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A visit to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum 10/10/2008

by Chris Guenzler

On Wednesday morning I got up to go to work and could not find my wallet. A quick search revealed nothing so I drove first to the last place I had used it then drove to work. I came home and soon more problems arose. I could not get a rental car without my driver's license and my one credit card I had left was almost maxed out. I went to the Credit Union and got a temporary bank card. That night I went to bed wondering how I was going to manage to do this trip.

10/9/2008 I was up early and after making sure I had been paid, I went and got my money for my trip. My plan was to get to the Santa Ana DMV at 7:00 AM so I could be at the front of the line to get in. That worked and I had a temporary license by 8:09 AM. The Hertz Rental Car Company was contacted and it would not work out. I tried Thrifty and after three phone calls it did not work out. I called Steve Grande and told him what had happened and within twenty minutes he came up with an idea. Taxi to the Airport Inn and then he found me the Drake Inn 9/10 of a mile from the Tennessee Central Railway Museum that I would be visiting on Friday and where my train would leave from on Saturday. I would taxi to the Drake Inn Friday morning and then taxi back to the Airport Sunday morning. I called the Best Western Airport Inn and they had shuttle service I could use so that would save me some money. Steve got me my room at the Drake Inn while I canceled the other two nights at Best Westerns around Nashville. Carol Walker was called to cancel my car rental and I finished up packing. Next the train tickets vanished so I called the Tennessee Central Railway Museum who said they would have my ticket waiting at will call for me. What would happen next to me? I was still sober on Day 5013 and finished my packing just before Steve arrived to drive me down to John Wayne Airport. Security took eight minutes then I waited two hours for my flight to board.

Continental Airlines Flight 420 10/9/2008

They boarded this flight in a hurry and this B737-700 airplane backed from the gate at 12:42 PM and took off at 12:57 PM. I listened to the Gandy Dancers, a band that Kenny Marshall had recorded with and it includes the "Ballad of Chris Guenzler". I did some Sudoku puzzles before we landed in Houston at 5:35 PM CDT. We got out of the plane at 6:02 PM and I had to find my next flight. It was in Terminal B which I reached by taking the shuttle train. At 6:10 PM I was in Terminal B and after some donuts went and found my gate.

Continental Airlines Flight 3038 10/9/2008

The Gate 4 in Terminal B was opened at 6:50 PM and I walked out to Gate B48M to board my Embraer RJ145 airplane for Nashville. The plane took off at 7:37 PM as I was reading more of the John Grisham book, "The Innocent Man". The plane landed at Nashville at 9:05 PM and after all the baggage was unloaded we were allowed to deplane. I called the hotel and they did not have a shuttle driver that evening. So I had to find a taxi which the hotel had to pay for to get me to the Best Western Airport Inn where I paid cash for the room. I checked the Internet before I called it a night.

10/10/2008 I woke up Best Western Airport Inn and went to have breakfast in the lobby. I got my Gold Member Number off the Internet and gave it to the desk person who would credit me for my night stay there. I called a taxi and Frank was right on time to pick me up and took me to the Drake Inn where I would stay the next two nights of this trip. I checked in, stashed my luggage in my room then walked to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum.

The Tennessee Central Railway Museum 10/10/2008

The Museum's collection is housed in this building. I checked into their office and after a brief conversation, I was taken across to the Museum for my tour around their inside collection of railroad history.

A model of Nashville Union Station.

Tennessee Central model of a 4-4-0 504 with a Combine 404 US Mail and Coach 714.

Model of the L&N A-3 0-4-0 99.

The Dixie Line Train Bulletin.

Display Case with Marker Lights.

Display Case with Lanterns and Tennessee Central Timetables.

Railroad pictures on the wall.

Aladdin Kerosene Caboose Lamp.

Marker Lights and Railroad Signs.

Part of the old "O" gauge model railroad that was once housed on an upper floor of Nashville Union Station.

Part of the "O" gauge collection.

Semaphore signal blade.

Display case of Passenger Railroad Timetables.

The pictures above the display case.

Visitor register.

Major Mission Statement of the Tennessee Central Railway Museum.

Cast Iron Mileage Marker of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St Louis Railroad.

Fire Bucket of the Tennessee Central Railroad.

TCRY Edcoten, KY.

Models with an early signal system for streetcars.

Marker Lights and a locomotive builders plate.

Church and a coal loader models.

Model of the C&C Office Building.

Lanterns and more Marker Lights.

Another Aladdin Kerosene Caboose Lamp.

Tennessee Central Diesel pictures.

Steam Locomotive Board.

Great American Train Songs.

Signal and a locomotive bell.

Night Train to Memphis Movie Poster.

C.T.R.N. Yard Limit sign.

L&N Train Dispatcher's control board.

Various Tennessee Central pictures.

More of the Nashville Union Station "O" gauge collection.

Collection of railroad lanterns.

Headlight of NC&SL 342 and a Penn Bridge Company of Beaver Falls builders plate.

Pictures of Tennessee Central diesels.

History of the Maria Engine 535.

Map of the Tennessee Central and more pictures.

Pictures on the south wall.

Two views of the entire Tennessee Central Railway Museum's inside collection. I went back to the office and she next took me into the former Baggage Room that housed two model railroads.

Views of the HO Model Railroad.

Views of the N Gauge Model Railroad at the Tennessee Central Railway Museum. I went back to the office and she showed me a program on one of the Museum's trips with a train robbery. It was like California's Gold but in a Tennessee style of doing a show. Next I would be taken out to see the Tennessee Central Railway Collection of train equipment.

Click here for Part 2 of this story