You are currently browsing the daily archive for March 21, 2023.

If you’re starting with this post, here’s background:  back in January I bought an Amtrak USA Rail Pass on sale for $299.  Here are the rules and conditions.  I researched and assembled an itinerary, which so far has brought zero glitches.  I’m combining trains with rental cars.  

Segment 7 of 10 begins in Kansas City.  The 1914 Union Station today is much more than a place to board/debark trains.

In one of the great halls of the spectacular station, a  STEM fair was taking place the day I arrived. 

Right across the street from the station is the World War 1 Museum and Memorial. The dedication in 1921 brought together high ranking reps of many nations.

Many timely exhibits can be seen. 

Considering KC MO is on the Missouri River,  a must-see sight is the steamboat Arabia wreck museum.

Another is the historic jazz district of KC, where I saw this tribute to hometown hero Yardbird.  I was happy to have watched Ken Burns’ Jazz last winter.

Other features of the 18th & Vine district include Arthur Bryant’s BBQ and so much more like this.   More about this area when I catch up with a tagster post. 

The Southwest Chief, Chicago-bound, was running precisely on time.  I know . . . there are many and differently-scenic parts of these named train routes . . . so many miles and so little time.

Just east of KC, we pass the Sugar Creek barge loading port;  just to the left of those buildings and trees is the Missouri River. A view of this operation from the river would be piers and loading/unloading elevators.

We crossed the Missouri at Sibley, and a club car seat offered an illuminated view of the bends and bars in the river.


Again, riding the tracks gives a good view of places like Hardin MO, which you may not have known before, unless you recall the 1993 disaster . . . 

or La Plata, which still has an Amtrak stop.

We crossed the Des Moines River.

Recall that these are all photos from the train taken with the speed of a cell phone, so excuse the sparse detail.  See that white horizontal band across the middle of the photo?  Those are blades at the Siemens Gamesa wind turbine plant in Fort Madison, the end of this segment of my trip.  Here’s another link.

Just north of the Amtrak station in Fort Madison, where I ended this segment,  is another preserved locomotive, the Santa Fe 2913.  Maybe some train folks could answer this question:  As these steam trains were turned into monuments, was any attention paid to preservation such that these engines could again be fired up?  I suspect the answer might be . . . some were and others not.

From the Kingsley Inn lobby right across the street from the train station and the Mississippi River beyond,  two livestream 5′ x 3′ screens pay tribute to the location.   The screens stream virtual railfan Ft. Madison and streamtime live Mississippi River lock 19. This place seems popular with folks interested in rail and river traffic.

More on this upbound tow in tomorrow’s post.

All photos, any errors, WVD.

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