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Marceline, La Plata, Galesburg and the CZ West!

by Chris Guenzler

4/28/2007 I woke up before I enjoyed a Continental Breakfast in the Depot Inn Lobby. I returned to my room to watch some more of Monty Python Flying Circus. I met Chris Parker in the lobby along with some other members of our group. In Chris Parker's car we had me, Tom and Jonathan while Andy Smith took Anton in his car. We drove down to Macon then west to Marceline. We drove into town and found the former Santa Fe Station now the Walt Disney Museum.

The Marceline Station. We had a green eastbound signal and soon a headlight appeared out of the west.

A BNSF eastbound passed the Marceline Station. After its passing we relocated to the highway bridge just to the west. A few minutes later I spotted a westbound coming but it was at least six miles away so we all had plenty of time to set up for our pictures.

The BNSF westbound passed through Marceline next. An eastbound horn we heard and we all knew what was coming our way next.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief flew through Marceline next stop La Plata. We next drove to E.P. Ripley Park in Marceline.

Santa Fe Steam Engine 2546 in E.P. Ripley Park in Marceline.

Santa Fe Caboose in the park. I walked over to Kansas Street, also known as "Main Street USA".

"Main Street USA" Marceline, Missouri.

Minnie Mouse looked right at home on "Main Street USA" in Marceline. We headed back east and on the way there Jonathan had spotted a picture of a steam engine on a sign at Bevier. On the way back we decided to have a look.

Bevier & Southern 2-6-0 112 on display in Bevier.

A plaque tells all about it. From here we drove into Macon to see what the old CB&Q line looked like passing through town.

The BNSF line through Macon with the old Wabash Railroad Bridge still in place.

Here is Anton on the old Wabash Railroad Bridge in Macon.

Looking east down onto the BNSF line. From here we drove back to the Depot Inn and Suites as I had an Internet Radio Show to be the guest on this morning.

The show of Lets Talk Trains lasted three hours. Richard put me on during the second segment which allowed me a bit of a rest before we started. I named the three winners of the Million Rail Mile Card Contest and answered all of the questions that were asked of me on the Trainweb Passenger Forum. I told a few stories then Richard got an idea about contacting us. Since listeners could not call us today he suggested they e-mail us which worked just fine. Richard also played a tape of me breaking the Million Rail Mile mark yesterday. It was fun to hear it again as I will never forgot it. It was a great show and it was always fun to do the show with Richard. After the show I did another interview for the documentary before I walked to the highway bridge meeting Tony. We talked for awhile before we made our way over to the "Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point".

A BNSF westbound came blasting into La Plata. Larry was driving the golf cart everywhere and looked like a little kid having the time of his life. Richard drove up in the other one and we talked for a while but alas no train passed through. We all returned to the Depot Inn before Tom, Chris Parker and I all went to the Red Rooster for dinner.

D. More people joined us and it was Prom Night in La Plata so it was interesting to see all the young ladies in their dresses and all the lads so dressed up. Tom and I returned to the Depot Inn to do some laundry and watch some Monty Python. We got a golf cart then drove and went down to the station to see Steve, Barbara, Andy, Tony and the video crew off on the Southwest Chief.

D. Dutch and I down at the La Plata Amtrak Station. The Southwest Chief came into La Plata a few minutes late and we said goodbye to all who left La Plata that evening. On the way back to the Depot Inn we went over to the "Lookout Point" for a few minutes. Tom, Chris and I then watched highlights of the "Monty Python Meaning of Life". Before I went to bed, I used the Sauna Tub before I called it a night.

4/29/2007 I meet Tom and we took off on the golf cart out to the lookout after we dropped the Walkers off at the Red Rooster. Richard came out and we waited for some trains to show up.

A BNSF eastbound came through La Plata by our location.

Next a BNSF westbound came into La Plata.

The "Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point" on an early Sunday morning. We picked up the Walkers and returned them to the Inn before we went and had breakfast at the Red Rooster.

C.M. The Red Rooster.

C.M. Me at the Red Rooster. I had French Toast and sausage. I packed the Pullman Suite and then Anton came to see me.

He presented me with this plaque which I then walked out into the lobby to show everyone.

C.M. Me in the lobby with Anton's plaque. We all met in the lobby at 9:30 AM and were driven back down to the train station.

Tom Marshall and the Depot Inn brand new 24 passenger bus.

C.M. Tom and Chris at the van.

C.M. Larry inside the La Plata Station.

C.M. The group posed for a picture at the La Plata Station.

C.M. Waiting for the eastbound Southwest Chief.

Southwest Chief 4 4/29/2007

I took this picture of the Southwest Chief coming into La Plata.

D. Dutch took a picture of me taking a picture of the Southwest Chief coming into La Plata. Everyone grabbed their luggage and we all boarded the train. As I sat down in my coach seat I thought "Where is Jonathon? I stuck me that we had not seen him at all this morning. The train started to move and I went looking for him. I found Chris who had realized that Jonathon was not with us at the station and sent Carl back to the Inn to get him. Carl got back just as the train was pulling out and we left in La Plata. If Jonathon was going to make the rest of this trip he would have to get up to Ottumwa 80 miles north of La Plata. Once I got settled in I went to the Lounge Car and found the rest of our group.

Tom and Dutch in the Lounge Car.

Anton, Larry and Chris in the Lounge Car. We called Jonathon and told him to get to Ottumwa and to call Amtrak not to give away his Sleeping Car Room when he does not board in Galesburg. There were plenty of slow orders out on this stretch of railroad this morning as we were also following a BNSF freight most of the way to Fort Madison.

Later we crossed the Des Moines River into Iowa and thirty minutes later stopped in Fort Madison for a fresh air stop.

A nice warm Spring day in Fort Madison. We all reboarded before we continued east to Galesburg.

The Southwest Chief started across the Mississippi River leaving Iowa and once across would be in Illinois. I returned to the Lounge Car as our train was making it final sprint to Galesburg. The Southwest Chief took the Cameron Connection to get to the old CB&Q which we took to Galesburg where Tom, the Walkers and I detrained. I posed for more pictures before the train prepared to leave for Chicago.

The Southwest Chief has left Galesburg on its way to Chicago. The Walkers stayed at the Galesburg Station while Tom and I were picked up by Janet Kahle who was taking us from the station to a surprise location. John Kuderne had ridden his bike to the station and would meet us at that location. Tom and I got into Janet's car and we made our way to the location.

A Visit to the Rail House in Galesburg, Illinois 4/29/2007

We pulled up to the unique house located at this wonderful location in Galesburg.

A Dream Train Watchers Spot, the Rail House.

Marlon Birkey, a three year veteran of visiting the fantastic train watching location.

John Kuderne, Robert Hook and Janet Kahle at the Rail House next to Peck Park.

Tom enjoying himself at the Rail House.

A BNSF westbound was the first train of our visit to the Rail House. We were given a tour of this unique house with all of its railroad memorabilia. Out on the deck we then sat drinking 7-UP and waited for the next train.

Next a westbound BNSF empty coal train.

Another BNSF westbound on the old Santa Fe.

A BNSF yard engine dragged a string of cars by us then pushed them back into the yard putting on a good show.

Next the California Zephyr ran eastbound towards Chicago.

The Taconite Train came down from Savanna. After all that action in such a short time, it was time to return back to the Amtrak Station. I thanked everyone for having us and that my Million Rail Mile trip could not have been complete without a trip to the Rail House in Galesburg. Janet then drove us back to the Amtrak station stopping along the way.

The former station building location of the Santa Fe Station in Galesburg when the Southwest Chief used to travel all the way to Chicago on the old Santa Fe. We returned to the station after a brief tour of Galesburg. I checked my luggage and the Walkers before going out to explore.

The CB&Q Steam Engine in Galesburg.

A BNSF eastbound coal train passed through the Galesburg Amtrak Station.

A BNSF eastbound came out of the yard to Galesburg to head north to Savanna and beyond.

A BNSF westbound with Norfolk Southern power came into Galesburg next.

A yard job came out onto a lead to switch.

It move further out behind it headed back into the yard.

California Zephyr 5 4/29/2007

The California Zephyr rolled in at 4:46 PM and I boarded Sleeping Car 32014, the Oklahoma. We departed Galesburg at 4:54 PM with a consist of engines 132 and 164, Baggage 1761, Transition 32096, Sleepers 32014 Oklahoma and 32056, Diner 38032, Lounge 33005 and Coaches 34062 and 35004 {Panic Box ie Snack Coach}. My sleeping Car attendant was P.J. Jacobs. Once on the move again, we made maximize track speed for the remaining westbound miles in the state of Illinois.

Crossing the Mississippi River into Burlington, Iowa.

CB&Q 3005 on display in Burlington during our station stop there before we started rolling towards Mount Pleasant.

Iowa countryside on the way to Ottumwa where I hoped to find Jonathon. We pulled into Ottumwa and guess who I saw?

Jonathan getting on in Ottumwa.

CB&Q 3001 on display at Ottumwa.

Fresh air stop at Ottumwa.

Ottumwa Station right before we left for points west.

On the way to Cresson. Our Dinner Reservation for 7:45 did not get called in until 8:01 PM with Tom, Jonathon and I heading towards Omaha. I ordered the Seared Salmon with a Chocolate Bundt Cake. As we were waiting for Dinner to be served, we got a phone call from Chris Parker. He and Anton were at O'Hare Airport having been too late for they flight and did not get onto the next flight. They had gone down to Roosevelt Road and left there a little late. On the Blue Line the train stopped for forty minutes as highway traffic zoomed by them. They arrived at the gate with only twenty minutes left before their flight. The airline gave away their seats and put them on Standby. They had to stay in Chicago for the night and take a flight the next morning. I returned to my room for Yes "The Ladder" in my darkened room.

The moon shined bright. That took me to Omaha for a fresh air break.

The CZ at Omaha.

Looking across the mainline to the Durham Western Heritage Museum. I went back to my room, made up the bed and called it a night after another interesting day.

Special thanks for the use of their pictures by C.M. = Carl Morrison and D. = Dutch.

Click here for the trip west to Denver and beyond!