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La Plata and an early trip home!

by Chris Guenzler


I slept in late in the Pullman Suite of the Depot Inn & Suites in La Plata, Missouri and after a quick breakfast, I headed out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. I was still tired from that fantastic trip I made with Bob Cox out to Abilene yesterday.

The first westbound BNSF train did not take long before it arrived.

A Union Pacific westbound came next on Track 2.

Amtrak's eastbound Southwest Chief was almost on time this morning.

BNSF, NS and a Santa Fe blue unit on this train.

An eastbound BNSF stack train was next through La Plata.

A westbound BNSF stack train came next.

An Amish Buggy was just a little too early for the next train.

This long BNSF westbound stack train had DPU's on the rear end.

This eastbound BNSF train had engines from the Norfolk Southern and BC Rail.

Another BNSF westbound stack train.

Then another eastbound BNSF stack train came next.

The Depot Inn & Suites has one Golf Cart that guests can use for getting around La Plata in the fair weather months. I returned to the Depot Inn & Suites for the rest of the day and after dinner was paid a visit by my old friend Ray Burns, who runs TrainParty.Com here in La Plata. I watched some movies then took a sauna tub bath before I called it a night.


After breakfast, I packed up my stuff and cleared out of the Pullman Suite since someone had booked it for this one night I was here. I stored my luggage behind the counter before I went out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point.

Amtrak's eastbound Southwest Chief came into La Plata almost on time again this morning.

A westbound BNSF Auto Train came through La Plata this morning.

This Union Pacific westbound had a DPU on the rear end.

Another eastbound BNSF stack train.

Another BNSF stack train came through La Plata.

I love the path from the Red Rooster parking lot to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. I returned to the Depot Inn & Suites and moved into Room J. I called Lets Talk Trains, the Internet Radio Show Saturday Mornings 10 AM-12 PM Pacific Time or 12 PM-2PM Central Time like I am in La Plata when I am here. I took a nap then watched my DVD of ASIA "Fantasia". I went to the Red Rooster for dinner and came back to La Plata being under a severe thunderstorm watch. Shelli drove me out to the Lookout Point where soon I was joined by others once the lightning and thunder had passed east of town.

An eastbound BNSF stack train came by first with two DPU's.

Two more eastbound BNSF stack trains came through La Plata.

This cloud looks like a bunny rabbit.

Another eastbound BNSF stack train went by our location.

A few of the other people visiting the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point this evening.

Amtrak Train 4 the Southwest Chief came into La Plata over thirty minutes late tonight.

There were a whole bunch of people out at the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point.

The Southwest Chief pulled into the La Plata Station.

The lighting on the wires really caught my eye.

This sunset really caught my attention as I walked back to the Depot Inn & Suites for the night.


I got up early and took the breakfast with me taking the golf cart out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point.

BNSF stack trains were the order of the morning.

This freight came through and at first I thought it was just another KCS unit but when it went by it really caught my attention.

Kansas City Southern NAFTA Unit 4679 was in the power consist of this train.

With these DPU's on the rear.

The Amtrak eastbound Southwest Chief came into La Plata almost on time.

As the Southwest Chief left La Plata this morning a westbound BNSF stack train went by. I returned to the Depot Inn & Suites and relaxed. At 1 PM Shelli picked me up and with us going to her new house in town for a great meal of barbecue ribs which were excellent. We stopped by Show Off Photography where Bob Cox had picked me up a copy of Metallica "Death Magnetic" for me. I returned to the room and listened to my new CD then watched some movies on the television before I checked out and waited for Bob Cox to drive me to the station. The train which left Chicago 32 minutes late was now only 18 minutes late out of Fort Madison. Bob drove me down to the La Plata Amtrak Station where we waited for the westbound Southwest Chief.

An eastbound BNSF freight came into La Plata next as I waited for the Southwest Chief.

New safety stripping has been painted on the La Plata Station platform.

This westbound BNSF train had DPU's on the rear end passing the La Plata Station.

An eastbound BNSF train came into La Plata.

This UP eastbound stack train came next through La Plata. We continued to wait for the Southwest Chief which got later and finally came around the curve into La Plata 55 minutes late.

Amtrak Southwest Chief 3 6/28/2009

The southwest chief pulled into La Plata with Engines 136, 152 and 67, Baggage 1736, Transition 39022, Sleepers 32047 and 32003 Edward L. Ullman, Diner 38007, Lounge 33026 and Coaches 34061, 34090 and 34103. I boarded the Sleeping Car 32047 and had Room 6 with Joe Washington as my Sleeping Car Attendant. I played Solitaire for about thirty five minutes before I made up my room and called it a night.


I woke up west of Dodge City and headed to the Dining Car for a breakfast of French Toast and sausage patties. I was back in my room by the time we got to Garden City.

The main drag of Garden City, Kansas.

The Garden City Western Railway 109 out at their Engine House west of town. I took a nap until just before La Junta where I took a quick fresh air break. The Southwest Chief departed La Junta on time and headed west with me listening to the CD of Metallica "Death Magnetic". That was heard twice and took me to the Raton fresh air break.

Scenes on the way to Trinidad.

The remains of Morley on the east side of Raton Pass before we entered New Mexico and went through the Raton Tunnel. At Raton I took a fresh air break before I watched my DVD of Blue Oyster Cult "A Long Days Night" that I watched both before and after lunch. For lunch I had the Beef Angus Burger and Vanilla Ice Cream. I had lunch with a man from Orange and a couple from Toledo.

On the way to Las Vegas.

Climbing the east side of Glorieta Pass. I switched to the DVD of Queen "Under Review 1973-1980". Our Southwest Chief went into the siding at Canyoncito for the eastbound Southwest Chief.

Between Lamy and Albuquerque. Our train arrived into Albuquerque at 3:38 PM to a 94 degree afternoon. Unit 136 came off the point of our train leaving us with just the two trailing units to pull us to Los Angeles. The Southwest Chief departed Albuquerque on time and headed west.

Two views before I went to the Dining Car and was seated at a table by myself with me having the Flat Iron Bordelaise. After dinner I was back to my room for my DVD "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones".

The start of the Red Mesas of New Mexico.

Later the skies east of Holbrook, Arizona.

The power plant of Joseph City.

The sky turned a glorious red and I got an idea.

The train heads west towards a fantastic sunset.

West of Winslow the mountains west of Flagstaff before I made up my room and called it a night.


I woke up just outside of San Bernardino. I went and took a fresh air break at San Bernardino then went to the Dining Car for French Toast and sausage patties that lasted past Riverside.

The Chino Hills before we entered Santa Ana Canyon. The Southwest Chief proceeded to Fullerton and after a long stop, the train ran to Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal. Almost there we got delayed waiting for Surfliner 564 to leave for San Diego. The Southwest chief arrived into LAUPT at 7:28 AM {8:15 AM}.

The Southwest Chief at rest.

The rear of Metrolink 600 which this morning I took to Santa Ana. I boarded and then called home to be picked up at 8:51 AM. The train left LAUPT on time and south along the Los Angeles River saw a stack train. I had read about the KG1LA-27 on and it was about the right time for it to be passing through Los Angeles on its way to the Los Angeles Harbor. As we neared the front I saw that was it. It had UP 5590, Missouri Pacific Heritage Unit 1982 and Winter Olympic Units 2001 and 2002.

Here are a pair of pictures of this unique consist through the dirty windows of this Metrolink Train. The Metrolink train took me back home to Santa Ana ending yet another train riding adventure.