Labor Day weekend on the Marcelline Sub

Usually, Labor Day weekend means that I’m out doing something train related. I decided this year to head out to Camden, Missouri on the Marcelline Sub.

I arrived a little before 10:00 and found that I wasn’t alone – there was another car, and two railfans wearing day-glo orange vests already there waiting on the (late, as is the norm) Amtrak 4. It didn’t take long for the action to kick up.

BNSF ES44C4s 8178 and 6600 lead a westbound intermodal on Main 1 at 1002

Another C4, BNSF 7104, along with Dash-9 4399, bring up the markers on the westbound at 1004.

Amtrak 4 arrives at 1012, led by P42s 151 and 114.

At 1018, another westbound snuck up on main 1 and came to a stop short of the crossing.

We heard the horns of an oncoming eastbound. One of the other railfans predicted that it would be on Main 3 (the NS/Wabash Main). Sure enough, it was an eastbound NS freight on 3 that tripped the crossing gates at 1025.

The charges on this eastbound were NS Dash 9 9823 and a former BN SD60M turned hired gun CBFX 6027.

The tail end of the NS eastbound rolls by the westbound still waiting on Main 1 at 1027. You can certainly see the separation, along with the lower elevation of the NS/Wabash line compared to the BNSF/Santa Fe iron.

The westbound intermodal finally moves west again at 1029. Power consists of two BNSF units and two from NS: BNSF 5479 and 7394; NS 9500 and 9869.After the westbound left, my contemporaries decided to call it a day and/or decided to head to another location. From here on out, I was flying solo. I had a seat in my car and started uploading the first set of pics to social media when…

…my thoughts were interrupted by a westbound “Z” at 1044 with BNSF GEs 5761, 4699, 7974, and 4452 on point.

An ‘away’ shout of the head end of the westbound “Z”

I had just enough time to pick out my shots and updated social media before another westbound intermodal came running ’round the bend

Closeup of BNSF Dash 9 4646

Closeup of BNSF ES44DC 7620

BNSF 4646 and 7620 head ’round the bend at 1103

Coming ‘round on Main 2… It’s gotta be an eastbound “Z” at 1121 led by an ACe.

The eastbound consist contains not 1, but 2 EMDs. BNSF ES44C4 8248 is sandwiched between SD70ACes 8563 and 8521, with C44-9W 4657 on the rear.

Parting shot of the eastbound.

You know that thingamabob you ordered on Amazon? It just might have ridden a “Z” train somewhere along its journey.


Eastbound intermodal number 2 at 1137 with BNSF 7642 and 5113 on point.


Eastbound intermodal number 3 at 1156 with four toasters: 4087, 4413, 6956, and 8091.

The fourth eastbound at 1207 is an appearance by Uncle Pete. UP SD70ACe 8991 and ES44AC 2554 are in charge.

Away shot of the eastbound UP train.

After a parade of four eastbound intermodal trains, it was time for a west man to cleanse the palette at 1214.

Closeup of lead BNSF ES44C4 4279.

27: Norfolk Southern SD70M 2589 trails the two BNSF units on the west man.


I was just about to pack it in and head for beans when the train gods asked at 1224: Think ya got room for one more westbound “Z?” Engines are 7325, 7819, 5173, and 7547.

Grand Total: 13 trains in 2 1/2 hours. Surprisingly, no Tier 4’s showed up.

All photos were taken on Sunday, September 2, 2018.

A shiny metal suit…

For years, Microsoft has been compared to the Borg from Star Trek. However, with all the bruhaha regarding how they are coercing Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10, I feel that a comparison to the Cybermen from Doctor Who was more apt.

I upgraded my two computers early, but left the other PCs in my household alone. I don’t think that Windows 10 in and of itself is a bad Operating System. However, I do know many who are hesitant to upgrade.

Also, speaking of cybermen, my cousin Sam dressed up as one for Halloween.


His older brother, Carl, was the 11th Doctor (complete with Fez and bowtie)

Not the usual station

On a normal day, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief stops at the station in Lawrence.


However, it is not this station.

The November 13th edition of the Chief was detoured over the Union Pacific line between Hutchinson and Kansas City due to a derailment. Although the UP line goes through Topeka and Lawrence, the station stops at these locations were cancelled.

Amtrak Heritage Sweep

In 2011, Amtrak painted a group of locomotives in special 40th Anniversary paint schemes resembling the different paint schemes on its locomotives. As a Depot Redux volunteer, I usually greet the Amtrak train on Saturday mornings. I’ve kept a lookout for the heritage units as well.

Within a year’s time, I had seen every one of the Amtrak units, and had also photographed all but one, most of them leading the train. Two weeks ago, I got the last of the Heritage Units, which has been based out of Kansas City on the River Runner. Today, I re-shot the only unit I had not photographed *leading* an Amtrak train. With that in mind, here are my photos of all of Amtrak’s heritage units

Phase I: Amtrak 156, 12 July 2014, Lawrence, leading the Southwest Chief
(I have also caught 156 leading 2 Amtrak specials, as well as twice trailing on the Chief)

Phase II: Amtrak 66, 4 October 2014, KC Union Station, leading the Missouri River Runner
(I previously saw 66 trailing on a Chief, but it was on a nightime train, and I did not have my camera)

Phase III (1st): Amtrak 145, 7 September 2013, Camden, Missouri, leading the Chief
(I did catch this train at Lawrence; however, it got there before sunrise)

Phase III (2nd): Amtrak 822, 15 March 2014, Lawrence, leading the Chief (156 is also in the consist)

Both Phase III units together: 145 + 822, 11 July 2014, Lawrence, on an Amtrak special.

Phase III (3rd): Amtrak 406, 12 April 2014, Topeka, with the Amtrak Exhibit Train (along with the Veteran’s Unit, see below)

Phase IV: Amtrak 184, 19 October 2014, Lawrence, leading the Chief

Veteran’s Unit: Amtrak 42, 11 November 2013, Lawrence, leading the Chief