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To the NRHS 2004 Convention Day 1 6/6/2014 Part 1

El Reno Heritage Express Trolley, Railroad Museum of Oklahoma and Curtis Hill

by Chris Guenzler

This year at the NRHS 2014 Convention I was assigned to be a Car Host on the train trips and a Bus Host on two of the trips. I planned an excellent trip to cover mostly new things . Chris Parker just couldn't make it this year but Bob and Elizabeth Alkire would meet me in Ottawa, Kansas on Sunday morning. I worked my new job at Heninger and finished my first ever Rewards Program with my kids. They all worked hard and became better readers because of it. Thank you to Vice Principal Meg Green and RSP Teacher Katie Wright for having the faith in me to do this great reading program. I could not wait for this trip to start and with the LA Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals winning game one, I was ready to go.

The Trip Starts

I worked my job at Heninger Elementary School at Santa Ana, came home and Winston picked me up and took me to John Wayne Airport. I went through security and waited for my flight to Houston.

United Airline 1709 6/5/2014

The flight to Houston was smooth and I read my new Railfan & Railroading magazine before I started on my new Trains Magazine which I read about half of it. We landed early in Houston and I had to take the Air Train from Terminal C to Terminal B then walked to Gate B76 where I sat down. I did Sudoku puzzles as I waited for my flight to Oklahoma City. Then the switching gates game began so I went from Gate 76 on one side of this Terminal B and was carted first to B 88 then that was switched to Gate B 85.

United Airline 5279 6/5/2014

This flight was quick and I read almost all of the rest of Trains Magazine. Once I got back to earth at Will Rodgers Airport, I walked out to the Thrifty Car Rental Desk and picked up my rental car. I then drove to the Motel 6 in Norman.

6/6/2014 I woke up at the Motel 6 at Norman, Oklahoma to the sounds of a thunderstorm so hung out at the motel a little longer than normal today and after a donuts I headed to the Norman Amtrak station. I was raining heavily as I drove to the Amtrak station in Norman.

Two views of the Norman Santa Fe station used by Amtrak. The storm was finishing up as I went with my umbrella to take pictures of Amtrak's Heartland Flyer train 821.

Amtrak's Heartland Flyer train 821 arrived into Norman. The train did its station work and was then ready to depart for points south.

Amtrak's Heartland Flyer train 821 left Norman. I then took the Interstates 35 to 420 to 40 west to Yukon. Here I made my next stop of the day.

The Yukon Rock Island station. I saw a UP caboose across the tracks and decided to investigate it.

The Yukon Best Railroad Museum.

Union Pacific caboose 25865 at the Yukon Best Railroad Museum. Next I headed west to El Reno. I found the tracks the trolley used and followed it to the car shop.

The El Reno Rock Island station.

There is a steam engine tender here.

Rock Island caboose 17209 aka UP 24627 in El Reno. I went into the station and meet my trolley crew.

Next they went out and started the trolley. About 15 minutes later it began to move forward.

The building across the street from the El Reno Rock Island station.

The trolley came out of the shop building. Service is provided by a single double-ended car which was originally built by J. G. Brill in 1924. It started as car 60 of the Philadelphia & Western Railway, an electric interurban line which survives today as the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's route 100 (the Norristown High Speed Line). It was the first of a group of eleven cars known among railfans as Strafford cars because they saw extensive use on the P&W's branch to Strafford. In 1931 it was rebuilt (along with its siblings) and renumbered to 165, and continued to operate on into the SEPTA era, finally being retired in 1986 at the age of 62. It was sold in 1991 to the Keokuk Junction Railway, which transported workers at the Keokuk Dam across the Mississippi River between Iowa and Illinois. After this line discontinued electric operation in the late 1990s, 165 was sold to El Reno, which had it converted from electric to propane power, and renumbered it to 145.

The group boarded the trolley for their trip today.

The first curve on the line.

Our operator for this trip. Now sit back and enjoy my trip aboard the El Reno Heritage Trolley.

In downtown we stopped to detrain our group who would get picked up later today.

The group as we left. Now back to the trip.

This completes our trip aboard the El Reno Heritage Trolley. I thanked the crew for a very nice ride this morning.

Three more views of the El Reno Heritage Trolley. I went into the station to buy a ticket.

My ticket for the El Reno Heritage Trolley.

My final view of the El Reno Rock Island Station.

On the way back to my car one last picture of the El Reno Heritage Trolley. I still had two more things to get pictures of in El Reno.

I drove back to the trolley mural.

Rock Island caboose 17145 in El Reno. From here I drove north up US 81. I stopped at KFC in Kingfisher before I drove north to Enid and found my next station.

The Enid Rock Island station.

Click here for Part 2!