Day 3 - Arriving in La Plata, MO!
I woke up at 6:08AM CST. This was really 4:08AM to me, since I was use to Pacific Standard Time. After I took a shower, Lupe told me that we were about to arrive into Kansas City, MO. We got into Kansas City at 7:04AM, 22 minutes early. I detrained and took some photos of an Amfleet consist on the platform. It was still rather dark, and it seems the city was still asleep for the most part.
After Kansas City, I walked to breakfast. As I arrived in the Dining Car, we began moving in reverse back to Kansas City! This was very strange, and nobody seemed to know why. It turned out the Dining Car did not have any water, since they had forgotten to service the train. This took about 45 minutes, and we were now running late.
I had breakfast with Andy, and a sister and brother from a small town in Kansas called Sharon Springs. They talked all about how it was very different living in such a small community. They had caught the train at Garden City, Kansas. I had French Toast for breakfast and it was once again excellent.
After breakfast we had a further delay waiting for a few BNSF freights.
After we started moving again, I rested on the upper bed for a few hours.
When I woke up, the conductor made an announcement we were passing through Marceline, which is the hometown of Walt Disney! This conductor was very efficient and made several announcements when we were stopped, etc.
We arrived in La Plata less then 1 hour late. The train did a double-stop for Sleeping Cars and Coaches, and we all boarded vans to the Depot Inn and Suites!
La Plata was very cold when we arrived. The hotel was just around the corner, and the hotel staff checked everyone in going to the TrainWeb Celebration very fast. The hotel was a railroad museum itself! The entire lobby is filled with Railroad antiques, etc. When I got my room key, I headed to Room U to put my bags down. Ray Burns of TrainWeb told everyone that he would be driving over to the "train watching point" in about 20 minutes. I unpacked my bags, and then had some lunch in the meeting room. The meeting room was at the top of the hall and TrainWeb had set up tons of food for all of us to eat whenever we wished to.
My Room "U"
When we drove over to the train watching point, we all noticed it was an ideal location for railfanning. To the left you can see the new TrainWeb building, and to the right in the distance you will see the Amtrak station. TrainWeb and the Depot Inn plan on installing a Heated/Air Conditioned facility in the near future at this location.
Back at the Depot Inn, I did a bit of exploring. The hotel is not huge, but has a tremendous amount of railroad antiques dating back to the early 20th century.
A bit later I headed over to the TrainWeb building with Ray Burns and Jonathon Ortiz. The building was originally a fertilizer, then purchased by the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department. And less then 6 months ago it was sold to TrainWeb. It has been totally remodeled since.
Inside, everyone was helping out in preparing for the big ceremony the next day. I stayed there for a few hours and helped out by unloading boxes, and decorating their tree.
Tables being prepared.
The computer where Lets Talk Trains would be aired LIVE.
Amtrak memorbilia being displayed.
Back at the hotel, I got my laptop connected to the hotels free WiFi connection which was rather fast. I checked up on things online before going over to the Red Rooster restaurant for dinner with everyone who had arrived Friday. Although the event was on Saturday, a majority of people had already arrived.
The Red Rooster restaurant is located right next to the Depot Inn. Since it was about 25 degrees farenheit, many of us elected to be shuttled over. Inside the Red Rooster, two long tables had been reserved for the TrainWeb event. I sat next to Larry Herron, the Mayor of La Plata, and Ray Burns of TrainWeb. Mayor Herron had moved to La Plata from Arizona and has put a lot of work into making the city even better. I ordered a fried chicken dish for dinner that was very good.
A terrible photo of everyone eating at the Red Rooster.
After dinner, it was almost time that the westbound Southwest Chief was scheduled to arrive. Most of us wanted to head over there to see the train arrive.
The Christmas decoarted Depot at night.
After the train arrived, most of us headed back to the Depot Inn to retire for the evening.