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Western Railroad Discussion > Hang on John, one more train...

Date: 02/22/24 08:00
Hang on John, one more train...
Author: santafe199

...and then I’ll pick you up!

Sometimes you have more fun with “spur-of-the-moment” plans. Yesterday afternoon I had to tear myself away from the scanner and make a run into town to pick up a prescription. My computer had me convinced it was 43 degrees outside. But by the time I made the 10 minute drive into town I realized my rig’s temp reading was right at 68 degrees. And the sun was shining!

So I called my friend, fellow TO member & fellow ex-Santa Fe man John LaGesse and told him I just got a wild hair, you-know-where. He knew what was coming because we’d been talking about doing this since the Super Bowl’s conclusion. The plan we cooked up was for me to make the 90 minute drive over to Lawrence to pick him up. Then we would head on into KC and take a look at Kansas City Union Station. Equipped with our cameras we were hoping to catch KCUS all lit up in the Kansas City Chiefs logo & colors. I had already seen and shot such a display after their previous 2 Super Bowl victories, 2020 & 2023.

But this year there was a departure from the regular Chiefs/Super Bowl atmosphere. The color was there, but the message was different. In light of the gunfire and tragic events there was but a simple message reading: “Kansas City Strong ~ United”. John & I compared notes this morning and concluded this was a very appropriate display, all things considered...

After we got our shots we did what railfans often do. Railroaders too, for the matter: We decided to go grab a bite to eat. John suggested BBQ and I heartily agreed. We found or way down to Joe’s Kansas City BBQ in the old Shamrock gas station at 47th & Mission Rd. The place was packed but the service was friendly and very efficient. And the grub was fantastic! I had the pulled-pork sandwich. But as good as that was, I’m thinking I should have ordered a full slab of ribs and taken some home for tasty left-overs...

1. On my way east to Lawrence I followed good ol’ US hwy 24 to give me a chance to maybe shoot a UP train or two. I did intercept one, but had to backtrack to Grantville (KS) to shoot UP 7735 on this WB manifest.

2. I zig-zagged my way around 2 more WB trains at Perry and Williamstown, missing them at places where US 24 and the UP mains were separated. But I had a hunch and pulled over at Midland, KS. I was right, but I was about 10 seconds too late. The gates were already coming down, so I had to shoot UP 1135 from the ‘dark side’.

Date: 02/22/24 08:01
Re: Hang on John, one more train...
Author: santafe199

After a few tense minutes of cell phone/GPS navigation I finally found his house and picked him up. We took the scenic route into KC, meaning we followed as many RR track sections as we could...

3. Sometime after 5:30 we arrived on the overlook at the base of the Liberty Memorial Tower just south of KCUS. I took this preliminary shot. And while we are waiting for the iconic Western Auto sign to light up, I took the Liberty -pun fully intended- of lightening & enhancing the American Flag in the foreground.

4. The huge Western Auto sign is a Kansas City classic, having been background eye-candy for 100s of railfan photographers over the years. It 5:58 PM...

5. At 6:22 PM I took my final shot of the series. It was a disquieting scene for me. Senseless gun violence coming on the heels of such an emotional high for football fans in the Kansas City/Midwestern arena...
5 photos taken February 21, 2024.

Thanks for the company!
Lance Garrels

Date: 02/22/24 08:27
Re: Hang on John, one more train...
Author: atsfer

Your shots at the depot came out better than mine did...but my camera had an inch of dust on it when I got it out...out of practice is my excuse..  nice series of pictures.  Thanks again for the car ride and Joe's was worth the wait in line or sure.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/24 08:35 by atsfer.

Date: 02/22/24 08:56
Re: Hang on John, one more train...
Author: Gonut1

Very nicely done!
My only brush with Western Auto wasmuch further east and long ago. While on a family vacation touring the tourist traps of Pennsylvania, Dad's probably 10-12 years old, 1950 Ford was having severe trouble climbing the mountains. When we landed in Wellsboro, PA dad parked in the lot of a Western Auto store and bought a very expensive (probably $10 back then and a meal or two) on a compression gauge to check the engine. Minutes later the store closed and while Dad was removing spark plugs he discovered the problem was merely a broken spark plug. Dad being Dad always kept old parts removed from anything and had another in the car's trunk and off we went merrily up the hills of PA. To keep this post somewhat rail oriented we stayed in a cabin in Kane, PA that evening. While waiting for Mom and my two sisters to get ready to go to dinner at a diner (to this day I'm not sure what there is to get ready for dinner?) the Pennsylvania Railroad provided entertainment in the form of an honest to god passenger train with an E something pulling maybe six cars north toward Erie, PA just feet behind the cabin on a track we didn't even see for the weedsalong the ROW. A fitting end to a long day. All other PRR passenger trains i saw were under the catenary on the mainlines and one sole other ocassion of an E toting one car on a branchline, right around the time all the postal contracts were pulled.

Date: 02/22/24 09:04
Re: Hang on John, one more train...
Author: jcaestecker

OMG, Joe's is the best!  If you go again, order the sandwich called 'The Z-Man.'


Date: 02/22/24 10:07
Re: Hang on John, one more train...
Author: santafe199

jcaestecker Wrote: > ... If you go again, order the sandwich called 'The Z-Man.' ...

Will do! Of course, I'll have to invent a flimsy reason to run back up to KC again. Maybe I can pretend that access to the Kansas River Levee is still open, and I can shoot SFe Warbonnet Fs up there all the live-long day...


Date: 02/22/24 10:12
Re: Hang on John, one more train...
Author: stevef

Lance, thanks for the shots. Glad that you took time out.

I have only been to  Joe’s Kansas City BBQ   The one time that I was in Kansas City.  I didn't have a car, so I had to take am UBER over and back.  it was worth it!

Date: 02/22/24 14:27
Re: Hang on John, one more train...
Author: DD40

Hard to beat the burnt ends and rib plate. the Joes in Lenexa, or maybe Olathe is as good as the original one. 

Date: 02/22/24 18:37
Re: Hang on John, one more train...
Author: bobk

Great shots, especially the last one!

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