UP Business Special



Got a video today of a Union Pacific Business Special running from St. Louis to Kansas City. A UP stack train and Amtrak’s WB Missouri River Runner also made appearances.  Enjoy!


Summer Railfanning 2015 part 1



Here’s part 1 of 3 in my Summer Railfanning 2015 video series.  It’s been in the works for months now, so I hope you like it!

National Train Day 2015 and Norfolk and Western 2156’s move to Roanoke


Hey y’all, it’s me again!  This year’s National Train Day was one with a pleasant occurrence when it came to railfanning, which I’ll get to shortly.  I spend most of the day at the Kirkwood Missouri Pacific train station in Kirkwood, MO, which now serves Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner.  There were several displays set up inside the station, but most everyone was on the train platform to catch some action on Union Pacific’s Jefferson City Subdivision, in the form of a CSX autorack, a UP train, and Amtrak.  The main attraction to the station today, though, was a local freight towing a steam legend: Norfolk and Western 2156.  Two UP diesels were on the point, with a Norfolk Southern unit tucked in behind.  Among the train was an extra water car for N&W 611, a few NS coaches, a baggage car, and, of course, N&W 2156.  This was just the beginning of her journey, which started at the National Museum of Transportation, and will end at the Virginia Transportation Museum in Roanoke.  This is a homecoming for the mammoth 2-8-8-2 Y6a, because she was build in the Roanoke Shops of the Norfolk & Western for use on the railroad’s coal routes.  At Roanoke, she will be reunited with her cousin, N&W 2-6-6-4 1218, as well as N&W Class J 611, which has recently been returned to steam.  Together, they make up the remnant of the glory days of the Norfolk and Western, which kept steam much long after the rest of the major railroads had converted to diesels.  She will stay at the VTM for the next five years, and will receive a cosmetic restoration while there.  So here’s to you, 2156, to your stay in Roanoke with your family, and your return in 2020 to St. Louis.  And for the rest of you, thanks for reading, and until next time, happy rails!

National Train Day Recap and Some Railfanning

Kirkwood Railfanning 5/10/14 (National Train Day)

National Train Day was very good this year.  I celebrated at St. Louis Union Station this year with many other people and many groups were represented, from model railroad clubs and railroad historical societies all the way up to the Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, Amtrak, and the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis.  Under the old train shed on the remaining tracks, Union Pacific had two heritage units set up: the Katy and the MoPac.  Amtrak countered with a consist featuring a P42 loco, a dining car, and a coach.  Norfolk Southern chimed in it’s special Operation Lifesaver engine and the Exhibit Car, a passenger car converted into a little museum on wheels.  Finally, the TRRA contributed a pair of GP-38-3 switch engines for display.  One of the coolest things there though, by far (as indicated by the line for it), was the consist of private passenger cars contributed by American Rail Excursions.  These were very top-notch cars of first-class standards.  On a sadder note, the excursion train I had been looking forward to never materialized.  It had been in the plans at the start, but at some point along the lines it had been cancelled.  Despite this, I had a great time at Union Station.  This isn’t the end of the post, though.  My dad and I went to get lunch in Kirkwood, and then went to the train depot so I could film the eastbound Missouri River Runner make it’s station stop.  The weather was way better than last time I filmed it, but there was another setback in it’s place.  Right as the train came around the bend, my tripod lost stability, causing some shaky video.  Oh, well.  I still had a fun day, a day to remember.  I already can’t wait until the next National Train Day, and even my next railfanning trip for that matter.  Until then, thanks for reading, happy Train Day, and happy rails!

National Train Day is almost here!

Railside AdventuresOne of the biggest days in the railfan’s year is almost here!  National Train Day (this year on May 10th) is celebrated in nearly all the States by millions each year at different railroad museums and stations across the country.  Sponsored by Amtrak, it was started in 2008 to show the public that trains were still important in the transportation industry.  I myself will be celebrating at St. Louis Union Station, where they are going to have equipment displays and, from what I’ve read, even an excursion train!  For more info on National Train Day and to find nearby places hosting celebrations, go to http://www.nationaltrainday.com.  Thanks for reading, and happy rails!

Kirkwood Railfanning 3/1/14

I went on another raifanning trip today, and caught Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner making it’s station stop at the Kirkwood passenger station.  The depot, built by the Missouri Pacific in 1893, remains alive today as the Amtrak station for the St. Louis suburbs.  There was a fair amount of passengers on the train, and the stop took about seven minutes.  I will try to link to the footage video tomorrow (I just got a massive amount of footage off the camera), because I can’t have it on the blog itself without paying $60 a year.

Valley Park Railfanning 1/18/14

The first time railfanning this year turned out better than I had hoped!  I had stopped by waiting for the local freight to pass, but for some reason or another it never came.  Instead, I filmed the Amtrak Missouri River Runner passing on the Union Pacific.  After watching that pass, I waited a little while longer for the local, but finally gave up.  After I got in the car, though, it didn’t start.  While waiting in the car waiting for the tow truck, I noticed something different with the signal.  I got out to look at it, and saw that it had turned green!  With a renewed energy and enthusiasm, I got out and waited for the train.  Time started to drag on again, and the cold was biting.  But when the tow truck arrived, it wasn’t the only thing to come.  The train, as it turned out, wasn’t the local I was looking for, but the first regular mainline train I had ever seen on that line!  I don’t know where the train, pulled by two BNSF engines, was from or where it was going (save that it was eastbound) the only thing I care about is that I SAW A TRAIN!  As soon as the train had passed, the car was up and running again.  It just goes to show, patience IS a virtue. ;).

P.S. I will try to get video up soon.