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The St Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad Trip

by Chris Guenzler

This trip was to go back to La Plata for the 2014 Spring Railfan Event. With me working again I did not have time to take the train so it would be airline flights from Orange County to Denver and then to St Louis. Winston and Christy decided to take Amtrak to St Louis and then I would picked them up on Saturday morning if all went according to plan. I contacted the St Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad and they decided to start their 2014 season with my trip at 1:00 PM that Saturday. I would fly into St Louis on Friday to be in position for picking them up and then finally getting to ride this railroad.

4/4/2014 My brother Jon picked me up and drove me to the Orange County Airport. I went through normal security and was preboarded because of my very sore knees.

United Airline Flight 794 4/4/2014

This flight was through mostly clouds until we flew over the Rockies with great views. I deplaned at Gate B13 and then had to make my way through Terminal B at the Denver Airport to Gate B 90 where I waited for my next flight to St Louis.

United Airline Flight 2918 4/4/2014

This flight was aboard the CRJ 700 plane and I had to check my bag to get on this flight. It was clear to partly cloudy coming most of the way across Kansas before it became overcast for the rest of the flight.

St Louis 4/4/2014

Once I got off the plane and reclaimed my bag, I went to the Enterprise Car Rental counter to pay for the rental car. I found the shuttle to the off-airport site where I received a Ford Focus. I called Ted Picraux and told him I was on my way to meet him under the big American flag in Kirkwood. Here Ted would lead me to our first two photo locations of the afternoon.

The former Missouri Pacific Meramac Highland Station became part of a house. From here we headed over to the Missouri Pacific Kirkwood Station.

From the North Clay bridge the Missouri Pacific Kirkwood Station.

The Missouri Pacific Kirkwood Station. From here we drove over to Webster Groves.

The Missouri Pacific Webster Grove Station. From here we drove to Tuxedo Park.

The Missouri Pacific Tuxedo Park Station. We got to go inside this station building. We next drove to the other station in Webster Groves.

The Frisco Webster Groves Station. We met Kenneth Rimmel who would show me the fantastic train layout they have here.

This station is the home of the Big Bend Railroad Club Inc.

View of the model railroad layout.

Ted and Kenneth talking below my photo location. From here Ted took me out to Valley Park.

The old Frisco Hotel is now the Frisco Train Store Wood n' Trains.

Across the tracks from the old hotel was this display.

Frisco wooden caboose 398. From here Ted drove me back to my rental car in Kirkwood. I said goodbye to Ted but still had a few pictures to take

This caboose is part of the Custard Station in Kirkwood. I returned north on Interstate 270 to Exit 20C which took me to Motel 6 for the night. I went to Bob Evans for an excellent dinner then worked on the story before calling it a night.

4/5/2014 I got up at 5:45 AM and after packing and checking out of the Motel 6, I drove first to MacDonalds for Hot Cakes and sausage then stopped at a Quick Stop Mart for some Coca-Cola for me for the trip today. I drove into downtown St Louis but made one stop on the way to the Amtrak station.

St. Louis Union Station. From here I drove to the Amtrak station and parked paying for two hours. The Texas Eagle carrying Winston and Christy was only 18 minutes late when I had checked back at the Motel 6. I waited and it finally showed up twenty two minutes late into St Louis. Then the stupidity began.

The Texas Eagle arrived in St Louis so we all thought. First they changed engine crews, then they backed up to unload the trash. Next they picked up a coach to add to the rear of the train.

Finally they pulled up twenty minutes later and detrained the passengers. I got to watch the whole event of Winston and Christy being picked up by the cart and being driven into the building. We met up and I took the large suitcase to the car before I moved the car in front of the station to board them. We managed to get out of downtown St Louis and headed south down Interstate 55 to US 67 which we took to Bonne Terre to our first stop of the day.

The Bonne Terre Missouri Pacific station.

There are some railroad cars here.

There was also a Union Pacific caboose here. From here we headed south to Fredericktown.

The Missouri Pacific Fredericktown station. We stayed on US 61 then went east on Missouri 34 to Jackson then went into Cape Girardeau to Arena Park to our next stop.

Marquette Cement Manufacturing Company Porter 0-4-0T 2. From here we drove back to Jackson, gassed up the rental car then pulled into the parking lot for today's train ride. I found my contact here and I picked up our tickets for the trip.

The St Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad Trip 4/5/2014

First let us look at the train.

The train at rest at Jackson.

Pennsylvania Railroad E-8 5898 which is finally being repainted.

Coach 1345 Scott MacDonald.

Coach 1365 John E. Hall.

New York Central Coach 3135.

Caboose 903706.

Privately owned Caboose CRRM 9602

The Trip

The trip started with us backing out of the station loading track onto the mainline.

Some interesting railroad related materials along the tracks as we started backing.

We are entering the mainline.

Winston and Christy Walker enjoying the trip.

The train crossed five highways as we left Jackson heading south.

The train ran by the brickyard. The ACME bricks had jokes made about the roadrunner ordering them for his use against the coyote.

The train crossed a small creek.

Spring is only a few weeks away.

The bare trees allow viewing between them.

The train crossed Hubble Creek.

More trees waiting Spring.

The train went by a metal company.

View through the trees.

The train crossed another creek.

Our train had the power to stop the soccer games being played by the kids.

Interesting views abound from this train trip.

Another water view through the trees.

Every so often you had a tree free view.

The train crossed another creek.

A large house through the trees.

The view inside the Coach 1345 Scott MacDonald.

The onboard perfoamers.

Inside of the Coach 1365 John E. Hall.

Inside of the New York Central Coach 3135.

Forward and back views along the train.

They have a fake town the train stops at during the trip each way.

Characters in costumes play parts during the train's trip. Birthdays are made known and Happy Birthday is sung by all of the passengers.

Views looking to the west.

The cows were out in their field.

Down along the road.

Another view of all of those cows.

The rolling southeastern Missouri countryside.

The winding road.

Another home on the hill.

The train crossed another creek.

The trees can not wait for Spring.

Two more views of that last stream we crossed. This was as far as we went. The train would back to Jackson and I would relax the whole trip back.

You can take a trip down these rails by coming to this unique train trip in America on the St Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad.

The Drive to La Plata 4/5/2014

We headed back north on Interstate 55 north stopping at an Arby's in Pevely. Ted called and gave us a short cut that cut off thirty minutes of the drive over to Interstate 44. We got on Missouri Highway 100 and called Ted who wanted us to met him in Marthasville, We drove into Washington then took Missouri Highway 47 across the Missouri River into Marthasville where we met up with Ted and Pam Picraux.

The Marthasville MKT Station.

The MKT Trail in Marthasville. From here we followed Ted back to Washington.

UP 5875 West at Washington.

The Washington Missouri Pacific Passenger Station built in 1923.

Ex Texas & Pacific caboose 11122.

Missouri Pacific Freighthouse built in 1865.

Views in Washington. From here we followed Ted to New Haven.

Union Pacific Caboose 25265. From here we went to Hermann.

The Amshack in Hermann.

The future Amtrak station in Hermann.

Missouri Pacific Caboose 13538.

A view in Hermann. We said our goodbyes to Pam and Ted and then took Missouri 19 north across the Missouri River to our next stop in Wellsville.

The CB&Q Station in Wellsville with a MOPAC Caboose 13566. We stopped in Mexico for gas then found that the Wabash Station in Mexico has been torn down and replaced with a trailer. We then did a straight shot to La Plata on US Highway 63 and the Depot Inn & Suites. I got my Pullman Suite but the wireless did not work. I did the pictures and hoped the wireless in the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point might work in the morning. I called it a night after I used the sauna tub.

I got a wake up call at 4:30 AM instead of 5:45 AM and was dressed before I realized it. I drove over to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point and that wireless worked fantastialy. I worked on the story until 6:10 AM when I went back to the motel and had breakfast.