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Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad Part 2 6/25/2009

by Chris Guenzler

The train is pulling into Enterprise.

The switch leads to the run around track our engine will use to get to the west end of our train after we stop at Enterprise.

Pulling into the Enterprise Station you pass the approach signal to that former crossing of the BNSF in Enterprise.

An old caboose is used as the station building in Enterprise. Another building has a restroom.

The siding that is used as a run around track for the engine to get from the east end to the west end of our train. Once the engine cut off we were allowed to get off the train for ten minutes.

A box car is being surrounded by the trees.

This tank car holds fuel oil for their steam engine the Santa Fe 4-6-2 3415.

The east end of our train minus the engine.

Our engine heads east passed the switch.

The engine runs by the east end of our train.

A passenger car minus its trucks off to the south side of the station area.

Our engine has cleared our caboose and is heading to the switch.

The switch is being thrown so our engine can clear the switch and reverse to get back to the front of our train.

The train waiting for the engine to return.

The engine now returned to the west end of our train.

Bob Cox walks back to board the train and I followed. Soon we both were standing at the rear door of the ex Katy Car. The train then headed back to Abilene.

The train has left Enterprise Station behind.

The siding is left behind as we left Enterprise.

The train took the curve, the one shady location on this route.

The bridge across the overflow of the Smoky Hill River.

The train started across the Smoky Hill River.

The train has crossed the Smoky Hill River. I took a seat at a table and talked with the train crew most of the way back to Abilene. The train returned to Abilene and we thanked the train crew for an excellent trip aboard the Abilene & Smoky Hill Railroad.

Back at the Station we were met by Joe Minick, Abilene & Smoky Valley steam engine coordinator who offered to show us the Santa Fe 4-6-2 3415 that is kept locked up in the railroad's engine house. I rode with Joe and Bob followed us to the engine house. We went inside and Joe opened the engine house doors to cast more light on the beautifully restored Santa Fe 3415.

The tender of the Santa Fe 3415.

The front end of the Santa Fe 3415.

Joe opened the front door exposing the Santa Fe 3415.

Santa Fe 4-6-2 3415.

This view shows some of the side of the Santa Fe 3415. Next I was invited to visit the cab of the Santa Fe 3415.

The Engineer side of the Santa Fe 3415.

The Fireman side of the Santa Fe 3415. We thanked Joe for allowing us to see the Santa Fe 3415. We said our goodbyes and wished him all the luck with running the Santa Fe 3415.

The Drive back to La Plata

The first stop we made was at the Santa Fe Station at Abilene

Next we stopped at the Union Pacific Station in Abilene.

Across the street was the old Union Pacific Freight House. We drove out of Abilene to Interstate 70 which we drove east through the Flint Hills to Topeka. Kansas claims that it was the first to start paving after the act was signed. Preliminary construction had taken place before the act was signed, and paving started September 26, 1956". The state marked its portion of I-70 as the "first project in the United States completed under the provisions of the new Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956". If this statement is true we rode across the first part of America's Interstate Highway System as the sign along the highway read. We took US Highway 75 and when we crossed the Union Pacific Tracks we had an eastbound coal train. We turned onto US 24 and headed east and pulled off right before our turnoff for Kansas Highway 4 to get a picture of it.

The Union Pacific Coal Train coming and going. Soon we were back on Kansas Highway 4 heading northeast to US Highway 59 which we took towards Atchison but saw a headlight at Parnell and pulled off for a picture.

The Union Pacific local had arrived to switch the grain elevator and rail car repair shop at Parnell. We drove into Atchison and missed the KFC/Taco Bell driveway and crossed a bridge and lucked out again today.

The Union Pacific local power at Atchison. The KFC screwed up my order and the Taco Bell screwed up Bob's. After a disappointing meal, we put on the CD Motley Crue "Too Fast for Love" and headed back across the river in Missouri. There we found not only our coal train from this morning still sitting but also another BNSF coal train sitting further south down the rails.

The power on the point of our new train at East Armor.

BNSF 9338.

BNSF 9743.

The rear DPU was BNSF 5716.

The same train still sitting at the Armor X-overs.

BNSF 5779.

BNSF 9773.

The rear DPU was the BNSF 5846 at West Armor. We then drove back to Atchison and turned onto US Highway 36. We next put on the CD of Metallica "Death Magnetic". We headbanged down the highway stopping for gas at Brookfield.

The sunset from the Brookfield Highway overpass. From there we headbanged back to Macon then onto La Plata where Bob dropped me off ending an excellent adventure to ride the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad.