Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kansas City - Day 1

Saturday, October 24

Kansas City is one of my favorite places to take photographs, and one of the few places outside of Texas or New Mexico that I'd consider moving to. I spent three months there in 1995 during my dispatcher training, and fell head-over-heels with the city and its dynamic railroad scene. I've been back a handful of times since -- a wedding here, a family weekend trip there -- but it had been about 7 years since my last visit.

A grab shot from the freeway of something I hadn't seen since Tuesday. (That would be the sun.) I'd have to work fast... clouds would be moving back into the area by early afternoon.

Andy was working 1st shift over the weekend, which would give me time to get out and shoot photos in the morning and early afternoon. We'd meet up later in the day for some train watching and Kansas City barbecue...

UP eastbound coal at Bonner Springs, KS.

I managed to hit most of my favorite KC spots during the day: Bonner Springs, the West Bottoms, Santa Fe Junction, KC Union Station. And what I didn't catch on Saturday, I'd see on Sunday...

Unmistakably KC: The red brick warehouses of the West Bottoms district dominate the background behind BNSF 9845, which has paused briefly to await clearance into Murray Yard.

More Bottoms - UP 7400 leads an eastbound.

I had lunch out in Lenexa, where I found a boxcar displaying this old Frisco logo...

After lunch, I headed to Santa Fe Junction, where I'd get my first look at the recently constructed "flyover" bridges. Built and placed in service within the past 5 years, the bridges allow through trains on the BNSF Transcon to avoid delay from cross traffic on the BNSF Fort Scott line and the UP. The railroad was getting its money's worth on Saturday as Z trains in opposite directions "flew over" three other trains on the lower levels.

Big-time action at Santa Fe Junction: five trains on three levels, and all were moving when I snapped this photo. Never seen anything like it!

Andy met me at Kansas City Union Station after work. He's not a foamer, but he patiently waited while I watched and photographed a few more trains before we headed out for some barbecue...

Foamer simulation - Andy at KC Union Station

A westbound UP train passes another of my favorite KC landmarks -- the Western Auto Building.

KCS 34 lurks in the shadows at KC Union Station.

On Sunday, I'd have time for more photography (under mostly cloudy skies) before meeting up with Andy after he finished work.

I had hoped to finish the KC trip reports BEFORE my next vacation started, but the clock has run out. I'm heading to New Mexico for a week with the kids while they're on Spring Break. So check back sometime after the 22nd for a Kansas City finale. By then, I'll have another week's worth of vacation photos and trip reports to share. So we'll see how much success I have at posting more timely blog reports after that. Until then, take care of yourselves... and each other.


np: David Grisman & Jerry Garcia - "Jack-a-roe"

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