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The Belton, Grandview and Kansas City Railroad 8/17/2008

by Chris Guenzler

I arrived at the railroad here in Belton at 1:35 PM and parked my car under a tree and then started taking pictures.

Two views of the train that would be taking me on this trip today.

Standing proud was the Belton, Grandview and Kansas City GP-9 102 ex B&O RR. I went in to the station and got a ticket for the trip. As I walked to the other side of the train here came Randy Jackson to ride this trip with me as well.

Open Car CHRX 101.

Ex Lackawanna Commuter Coach.

Missouri Pacific Caboose 13562.

The Okmulgee Northern 5 is on the point of a static freight train.

Okmulgee Northern 2-8-0 5.

Wilson Car Line refrigerated car.

Ex Milwaukee Road UPTX 37236.

Wooden refrigerated car.

Wooden Caboose.

The Frisco 1632 is on the point of a static freight train.

Frisco 2-10-0 1632.

Sun Oil Co. Tank Car SRDX 410.

Wabash Box Car 83166.

UP 65333 Gondola.

Union Pacific all wooden Caboose built 1918.

Overview of the museum.

Theater/Instruction Car built by Pullman in 1926 and converted in 1947. It is now lettered City of Belton SHRX 80.

Wabash Railway Express built by Pullman in the 1920's Museum Gift and Display Car.

KCS 55 Hospitality Car built in the 1940's.

The Santa Fe Caboose 999543.

The Belton Station and boarding area.

I boarded the open car and sat at a table with Randy. We were the only two people riding the open car on our trip south this afternoon.

A few minutes after 2 PM, our train departed Belton on this former Frisco rail line.

Our train passed the Frisco 1632 on the way out of town.

The train left Belton crossing several streets to leave Belton.

General Manager Jon operates the crossing gates at the main street crossing in Belton.

Our train starts its run along Belton Park.

The train ran by the public swimming pool.

We ran by the jungle gyms for children to play on.

The train ran by the covered picnic areas.

Our train went by the Belton Park sign.

A look back.

There are interesting lights stands at this ballpark.

The caboose is leading our train south.

Randy and I had the open car to ourselves on the southbound run.

The cab control end of the former Lackawanna coach.

The train ran by a backyard garden along our route.

A city water tower stood ahead of our train.

The train ran by a power substation.

A look west at some Missouri countryside.

A look back north.

Our train took another curve.

A look back at a grade crossing we had passed.

The train ran between the trees.

We passed a creative use of a former tank car.

There was an industry along our route.

Our train ran along Missouri Highway 71 for the last few tenths of a mile of the trip.

Our train has reached the southernmost point of our trip. Now that we stopped, they let the passengers switch cars and most of the passengers came out into the open car. Our engineer got my attention and asked if I wanted a cab ride. I said "Yes!" and opened a gate at the end of the car and then got on the back porch of the GP-9 and headed into the cab. The fireman gave me the seat behind him and soon we were headed back to Belton.

We started back along Missouri Highway 71.

The train headed back through the tree lined route.

A pair of curves our train would take.

A water tower to the right of our train with that former tank car in this view.

New ties ready to be installed as needed.

The train was running through the path of trees.

Our engineer at his control of the GP-9.

Our train takes a curve.

Through the trees we will go.

The control stand of the GP-9 102.

Our route sure is tree lined.

The train was passing through Belton Park.

A look back at our train.

Approaching the crossing gate crossing. At every crossing the Fireman calls out "Clear" and the Engineer calls out "Clear" before the train is allowed to pass through a grade crossing.

The Belton Water Tower looms ahead of our train.

The museum looms ahead of our train.

Coming back into the museum grounds.

Our trip ended as we pulled up in front of the station. I said goodbye to my engine crew and thanked them for such a special trip aboard the Belton, Grandview and Kansas City Railroad.

After a visit to the Gift Shop, I said goodbye to Randy until next time. I returned to my PT Cruiser and headed back to La Plata. I drove out to Missouri 71 taking that north to Interstate 435 which I took across the Missouri River to Missouri Highway 210 which took me east to US Highway 24 which I was going to take to Moberly and follow the Norfolk Southern Line or so I thought. West of Dewitt a bridge was being replaced and there were no detour signs. I thought what a stupid highway department this state has. I back tracked to Missouri Highway 139 that I took north. I crossed the BNSF ex Santa Fe at Bosworth. North of there at Hale I crossed the BNSF ex CB&Q line for the first time. Near Sumner I crossed the line again this time after crossing the Grand River where there are two excellent photo locations at the two bridges. The old Wabash line to St Joseph once passed through Sumner. After the road turned north I crossed the ex CB&Q line for the third time before I finally reached US 36 which I turned east on. At Brookfield I stopped at KFC for dinner before driving east to Macon then north on US 63 back to La Plata. I rechecked into the Depot Inn & Suites getting the Pullman Suite for one last night in La Plata.

8/18/2008 I slept in and after breakfast, took all of yesterday's pictures and got them into my computer. I then put them into a story page and uploaded them. I then drove out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point and put titles on all the display items at both museums. I had two BNSF freights plus a westbound BNSF track inspection train which showed up the same time the eastbound Southwest Chief did. I returned my Rental Car to Kirksville and got a ride back. I went back out to the Lookout Point and finished up the 35 MM film in that camera. Back at the Inn I finished the Midland Railway story then relaxed watching some TV before I finished this story so far. I took a well deserved sauna tub bath. At 6 PM I went to the Red Rooster for my final dinner in La Plata. Ray Burns stopped by for visit. At 7:35 PM Ray drove me back down to the Amtrak Station for my trip home.

Southwest Chief 4 8/18/2008

The train pulled into La Plata at 8:10 PM and the conductor was waiting at the door of the 331 car. I boarded the Sleeping Car Illinois taking Room 5 with Fred as my Sleeping Car Attendant. The train consisted of Engines 187 and 71, Baggage 1757, Transition 39011, Sleepers 32081 Illinois and 32030, Diner 38019, Lounge 33046 and Coaches 34012, 34094 and 31010. After I boarded and the train pulled up for our coach passengers, the HEP went out for about five minutes. Once it returned, we started my trip home leaving La Plata. The latest with my job. I may get my old job at McFadden back after all. I vote on a new contact on Friday and if approved I should be back at McFadden where I love working. The train sped across Missouri and after a couple of games of Solitaire, I made up my room and called it a night.

8/19/2008 I woke up to fog in western Kansas and went to the Dining Car for French Toast and Sausage Patties. I laid back in bed until almost La Junta, the fresh air stop that the train arrived into early this morning. The train departed La Junta on time with me putting on my DVD of Randy Rhoads "Six String Guitar God". That took me almost to Trinidad where I got my lunch reservation at 11:30 AM. The train climbed Raton Pass then dropped to Raton, our next fresh air stop of the trip. At 11:30 AM I was called in the Dining Car for lunch and had a Beef Angus Burger along with Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert. That lasted until just north of Las Vegas where I put on my DVD of Cheap Trick "Germany 1983" to watch. That DVD took me over Glorieta Pass to Canyonito where we ran around the eastbound Southwest Chief which held the mainline before we ran through Apache Canyon to Lamy. After I got a 4:45 PM Dinner Reservation, I took a nap until we neared Albuquerque which we arrived early into. I lead the way to the Coldstone Creamery for some Ice Cream on an 88 degree afternoon here in New Mexico's largest city. Our train left Albuquerque five minutes late for Gallup and other points west. I put on my DVD of Frank Zappa "Zappa in Barcelona" which I would enjoy before and after dinner. For dinner I had a Flat Iron Steak and Chocolate Ice Cream. Back at the room, they finally delivered some "Duck Tape" to my room and taped back up the bottom of the upper bunk that was hanging down. It should last until the Los Angeles yard can apply some glue to the thing. I returned to the Zappa DVD.

An interesting sky as we approached Gallup where the Zappa DVD finished. I took a well deserved shower before I put on my DVD Asia "Fantasia Live in Tokyo". After that I made up my room and called it a night.

8/20/2008 I got out of bed right before San Bernardino and took a fresh air break before the train rolled to Riverside. The train got out in front of the Metrolink train so we flew west and headed through Santa Ana Canyon to Fullerton. It was then a final sprint to an early arrival into Los Angeles. Once there I walked over to the Metrolink Ticket Machine on the south end of the platform and bought a ticket to Santa Ana. Metrolink Train 800 come and took me home to Santa Ana ending another fantastic Amtrak adventure and new mileage trips.

8/22/2008 I went to vote on my new contact. Before voting, I learned that my old job at McFadden was not restored and only with a no vote could it be possible to get it back in the future. I voted no then went to Human Resources to learn that my new 6.5 hour job at Jefferson Elementary comes with complete Blue Cross Benefits. I will do this new job, meet with the principal on Monday to go over my new assignment. I go back to work on Thursday at my new job.