Union Pacific Business Special 2.0

Well, I got another shot at the UP business special again.  It came eastbound from Jefferson City, Missouri, with top UP officials (including the president of the railroad) as well as Missouri’s governor and his staff.  I was not, however, able to get a decent enough picture of either the special or the freight train that passed literally seconds before.  I did get video, though, so enjoy!


Railside Adventures FB Page Update

Hey, you!  Yes, you!  Have you liked the Railside Adventures Facebook Page yet?  No?  Then you’re missing out!  It’s shaping up into a regular page now, with several of my videos, not to mention a collection of still pictures that I’ve been taking over the past few months, many of which can only be viewed on the Railside Adventures Facebook Page (I did say that I would post exclusive content on the page).  Here’s one of those pictures now, just to show you what you’re missing…

UP special 1.jpg

This picture was taken in Kirkwood, MO, on 4/26/16 (yesterday) when this Union Pacific Business Special made its way from St. Louis to Kansas City.  There are plenty more pictures where this came from on the Railside Adventures Facebook Page, so be sure to stop by and join the 200+ people who already “like” the page!

And another one bites the dust…

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, hasn’t it? Oh well, hopefully now I can get back into it!

This post is titled “And another one bites the dust…” because the world is losing yet another rail line to the “rail-trail” program. The Rock Island St. Louis Subdivision has fallen. This line, originally started by the St. Louis, Kansas City & Colorado, was bought by “The Rock” in 1901. At that time it only connected St. Louis to nearby Union, but was extended to reach Kansas City, a project which was completed in 1905. At this point, however, the MoPac, Wabash, and Chicago, Burlington & Quincy lines had already been in service for some time, leaving the Rock Island to pick up the scraps. The line was a costly one; having to cut across the Ozark plateau, it required the use of many tunnels and bridges (many of which still exist). This was too much for an already-struggling railroad, especially on what it considered to be a secondary mainline. By 1980, the Rock Island was a thing of the past and its holdings sold off. The St. Louis Southwestern bought the St. Louis Sub, but it did not continue through-service. In fact, it decided to remove all service in 1984 in favor of trackage rights on the former MoPac (now Union Pacific) between St. Louis and Kansas City. Eventually, the UP merged with the Cotton Belt (or, more accurately, its successor road Southern Pacific). The line was later acquired by Ameren Corporation, which operated the line under its Missouri Central subsidiary in the late 1990s, but using only the portion between St. Louis and Union (most of the rest was now dormant and more or less abandoned). This same portion is currently leased by Ameren to the Central Midland Railway, a subsidiary of Progressive Rail, Inc. The rest of the line, however, has been in the process of being torn up for a few months now for conversion to rail-trail, with some sections already being completed.
Here are some pictures I took of the line through Gerald, Missouri, this past December, before the line was torn up.


I have this last word to say to any fellow Missourians who hate to see this line go: while the rest of the line passes into history, we can take comfort in the fact that the Central Midland still stands strong, and that at least some of the line will endure.

Thanks for reading, and, until next time, happy rails!

Kansas City Train Video + Model Railroad Update


Here’s the Kansas City video, I hope you like it!

While I’m here, I might as well say that I’ve made a lot of progress on the HO scale model train layout.  All the benchwork except the facia has been completed and I have the track I need (except for the switches).  It’s nice to finally have something accomplished on that front!

That’s all for now, so thanks for reading and happy rails!

Modern MoPac



Modern MoPac


I said at the end of the last post that I’d have something special to compensate for being late in posting.  So, here’s the “Screaming Eagle” that I had the honor to film!  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!

Valley Park Railfanning 4/20/14


I haven’t ever had two posts in one day, but this one will be short(-ish) because my family’s Easter celebration has worn me out.  My brother took me railfanning again, but we didn’t have much time since the sun was practically down when we left.  But, nonetheless, my catches were pretty good.  The BNSF signal showed green for an eastbound, and I set up with about 5 minutes to spare.  When it did come, I saw that it was a light power move.  Among the five engines lashed up, I spotted a BNSF “fakebonnet”, a unit bearing the old ATSF “warbonnet” scheme but bearing BNSF markings (these came from unfulfilled orders that were only completed after the merger).  When the engines had passed, I set the camera to film them some more.  While I was doing that, however, I noticed headlights on the UP line.  As it turned out, I had pulled my camera around just in the knick of time to catch a westbound UP train meet the eastbound BNSF.  After seeing that, happy that I had so many catches so quickly, I went through my normal footage-taking procedure.  All-in-all, I think I had some pretty good Easter railfanning this year, but I already can’t wait for another time trackside.  Thanks for reading, and happy rails!

The video from the railfanning described above is attached to this post.