louis and San Francisco St. James station built in 1860. We continued on to Rolla.

St. Louis-San Francisco Jim Crow coach 563 built by Barney and Smith in 1883. It is primarily wood and has a clerestory roof but during its life, the windows were moved and the openings covered with metal. During the restoration, the windows were discovered in a hidden cavity and were used as a pattern for the design of the new panels. It is one of the last remaining Jim Crow cars in existance and also features walk-over seats. The car was never electrified and during restoration, several places were discovered where the lanterns had burned holes through the roof which were patched with metal signs or scrap wood.

St. Louis and San Francisco 4-8-2 1501 built by Baldwin in 1923. It was initially assigned to a run from Union Station in St. Louis to Oklahoma City, a route of over 700 miles and traversed the worst terrain on the system. 1501 powered Frisco's named passenger trains, including the Texas Special, the Oilfield Special, Meteor, Blue Bonnet and Sunnyland. It was retired in 1951 and donated to the City of Rolla in 1955 from the Lindenwood Roundhouse, gleaming with fresh paint and showing few signs of the 1,792,964 miles that she travelled during her working years. It is on display at Schuman Park.

The restoration of both the steam engine and coach took place during the pandemic of 2020 and took over 2,500 hours of labour; the project being part of the Payroll Protection Program grant.

We made our way to Newberry for a caboose.

St. Louis and San Francisco caboose 1111, ex. St. Louis and San Francisco 164, nee Northeast Oklahoma Railroad 54 built by the railroad in 1947.

We switched drivers and Elizabeth drove us to Springfield, Missouri where we checked in to the hotel and went for dinner next door at Ruby Tuesdays. They undercooked Elizabeth's salmon and brought me the wrong type of potato so we received a free meal as a result.

6/21/2023 Elizabeth and I arose and after our morning preparations, I drove us to International House of Pancakes for an excellent breakfast then we found our first station of the day.

St. Louis and San Francisco caboose 1171 built by the railroad, year unknown.


St. Louis and San Francoisco Aurora station built in 1906. From here I drove us to Granby.

Northern Pacific caboose 10905 built by the railroad in 1969, painted as St. Louis and San Francisco. We continued on to Lanagan.

Kansas City Southern Lanagan station which used to be the town's city hall. After that, we stopped in Decatur to re-visit a display last seen in 2014.

Kansas City Southern F7A 73D built by Electro-Motive Division in 1950. After retirement, it was turned into a slug and retired again then purchased by Peterson Farms and delivered to Decatur in 1991 for restoration.

Kansas City Southern caboose 385 built by the Louisiana and Arkansas Railway Company (part of KCS) in 1952.

The Kansas City Southern station in Decatur built circa 1920.

We then drove to Sallisaw and first stopped at Rebekah and James' house so we could start laundry then continue on to David and Rachel Cantlin's home, our friends who used to live in Tacoma, Washington. Over the next day-and-a-half, Elizabeth inherited David's sizable Ohio and Pacific Northwest slide collection, two scanners and associated items. We all went to Ruger's Grill for an excellent dinner then returned to their house and much later, returned to Rebekah and James' house for the night.

6/22/2023 We arose and following our Internet duties, drove back over to the Cantlin's and Rachel kindly made us a delicious breakfast. I worked on stories as Elizabeth helped David with a variety of things and I photographed KCS trains from David's patio as their house is across the street from the tracks. Later that afternoon, the four of us drove out to Marble City and hoped for a train. We went to the United States Lime plant and saw the second locomotive that they have; the first we had seen in September 2022.

The engine at the plant. We returned to the grade crossing and parked to wait for a train, heard a horn and our timing was perfect.

The train came from the plant.

Former Ventura County Railroad SW14 1200, ex. Illinois Central 1412, nee Illinois Central SW9 9455, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1951, crossing the highway near Marble City after dropping about ten cars.

We returned to the Cantlins, very happy railfans and later went to Braum's Hamburger and Shakes, which was our first time at this chain and we would definitely return. Back to the Cantlin's once more, and after dark, a KCS train came by with those ten cars from Marble City. Elizabeth then drove to Rebekah and James' house for a final night.

6/23/2023 We awoke and after our morning preparations, we left Rebekah and James' house and drove to Ruger's Grill for another excellent breakfast, this time with Bart and Sarah Jennings who drove down from Alma, Arkansas to see us. It is always good to spend time with them. We then drove east to Muldrow for a station.

Missouri Pacific Muldrow station west of town.

Union Pacific cabosse 25614 built by International Car in 1967. From here we went to Poteau.


St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Poteau station now used as city hall.

Kansas City Southern caboose 365 built by the railroad and now the Comnunity State Bank. I drove us to Heavener.

Kansas City Southern coach 180, built in 1905 which is the Southern Belle Restaurant at Heavener.

Kansas City Southern AC4400CW 4551 built by General Electric in 1999.

Canadian Pacific ES44AC 8825 built by General Electric in 2006.

Kansas City Southern caboose 386 built by the railroad in 1952. We proceeded to Broken Bow.

Texas, Oklahoma and Eastern Railroad Broken Bow station, now Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce, built in 1912.

Dierks Lumber & Coal Company 2-8-2 227, ex. donation to City of Broken Bow & Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce, exx. corporate sale Weyerhauser Company, exxx. name changed Dierks Forests, Incorporated 227, nee. Dierks Lumber and Coal Company 227 at Wright City, Oklahoma, built by Baldwin in 1927. Our last stop of the day was in Antlers.

Kiamichi Railroad coach 1001, nee Norfolk and Western 1720 built by Pullman-Standard in 1941 as a lightweight 92-seat commuter coach rebuilt from 60-seat coach, formerly buffet lounge-dorm, originally 60-seat coach.

Kiamachi Railroad coach 1002, nee Norfolk and Western 1722 built by Pullman-Standard in 1941 as a lightweight 92-seat commuter coach rebuilt from a 60-seat coach, formerly buffet lounge-dorm, originally 60-seat coach.

St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Antlers station now the Pushamentaha County Museum.

Elizabeth then drove us the rest of the way in a heavy rainstorm to McAlester, where we ate at Angel's Diner and I enjoyed a steak then we checked into the La Quinta Inn for the night.