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Southwest Chief in the Midwest

Adventurers in the Appalachia

My First trip on the Southwest Chief going to the 2018 NRHS Convention in Cumberland, Maryland

Chapter Three

Southwest Chief - Los Angeles to Indianapolis

Our Second Day on the Chief

 July 24, 2018



Robin Bowers

Text and Photos by Author

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent.

Comments are appreciated

    I awoke only knowing that I should be somewhere in Kansas but with the train running late we could be anywhere in the state. Chris was missing from the room so I hoped that was a good sign. Later he popped in and said he was feeling like his old self so the long rest was just what the doctor ordered. He said he already had breakfast so he would be in the lounge car and to join him when I was done with my meal. Breakfast on the train is OK but I guess you can't go wrong with eggs, bacon, hash browns, blonde and sweet coffee topped with a glass of OJ. I joined him in the lounge car and found out that we were well before Topeka. The train was having a hard time getting to the Argentine Fuel Pads this morning but the trains were delayed. We backed 1.8 mile to CP Morris to access a track that would take us to the fuel racks but the train did make it. Once the fueling was complete we headed into Missouri to our next servicing stop Kansas City which we arrived to at 11:24 AM after we pulled by it and backed in 0.9 to add another coach the 31024, to our train. I took a prolonged fresh air break and as this was my first time visit to Kansas City I set off to explore and look around.




This was the car added here in Kansas City and goes to Chicago and back.









Notice the streetcar on the bridge.


Our sleeper car 32098 New Jersey


Streetcar as we are leaving KC.

    We left Kansas City at 12:40 PM (7:43 AM), and headed east towards La Plata. We were seated in the dining car with two more very interesting passengers and I repeated yesterday's lunch. Chris showed me the train-related features out of Kansas City plus the bridge at Sibley where he did his Million Miles which was before we knew each other. The train stopped on Bridge 405.7 for a few minutes before we continued east. After the train crossed over, we sped down the other mainline. "


A CSX engine from that train above at NA Jct. We ran through Carrolton then Bosworth and then Marceline. We found the remaining signal bridges and are making plans for a Spring La Plata Railfan Event.



The AT&SF coaling tower.





A quick look of Marceline, the childhood home of Walt Disney where he began his long love of trains.


I was finally getting to see the La Plata Depot and the world renowned Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. The train left La Plata at 3:00 PM (9:55 AM).


Now I want to come back, relax and watch trains here at Chris' lookout.

    As Chris was showing me the various places east of La Plata, the conductor stopped by with an update about our Train 50. We had known for some time that the distance too great and the hours too few to be in Chicago for the 5:45pm departure of Cardinal. We would be detraining in Galesburg and be bused to meet Train 50 in Indianapolis, IN. Not a perfect solution but one we are both happy with. The train crossed the Des Moines River into Iowa to our next station stop at Fort Madison where left at 4:36 PM (11:09 AM). Next the train headed to the Mississippi River crossing.


Fort Madison on the Mississippi River.






Our bridge to cross the Mississippi River.




Crossing Old Man River.



Illinois farm land.


    We made our final sprint to Galesburg arriving there at 6:05pm (12:08) where we detrained to find the bus. The bus was found and a total of seven passengers were aboard as we left at 6:20pm. We took I-74 to Champaign where we gassed and had a dinner stop for food to go then back on I-74 to I-474 to I-70 and then to Indianapolis Union Station, where the trip ended and we all happily debussed.

Cardinal 50

    We all went inside Indianapolis Union Station and waited to board. The train pulled in after midnight and we took the elevator up to track side and boarded the Viewliner Sleeper. The train had a consist of Engine 69, Coaches 2, 5113, 25027 and 25087, Dinette 28000, Business Class 48189, Viewliner Sleeper 62022 and Baggage 61051. Cliff was our sleeping car attendant. After we changed the dirty sheets, Cliff said our room was across the hall and we were in the wrong room but said we could stay put. With that I climbed into the upper bunk. This was my first time in the upper bunk of a Viewliner which rolls down as the pull down on the Superliners. I was out in flash to end a long day.

Thanks for reading.

Text and Photos by Author

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent.

Comments appreciated at ....