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Southern Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad and Union Pacific 844 Chase, The Great Plains Transportation Museum plus more

by Chris Guenzler

I was sent an e-mail about a train trip out of Winfield, Kansas and sent off for a ticket. When the Union Pacific announced that the UP 844 would be doing a Spring Trip to Texas I learned that the UP 844 would be running from Coffeyville to Kansas City over the old Missouri Pacific the next day. I booked my nights at the Depot Inn & Suites and Carole Walker, my excellent travel agent got me my rental car and two nights in Parsons, Kansas at the Best Western there. Amtrak Guest Rewards took care of getting me to and from and I was set.


I started the day off with a train ride to Solana Beach before finishing up packing. I was supposed to pick my mother up at the airport but got a call from Southwest Airlines that her flight had been cancelled. I called my sister in law Arlene alerting here that she might have to pick up my mother. I called Southwest who gave me the Oakland Airport paging number which got me in contact with my mother. She would come in on a 3:50 PM plane to Orange County but didn't want to chance me missing my train. Arlene would pick her up and Mrs. Hartmann, Jeff's mother, would drive me down to the train station. I watched about 15 minutes of the Penguins/Senators hockey game before Mrs. Hartmann arrived. She drove me down to the Amtrak Station just as the storm started raining. I walked through the station and went up and over the bridge to Track 1 to wait for my train to Los Angeles to arrive into Santa Ana.

Surfliner 583 4/20/2010

The train came into Santa Ana on time and I boarded Pacific Business Class for the trip to LAUPT. I worked on the story through Anaheim and on into Fullerton where I got caught up. I read the USA Today and then just relaxed as the train made the final sprint into LAUPT where it arrived early. I walked over to Track 11 to wait for my train to La Plata to back into the LAUPT.

Southwest Chief 4 4/20/2010

The train backed in with a consist of Engines 89 and 16, Baggage 1241, Sleepers 32071 Arizona, 32117 Wisconsin and 32218 Wyoming, Diner 38031, Lounge 33005 with Coaches 34034, 31017 and 31019. I was in the Wyoming in Room 12 with Daniel as my Sleeping Car Attendant. I settled into my room and put on the Chicago CD "If you Leave Me Now" and relaxed until the on time departure time of 6:45 PM. That was followed by the Sweet CD "Rock n' Roll Disgrace" which took me to Fullerton and dinner at 7:45 PM. I was seated with an Australian gentleman going to Detroit. I enjoyed a Steak and Vanilla Ice Cream for Dessert. After dinner I made up my room and called it a night.


I was in the Dining Car before Winslow being served by the most excellent Richard Talmy. I was seated with a gentleman who had traveled to New Orleans, Los Angeles and heading home to Wisconsin. I had French Toast and sausage patties. After breakfast I returned to my room to watch my DVD's of "Southern Pacific Classic Steam with sound Volumes 1 & 2". Vol. 1 took me east of Gallup and Vol. 2 continued me on my way east.

The mesas east of the Continental Divide. After the DVD's I switched back to my CD of Metallica "Master of Puppets" that took me into Albuquerque which we arrived into early at 11:13 AM. I stepped off for some fresh air and ample sunshine on this most beautiful New Mexico day. I called my dear friend Randy Jackson and got caught up on a few things we needed to discuss. Two guys got busted for drugs in the Sleeping Car ahead on mine during our layover today. After being outside for over an hour I returned to my room and put on my CD of John Welton "Chasing the Dragon" which was still playing as the train left Albuquerque on time. I'm doing Word Fill In Puzzles on this trip for a change a pace. The next CD was Ted Nugent "Full Bluntal Nugity" that took me past Lamy and over Glorieta Pass. Next I put on my new DVD of Jethro Tull "Live at AVO Session Basel". Outside of Watrous the train slowed down following the correct rules as the crew of this Southwest Chief had a FRA Test and did everything right and once we got to the next green signal we continued onto Raton. The Tull DVD finished and I charged my phone as I did Fill In Puzzles. I took a fresh air break at Raton before having dinner at 6 PM with a gentleman from Rancho Cucamonga. I enjoyed a steak and Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert. After dinner I put on my DVD of Led Zeppelin Live as we neared Trinidad. I watched that until La Junta where I stepped off for a few minutes before I made up my room and called it a night.


I got up just as we were leaving the BNSF Argentine Yard and after having Orange Juice and a Big Texas Cinnamon Roll I prepared myself for the day. The train arrived into Kansas City early so I tried in vain to get On-line with no luck. After that I put on my DVD of Aerosmith Live to head me on my way to La Plata in a good mood. The Los Angeles Kings lost Game 4 last night to the Vancouver Canucks. Thanks to Tom Anderson and my mother for that bit of information. The Southwest Chief left Kansas City on time for my final sprint to La Plata.

Steel company switcher as we crossed the Flyover leaving Kansas City. The Aerosmith DVD took to WB JCT and then I switched to the Alice Cooper CD of "Dragontown" for the rest of the trip to La Plata. The train arrived into La Plata a couple of minutes late and Shelli was there to pick me up to take me to the Depot Inn & Suites.

La Plata 4/22/2010

I am back in the Sportsman Suite for this one night stay and went through the E-mails from the last two days. Next a sauna tub bath for me. After that I got the Golf Cart and headed out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point.

Spring has arrived into La Plata with trees with leaves and flowers along the former Wabash Railroad grade.

With Winter over the Golf Cart returns for your use when visiting.

The view of where the former Wabash Railroad crossed the old Santa Fe Railroad now BNSF Transcon Rail Line.

BNSF 9387 East was the first train of my visit.

Union Pacific 4840 West.

Union Pacific 5317 West.

Union Pacific 7413 West with DPU's on the rear.

BNSF 5521 West was my last train of the day. I went back to the Depot Inn & Suites and called Enterprise to come pick me up. Within ten minutes she was here and we drove up to Kirksville where I got a Dodge Caliber SXT. I drove back to La Plata and gassed up the Caliber. I was working on the story when Matt Melzer stopped by for a visit. Later I went to the Red Rooster for dinner and then relaxed the rest of the evening.

4/23/2010 A Heritage Day

I woke up at 6:45 AM learned the Pittsburgh Penguins lost on the third overtime and checked my e-mail. After a quick Continental Breakfast I moved the car undercover since it was raining hard and loaded the rental car. I checked out and headed out of La Plata heading west on Missouri Highway 156 to Highway 3 which I took south to Clifton Hill.

The Wabash Clifton Hill Station.

A Norfolk Southern freight passing through Clifton Hill. I turned east on US Highway 24 to Missouri Highway 3 which I took south to Missouri Highway 5 and went west to Glasgow.

The former Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Station in Glasgow.

The former Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Bridge now Kansas City Southern across the Missouri River. From here I crossed the Missouri River on Missouri Highway 240.

My next stop was in Slater, Missouri.

The former Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Station in Slater. Like the neon sign!

KCS GP-38 2022.

KCS GP-40-3 2851. From here I headed west to Marshall, Missouri.

The former Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Station in Marshall, Missouri. From here I took US Highway 65 south to Sedalia.

The Missouri Pacific Station now used by Amtrak in Sedalia.

The KATY Freight Station from the Mill Street Bridge.

I parked by the KATY Trail State Park Sign where the KATY Passenger Station is in Sedalia.

The KATY Passenger Station in Sedalia.

One of the KATY Trail Displays.

Union Pacific 6852 West from the Mill Street Bridge. Bob and Amy Cox arrived and told me about the old Missouri Pacific Shops and gave me directions to get there.

The old Missouri Pacific Shops from the west.

The old Missouri Pacific Shops from the east. From here I went to Engineer Street to wait for the Missouri River Runner Train 311.

The Missouri River Runner Train 311 approaching.

The Missouri River Runner Train 311 comes into Sedalia.

On my way out of Sedalia, I went under the former KATY Bridge on US Highway 50 which I took to US Highway 65 south to Missouri Highway 52. I went west to Windsor to my next stop on this trip.

MKT Caboose 1776-1976 at Windsor, Missouri. I continued on Missouri Highway 52 to Clinton, Missouri and my next stop.

MKT Caboose 206. From here I went west on Missouri Highway 7 to Harrisonville where I took Missouri Highway 2 to the Kansas border where it turned into Kansas Highway 68. I turned south on US Highway 169 stopping in Paola where I stopped at a KFC for a late lunch. From here it was a short drive to Osawatomie, Kansas my next stop on the trip.

Union Pacific 7767 North at Osawatomie. I looked north and saw the reason I came to Osawatomie.

Union Pacific 1982 the Missouri Pacific Heritage unit.

Two views of the Union Pacific 1982.

Four views of the details of the Union Pacific 1982.

The rear view of the Union Pacific 1982.

The John Brown County Sign.

A view of the Union Pacific 1982 off the 7th Street Bridge.

Another view of the Union Pacific 1982.

Two more views of the Union Pacific 1982. From here I left Osawatomie and went east to Henson and then south down a county road to Kansas Highway 152 and stopped at the BNSF crossing when I saw a green signal and a BNSF empty coal train in the siding at La Cygne.

BNSF 9287 South at La Cygne, Kansas.

The DPU's on the BNSF 9287 South.

The empty BNSF coal train in the siding at La Cygne. I headed east to US Highway 69 but went past it to get a picture.

The power plant across the La Cygne Lake. From here I went south on US Highway 69 to Pittsburg, Kansas.

A UP coal train on the KCS at Pittsburg. From here it was back on US Highway 69 south to US Highway 400 west to Parson, Kansas where I checked into the Best Western Parson Inn for the night.

Click here for Part 2 of this story