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NRHS BNSF Excursion "Quanah Zephyr 6/21/2008

by Chris Guenzler

Chris Parker and I were up at 5:30 AM and I checked my e-mail before putting the correction in the BNSF Network Operation Center Story. We checked out of this Best Western and headed back to the Fort Worth Transportation Center. We paid ten dollars for the same parking place we paid three dollars for Thursday morning. We walked out to the train and found our car for our trip. I stored my stuff on a seat before detraining to get pictures and consists.

The BNSF 7752 is the lead engine on our trip today.

The front of our train is right behind the Amtrak 136.

The station side view of our train. Our train had a consists of the BNSF 7752, Amtrak 38, BNSF Stampede Pass, Amfleet 82710, 82560, 82630, 82580, 82620, and 82500, Mid American Golden Shore 800881, Pennsylvania Henry Hudson 800644, New York Central 38 800655, Braddock Inn 800854, Mount Vernon 800708 and the Kitchi Gammi Club VRIC7 800705. At 6:55 AM our train backed up far enough so it could depart on the Amtrak Connection to the BNSF Mainline. We headed north crossing the Fort Worth Western Railroad and a few minutes later we passed through the BNSF Saginaw Yard. At Saginaw we crossed the UP and then the former Fort Worth & Denver as we passed between the huge grain elevators located here. North of here we took the post BNSF merger connection tracks and I started my new mileage. The train made good time as we passed through Avondale, Herman, Decatur and Alvord. The freight trains were out the way as we head northwest.

Typical Western Texas scenery.

Dry farming takes place along our route.

More of Western Texas scenery. Once you pass west of the 100 Meridian the countryside really dries out. Our train is known today as FW&D 2 West and FW&D 1 East the same number as the old Texas Zephyr that made its last run on September 10th, 1967. The train took the siding as a freight train had a major problem. It seems that some idiot with blue painted face and dressed up as a lady with a pink blouse on and an axe had been chopping air hoses on the BNSF coal train here. The axe wielding idiot was then arrested by the BNSF police and repairs had to be made to the coal train which delayed our train. Once he got on the move again, we waited for another train to clear before we resumed our trek. In my one million seventy six thousand plus miles of riding trains that axe wielding fool was a first! Right after leaving Bowie we crossed the former MKT Railroad now owned by the Union Pacific. The train passed through Bellevue, Dickworsham, Henrietta, and Jolly before we approached Wichita Falls.

Crossing a river as we entered Wichita Falls.

We made a stop in Wichita Falls to drop off and pick up passengers. Back on the move again we left Wichita Falls behind us and headed to Quanah.

The train ran through Wichita Falls.

The train next went through Iowa Falls.

The train passed a small lake before we all went on the lookout for the wild Texas Camels of Tom Burnett.

Wild camels spotted!

The train rolled the miles through Elektra, Harrold, Vernon, and Chillicothe before it arrived into Quanah our destination for this trip.

The train arrived into Quanah at 1:25 PM and we were told the train would leave at 3:30 PM. I detrained to a fantastic reception by the town of Quanah, Texas. Before I went to lunch, I had a picture to take.

The Quanah Zephyr in Quanah, Texas. I then walked three blocks into town to the Three Rivers Ballroom where the town of Quanah was going to provide a box hamburger lunch. It was very organized.

Three lines to get you food and drink.

Then you just found a table to eat at. When I was done I decided to take a look around.

The train backed down to the wye crossing Main Street, Quanah, Texas.

The parade was still going on at this time.

A group of us walked down to the where the train was being serviced for a few more pictures.

The BNSF 7752 looked great in the afternoon sun.

On the way back we saw this sign and I got an idea. Put my finger between the two twos and it became two pointing two. We returned to our location under the shade of a few trees and a building to wait for the train to return from wyeing. 3:15 PM came and went as they had to pull up to water some of the cars with a hose.

At 3:38 PM they started to finish wyeing the train.

Finally they backed the train to Main Street to load the First Class Passengers.

When they started to back the train so we could board coach, another westbound BNSF train came off the line from Oklahoma.

The Quanah Zephyr was now ready to board to Fort Worth. I put on my CD of John Anderson of Yes fame "Latin America 1993". The train left Quanah at 4:15 PM. At Vernon we took the siding for a coal train and a Z Train.

Bolton Grain Express GP-9 in Vernon. I next listened to Yes "Open Your Eyes" before we arrived into Wichita Falls.

The train slowly entered Wichita Falls.

Our train rolled slowly through Wichita Falls.

BNSF power lays over in Wichita Falls.

There is a small railroad museum here in town.

Burlington 2-8-0 304 on Display in Wichita Falls.

BN Caboose on display here.

Wichita Falls Traction Company 5. The train left Wichita Falls at 6:10 PM and box dinners were passed out. I worked on editing the Amtrak Million Mile DVD and finished as we closed in on Fort Worth. A special thank you to the BNSF and the NRHS for a fantastic trip to Quanah. The train returned to the Fort Worth Transportation Center at 9:00 PM.

Chris Parker and I then drove down to the Best Western in Temple, Texas for the night.