Facebook Page

Chris Guenzler End of the Year Review 2014

I left you at home where I spent my New Years at home again. It felt funny being here but I needed a change in my life. It had been a great year in my life for most things being for Santa Ana Unified School District Heninger Elementary School. This is a dream school with no troublemakers and kids who really want to learn. I am truly blest. I learned how to do the Rewards Program and finished with seven kids finishing it with me.

Most importantly everyone in the Guenzler family is doing well. I pray that God keep the rest of us all going strong in 2015. We did lose Ray Burns dear friend awho was one of the co-founders of along with Steve Grande. I will truly miss Ray in the future.

Rock Bands I saw this year were Ian Anderson and his band playing Homo Erraticus and Cirque de la Symphonic at the Orange County Preforming Arts Center. Thanks to Maureen at Jefferson once again, I saw plenty of Anaheim Duck Games last season including the Capitols and Penguins. LA Kings playing Penguins and Capitols. I also saw the 2014 Stadium Series at Dodger Stadium. I still love my ice hockey.

I still belong to the Orange County Railroad Historical Society and do many shows of my trips for them. I belong to the National Railroad Historical Society and always attend their convention which was in Springdale, Arkansas, this year. I am a member of the Train Travel Group in Fullerton that meets the 4th Monday night of the month and sometimes we take trips together. I have good friends in each of these groups and I feel very lucky to be a member of in each one of these groups. I produced my fifth railroad calendar "The Chris Guenzler 2015 Railroad Calendar" via Vista Print. I also host Lets Talk Trains at least once a month normally on the first weekend.

Now for the trips of 2014. My first trip was out to the Horseshoe Bend in Santa Ana Canyon to see a late running Southwest Chief. Next was my trip to the 2014 Stadium Series at Dodger Stadium. The next morning I was up early and drove to Covina for the Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 heading to West Colton. Bill Compton and I took a trip to Cajon Pass and then went to see the Union Pacific 4014 at West Colton. Next I fly to Oklahoma City where I meet up with Dave Smetko and Dwight then we drove to Sapulpa for the Eastern Flyer to Oklahoma City. Bart and Sarah Jennings were also on this trip and it is always good to see them. In March we made the usual Winterail Trip this year finally getting pictures of the California Central Traction. I showed"A Year of Trains in the Life of Chris Guenzler 2013" on Friday night and enjoyed all the shows on Saturday. A couple weeks later Bill Compton and I did a trip out to Topock. The end of the month I flew to Atlanta via Portland where I met Dave Smetko and we drove to Chattanooga. Saturday we did the Attalla Special Trip and Sunday we did the Oneida Flyer Trip. Flew home via Dallas. In early April I flew to St Louis, rented a car and met Ted Picraux and he showed me some on the depots to the west of St Louis. The next morning I drove into St Louis, shot St Louis Union Station then picked up Winston and Christy Walker at the Amtrak station and we made our way to Jackson, Mo taking pictures of train stations and one steam engine along the way. We rode the first run of the season on the St Louis & Iron Mountain Railroad, one train trip I had wanted to take for years. On the way to La Plata we met up with Ted and Pam who showed us train related things in and around Washington, MO. We arrived into La Plata in the early evening then did four days of the La Plata 2014 Railfan Event. Day one we {Winston Walker, Christy Walker, John Green and Myself} went south and west of La Plata. We stopped in Bevier, Moberly, Mexico, Columbia, Booneville, New Franklin, Franklin, Glasgow, Slater and Marshall before we went back across the Missouri River to the BNSF mainline west and east of Bosworth. Everyone got to see plenty of Missouri on this day. Day two we went west of La Plata over to Marceline and back. When we had returned I found out the Gary Lutes had arrived so Christy and I took him out to both of the old bridges west and east of Gibbs. Day Three we had everyone and we went east to Revere then worked our way back west to Kenwood. Turned out that John and Gary had grown up together in their elementary school days in Indiana. Day 4 was just John, Christy and I and we went west to Marceline taking pictures between there and Synder. I went to many new spots for me to photograph at. We ended up at the old bridges both east and west of Gibbs. The day after Christy and I drove out to Kenwood then went to the Clemson Lane grade crossing for a morning of photography. I put the Walkers on the Southwest Chief that night. My last full day in La Plata was me between Cardy and the old bridge west of Gibbs including one new spot off of Hanover Street. The next day I drove back to St Louis stopping for depots in Farber, Louisiana, O'Fallon, St Charles and Ferguson before returning the rental car. I was then taken to St Louis Airport which started a horrible trip home. First the plane we were supposed to take was bad ordered. The next plane came in and it had the engine leaking oil so our pilot would not accept it. They were going to fly a plane in from Cleveland but that meant getting home Sunday and spending a night in Denver. I had tickets with Elizabeth to ride back from San Bernardino behind Santa Fe 3751 the next morning. They tried to get me to LAX on American but they had closed the gate right before I got there. I got reticketed on the first flight home out of Denver in the morning. I had to go through security a second time and had left a can of Coca-Cola in my bag. We finally left St Louis five hours late and arrived into Denver. It took 45 minutes to get a hotel and meal voucher then I missed the shuttle by one minute to the hotel. I waited 29 minutes for the next one and stayed at a hotel near the old Stapleton Airport. It was a short night and at 5:00 AM I was up for my thirty minute shuttle back to the airport. I used the meal voucher at McDonalds then flew to John Wayne Airport after the plane had been de-iced never so glad to be home. Randy picked me up and took me home. I checked my E-mail before driving to the Red Roof Inn to pick up Elizabeth Alkire who came down from Lynnwood, Washington to ride the Santa Fe 3751 from San Bernardino to LAUPT in the Tioga Pass with me. We took Interstate 5 north into a major tie up on that freeway. We exited at Florence Blvd taking that west through Bell Gardens to the 710 Freeway which took us back to Interstate 5 to US 101 to Vignes Street and the parking in the MTA building parking lot. We walked up to Track 8B and the LA County Sheriffs only had one door open so they could check to see that everyone had a ticket. We had a nice trip out to San Bernardino on Metrolink then look around meeting Chris Parker and later Bob Riskie. We rode the Tioga Pass on the rear of the Santa Fe 3751 train back to LAUPT. Elizabeth had a real good time riding this train. In May I covered both National Train Day at LAUPT and Fullerton Railroad Days. At the ends of May Bill Compton and I went to the Tehachapi Mountains to take train pictures.

My big trip of this year was the NRHS 2014 Convention Trip in Springdale, Arkansas. I wanted Chris Parker to make this one so I planned a really great trip but alas he could not make it this year. I did the first two days solo then would meet Bob and Elizabeth in Ottawa, Kansas on Day 3. I flew into Oklahoma City via Houston and stayed night one in Norman, Oklahoma. I awoke to severe thunderstorms and I ended up at the Norman Amtrak station waiting on the Heartland Flyer. The rain stopped right as the train approached and I then drove to Yukon for a station and museum. Next I went to El Reno for the Rock Island station and a ride on the El Reno Heritage Express Trolley. Once done there it was north to Enid for the Railroad Museum of Oklahoma then west to my first ever visit at the BNSF Curtis Hill. After that into Woodward for the Oklahoma Northwestern Railroad and a hotel room. Wild weather during the early night with lightning and hail. Day 2 started with me stopped at the Waynoka Santa Fe Station complex then north into Kansas to Medicine Lodge for the Santa Fe Station and Victoria Southern Railroad. The next stops would be for train stations in Pratt, Cunningham, Kingman two stations and the Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad, Cheney private property for the Garden Plain and Cheney stations, Augusta for two stations, El Dorado and Cassoday. I made my first visit to the BNSF Flint Hills and had plenty of trains then Strong City for a station and Emporia for a steam engine and I called it a night there. The next morning I went to Melvern, Kansas to the new railroad park. I had six trains in under an hour while I was at the railroad park in Melvern. I drove to Ottawa Santa Fe station where Bob and Elizabeth pulled in a few minutes after I got there. They would follow me the rest of the day in their rental car. We went south to the Santa Fe Garnett station then further south to the Santa Fe Chanute station and steam engine Santa Fe 2-8-0 762 in that town. At two grade crossings near Cherryvale we found two parked South Kansas and Oklahoma trains. We continued south to Coffeyville to photograph Santa Fe 2-6-2 1079. We returned north to Cherryvale for some more pictures of the South Kansas and Oklahoma engines there. Next we went east to Parsons to the Iron Horse Museum that has the MKT S-12 14 in their collection. Next stop was the Heart of the Heartlands Railroad Museum in Carona with South East Kansas CF-7 1000 and Kansas City Southern 0-8-0 1023. South in Columbus we found the Frisco caboose 1701 on display and the three-way interlocking crossing that was once in Columbus. Southeast at Galena we found the MKT Galena station and train display. Northeast of town we found a display train with Erie-Lackawanna S-4 315 leading a flat car and UP caboose. Next stop in Joplin we found Joplin Union Station, GWAX caboose 1999, the last surviving wig-wag signal in the State of Missouri and former Missouri Pacific station in Joplin now a restaurant. From here we went east to the Missouri Pacific Carthage station then took a picture of the motive power of the Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad before we drove to Neosho for the night. The last pre-day of the 2014 NRHS Convention, we all jumped into Bob's rental car and drove to Anderson and Gravette for the depot then Noel for a KCS caboose and then Decatur for KCS Depot, Caboose and F Unit 73D. We drove back to Neosho and I got into my rental car and led the way. First stop was Monark Springs for the Missouri and Northern Arkansas passenger shelter and caboose. Next stop was the M&NA station and caboose in Wheaton. We caught a BNSF train in Monett. That was followed up by a stop in Aurora for the Frisco station, MOPAC Caboose and M&NA unit. The next stop was Crane for a MOPAC Caboose then the Missouri Pacific station in Galena along with a UP empty coal train. From here we went to Hollister for the station and another MOPAC Caboose. From there it was into Branson to ride the 2:00 PM Branson Scenic Railroad Train with Bob, Elizabeth and I riding in the BSRX 9320 Dome Car Silver Terrace. This was Bob and Elizabeth first trip on the Branson Scenic Railroad. After the trip they shopped while I headed towards Springdale and I stopped at the War Eagle Mill. In Springdale I checked into the Executive Inn for my stay during our NRHS 2014 Convention. My first convention day found me car hosting on the NRHS 2014 Convention Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Bentonville Branch Train so I finally got this piece of track. We did two photo runbys on the Bentonville Branch. After the trip all the staff went to the Spring Street Grill where I had a good steak for lunch. In the afternoon, I worked the NRHS 2014 Convention Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Springdale to Mountainburg Photo Freight. Fantastic photos on this trip were at the West Portal of the Winslow Tunnel, the Boston Mountain Viaduct #1, the Boston Mountain Viaduct #3, Schaberg and the trestle over the Howard Fork of the Frog Bayou at MP 388.8. At Mountainburg I hosted the bus back to Springdale. The next morning I was up at 4:00 AM to be the bus host on today's trips. First stop was the Silver Dollar City Railroad Shops which we toured then rode the train over two loops around the park. I said my goodbyes to Bob and Elizabeth who were heading home to Lynnwood. On the way to the next event I had to stop the bus after I saw Bart Jenning's car totaled and Bart standing by the side of the road. I needed to find out what he wanted me to do to make the next trip work? He said "You are in charge find the lady with the tickets". We pulled into the parking lot and the lady found me. We then boarded the NRHS 2014 Convention Showboat Branson Belle and on deck I watched "The Ducks" entering and leaving Table Rock Lake. I had my lunch in the Dinner Theater then escaped out onto the top deck to enjoy the views of Table Rock Lake while everyone else was in the Dinner Theater. I enjoyed my 45 minutes of peace and quiet. During the show break I visited with my NRHS passengers aboard the boat. They went inside for the rest of the show and at 1:15 PM the boat docked. At 2:05 PM my bus was full as I had told them we would leave at 2PM. There were no bus hosts on the other two buses so I walked back to the Showboat Branson Belle went inside the theater and found the rest of them still watching the show. I then in the dark had to get them all out to get on the bus. Thank God for those NRHS tags that we wear around our necks at this convention. I found everyone and after I checked all the decks I got out to the buses and we left for Eureka Springs about twenty two minutes late. I called Bart to give him an update. I was a great trip aboard the Showboat Branson Bell. The next stop was The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad and my bus passengers all got straight onto the train with me. Almost all our passengers were very tried from the long day and we rode the length of this railroad. As soon as my bus was full we went back to Springdale. The next day I car hosted the NRHS 2014 Convention Arkansas & Missouri Railroad - Springdale to Fort Smith Round-trip. We did photo runbys at Shady Grove Road, Westport and Mountainburg. In Fort Smith I had lunch in the Boomarang Diner, visited the Fort Smith Frisco Station, the Fort Smith National Historic Site then toured Miss Laura's Brothel Museum. I wrote the story on the trip back to Springdale. Back in Springdale I hosted the NRHS 2014 Convention A&M Springdale Shop Tour which was great. The next day I stopped by and saw the Amtrak Exhibit Train then bus hosted the NRHS 2014 Convention Fort Smith Railroad and History Tour. Our first stop was at the A&M Fort Smith Transload Facilities then the Fort Smith Trolley Museum. It was Friday the 13th today so of course the Trolley got hit by a truck with 5 NRHS members aboard. I got everyone's names and information who were involved with the accident. I made two roundtrips aboard the trolley. We got everyone back to Springdale and I went to the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks and really enjoyed the peace and quiet during my visit there and then that evening attended the NRHS Banquet with Ted and Pam Picraux and Skip Waters. It is always good to visit with Skip. That was the end of the NRHS 2014 Convention Banquet. I found the quickest way back to my motel and then worked on the Fort Smith story as I watched Game 5 of the Stanley Cup. It was 2-1 New York Rangers at the start of the 3rd Period. The Kings scored to tie the game. It took two overtime periods before Alec Martinez scored thus giving the Los Angeles Kings their second Stanley Cup in three years. I went to bed a very happy LA Kings fan. My last morning started with me putting the corrections in my last story. I went to upload it and my Chris Trip page was gone for the usual folder I use. I did a search and found it I thought but it was a July 2013 version. Panicked, I went to then to the Featured Stories and started to add stories back to the present. I finished and then checked out of the Executive Inn. My final car hosting was on the NRHS 2014 Convention Arkansas & Missouri Railroad - Springdale to Monett Round-trip. We were going to meet the Arkansas & Missouri grain train at Exeter and we arrived there first so we unloaded the train for the final photo runby of the convention. Once we were on the move again when I got to Purdy, I was on new rail mileage into Monett so I finally got this piece of the railroad. We returned to Springdale and that was it for my part of the 2014 NRHS Convention. I would like to thank the A&M Railroad and Brenda Rouse and her entire crew. Bart and Sarah Jennings, Greg Molley, Steve Miller and our entire NRHS crews for all their help in making this another excellent NRHS convention. I headed west then south to my first stop at the Stilwell, Oklahoma KCS station. Heading west next it was off to the Wagoner MKT station, UP passenger car and MKT caboose. Next it was onto Tulsa and the Fairgrounds for the Dierks Forest 2-6-2 207. From here I drove into downtown Tulsa and found Tulsa Union Station. From there I went to the Route 66 Park for the Frisco Meteor 4-8-4 4500, Tulsa Sapulpa Union Railroad Murray Hill, a tank car and Frisco caboose 1157. I drove to the Super 8 and spent the night there. Leaving later than normal I went first to the Sapulpa Trolley and Rail 375, then west to the Drumright Santa Fe Freighthouse, Frisco Coach 1062 and Frisco wooden caboose 119. Next in Cushing I found the Santa Fe station. In Perkins was the Yale Santa Fe station, Canadian Pacific Observation Car Metapedia and Santa Fe caboose 999627. In Stillwater I found the Santa Fe station, Detroit & Toledo Shortline caboose 12 and the Stillwater Central WMAX 7022. On my way south I found Rock Island caboose 17004, in Coley I found the Santa Fe station then went to Guthrie for the Santa Fe Guthrie station and Harvey House, trolley tracks in one of their streets and the Rock Island Freighthouse at Perkins and Division Street. Next I went to KFC for lunch then headed to the two stations in Oklahoma City, the Santa Fe and Frisco Railroad stations. I then flew home ending a fantastic NRHS 2014 Convention Trip. Next year we are in Rutland, Vermont. I already have that trip almost planned out.

At the end of June I met Dave Smetko in Sacramento and we did the 2014 NASCAR Race Train to Sears Point together. In July I rode by the Mooning of Amtrak & Metrolink Trains and then like I said earlier I wrote the Tribute to Ray Burns a friend and founder of

All these stories can be found on my web site at

My rail mileage was 1,381,766.2 on January 1, 2014 and on December 31, 2014 it was 1,400,00.0

The year started with 6922 Days of Sobriety on January 1, 2014 and ended with 7287 on my 57th Birthday on December 31, 2014.

May each of you have the best holiday season ever and may next year be one of the best in your life. Take care of each and everyone of you, be safe and until next year, goodbye!

Chris Day 7136