Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kansas City - 3

Hi, This is the final batch of scanned slides from the Kansas City area. The first 2 photos show trains passing Sheffield Tower. First an eastbound SP, and then

a westbound ATSF.

There was a major crossing in the area where KCS and UP trains crossed Kansas City Terminal trackage.

The former MP Neff Yard also was in this area.

North of this area was the joint agency which was used by the Milwaukee Road (now CP) shown here northbound with the Truman Bridge in the background and

the KCS.

Knoche Yard was a major facility for the KCS and part of the joint agency.  Note, KCS did all the switching.

A Soo Line transfer is leaving Knoche Yard in the photo below.

The KCS line south out of Knoche Yard makes a spectacular climb out of the Missouri River valley.

It crosses two concrete arch bridges and

a long trestle crossing the 63rd Street Trafficway.  This view shows about 1/3 its length.

Granville was a major source of traffic and was served by its own local out of Knoche Yard.

There also was a yard south of BN Junction served by both KCS and


The MKT came into town from the south and

either the Milwaukee had trackage rights on this line or power ran through.

At Morris, KS a few miles west of Argentine Yard, the line to Topeka breaks off from the mainlines to Texas and New Mexico.  I believe everything in this scene is gone.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kansas City - 2

Hi, In this installment we'll start just east of ATSF's Argentine Yard, move east passing KUT's engine facility and then through the west bottoms before taking a brief look at downtown.

Below an intermodal exits Argentine Yard on its eastbound run.

 Kansas City Union Terminal had its engine facility adjacent to BN junction ( Kansas City - 1) until the flyover was constructed.

The Gateway western took over the former Illinois Cenrat Gulf Route between Kansas City and St. Louis/Springfield, IL from Chicago Missouri and Western.  Its yard was between Santa Fe Junction  and the warehouse district in the west bottoms.  The route is now part of KCS.

Union Ave. Tower rises above this transfer run just to the left of the gray building in the background.

This BN switcher is running on now gone street trackage behind Union Ave. Tower.

The UP mainline passes through the west bottoms warehouse district.  Below are two eastbound manifests,

a light engine move westbound, and

another eastbound.

Moving east from Santa Fe Junction is the area around Union Station.  The Western Auto building remains an iconic landmark in this area.  The train is westbound.

A westbound SP train is seen from the W. Pennway St. Bridge.

Finally, this eastbound ATSF intermodal was photographed from the Main Street Bridge.  The view is now partially obscured by a foot bridge across the tracks from parking on the right to Union Station on the left.

Thanks for looking.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Kansas City - 1

Hi, Moving on with some more slide scans here are some photos I have taken at Santa Fe Junction in Kansas City. This used to be a great place to go. All but one of the views were taken well away from the tracks in a completely safe place and there was plenty of traffic. In fact, all of the railroads serving KC could be seen in this area.  Unfortunately, with the construction of the flyover in this area all of these locations are off limits.

The ATSF train is eastbound out of Argentine Yard while the SP auto train is entering Missouri from Kansas, where crews changed at Armourdale Yard.  The SP train is crossing the Kaw River on the lower deck.

This is the only view from railroad property.  It was taken from some steps leading to the upper level of the bridge across the Kaw River.  They can be seen above the second unit in the following photo.

Here a westbound C&NW train is on coming through downtown.

Another C&NW train is headed for ATSF's Argentine Yard.

This UP freight is westbound over the upper level of the Kaw River Bridge with downtown Kansas City, MO in the background.  Santa Fe Junction is slightly out of the photo to the right.

From the same general area as the above images an ATSF freight is seen westbound.

A Soo Line transfer with a pair of SD60s is climbing the approach to the upper level of the Kaw River Bridge in this view.  Kansas City Union Terminal is in the left background.

Amtrak turns its Kansas City Mules (2 trains per day each way at this time) by pulling up on the Bridge approach and then backing down the other leg of the wye.

A Kansas City Union Terminal switcher passes through the junction.

An eastbound auto rack train,
a westbound SP train,
and a BNSF transfer returning home are all seen from ground level.

Finally a BN coal train heads south.  While technically BN Junction, not Santa Fe Junction, this is in the same area and the only location still accessible.  The two legs of the wye used by Amtrak can be seen above the power.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

California - 7/2013

Hi, Ruthe and I visited California July 19 - July 26. We spent the first 2 1/2 days visiting friends we first met on a trip to Europe in 2006. On the second full day we were joined by another couple we met on the same trip and attended a memorial service for a woman who also had been on the trip.

Following the memorial service we headed north to visit the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA.  We spent 2 nights in Moro Bay where we arrived around noon of our third full day.  After lunch we explored the town, which offers boating, fishing and swimming.

Across the bay from the town is a huge rock.

We drove out to the rock and found a large colony of Cormorants nesting there.

On the ground next to the parking lot a group of squirrels frolicked.

Surfers took advantage of the small waves.

That afternoon we drove up to Hearst Castle to claim our tickets for our  3 tours the next day.  On the way back to Moro Bay we spotted these Zebras out in a field with cattle raised on the ranch.  The Zebras were part of a zoo that William Randolph Hearst established on his property.  When the house was donated to the State of California the Zebras and a number of other exotic animals were set free to roam the ranch property which remained with the Hearst family.

Hearst Castle was constructed by William Randolph Hearst, the publisher.  He began the project in 1919 with the idea of building a small vacation home on a hill top overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the family' vast ranch.  What emerged over a the next 28 years was a main building with over 60,000 square feet and 3 guest houses with a total of almost 11,000 square feet.  The project was never quite finished with a few details remaining to be completed.

However, even during its construction Hearst used the estate for parties.  Invited guests included luminaries such as Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill.  Guests usually arrived by plane at his private airstrip or by private train from Los Angeles.

Lavish decoration is everywhere, both inside and outside the house.

Plantings are lush throughout the grounds, and

original statues abound.

The views all around are spectacular, here looking east toward the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and

west toward the Pacific Ocean.

This is the formal dining room.

I'm not sure what this is.  I took the photo because I liked the pattern.

Here is a closeup of the tapestry on one wall of the dining room and what I think is a candelabra.

I was intrigued by what I guess is supposed to be a typical place setting, with a bottle of ketchup and a jar of mustard to be shared by 4 diners.

I will let most of the remaining photos speak for themselves.

Mr. Hearst never stopped working.  When everyone else had retired for the night he would head for his study and look over the next day's editions of his many newspapers, which were flown in each day.

One of the highlights of the estate is the outdoor Neptune Pool.

The pool includes this Roman Temple front transported from Europe and reconstructed here.

The trip from the visitor's center, a few minutes off the main road, to the castle took about 15 minutes climbing this winding road.

The front facade of the main building was designed to mimic a Spanish Cathedral.

There also is an indoor pool.

After touring Hearst Castle we drove north for a few miles to Piedras Blancas where Elephant Seals congregate on the beach.

As a parting photo, sunset as seen from our flight as it lands at Washington National Airport.

Thanks for looking.