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Silver Rails Country 2012: The Chris Guenzler Millionth Mile Lookout Point
  Located just a short walk or drive from the Depot Inn & Suites, this railfanning platform is built atop a piece of abandoned ex-Wabash Railroad right-of-way and is located at Milepost 312.67 on the BNSF Marceline Sub, also known as "The Transcon". It is named in honor of Chris Guenzler who has travelled over 1 million miles on Amtrak in his life and is likely the only person to ever accomplish this! It features an open deck with chairs outside and a fully heated, enclosed building with a table and chairs inside. A TV with an ATCS monitor is available inside as well. You can sign your name on one of the walls inside if you like (I did)! Outside, there are 2 "porta-johnnies" appropriately labeled "Maw" and "Paw"! and there is also a charcoal grill available if you would like to have a small cookout while there. The building has webcams installed on it which capture images that are shown on a TV channel in the Depot Inn & Suites as well as on the Rail Lookout's web site. I spent almost 3 hours here on October 16th, until about sunset. I initially was there alone but eventually, a couple from Illinois arrived and another small group ordered a pizza and had dinner inside the building. I also chatted with a local railfan who is a member of a local club that has a model train layout set up inside the La Plata station as they were meeting to work on it that night. Most of the photos were taken here with a few taken when I was photographing the Southwest Chief at the La Plata station, framing the rail lookout into the photos. Enjoy...
The driveway to the Rail Lookout begins behind the Red Rooster Restaurant which is near the Depot Inn & Suites. You may notice in this
photo, a sign that says "He Saw The Train", a "brief story" is told as you walk up this driveway!
That "brief story" ended up as a fictitious advertisement for the now-defunct shaving product "Burma-Shave"!!! The signs state the
following: "He Saw The Train", "He Tried To Duck It", "He Kicked The Gas", "Then The Bucket", "Burma-Shave"!
At the end of the driveway, is the Rail Lookout Point! You can rent a golf cart from the Depot Inn to get here,
drive your own car here, or you can do what I did, enjoy the fresh air and walk!
Facilities are available at the Rail Lookout, conveniently named "Maw" and "Paw"!!!
A charcoal grill is available if you want to have a small cookout at the Rail Lookout!
The back of the Rail Lookout building which has information on the area posted next to the door.
Inside the Rail Lookout building. The room is fully heated and a table and chairs (more chairs are outside) are also available.
An ATCS monitor is normally on the TV screen on the wall next to the door (It wasn't running the day I was there due to a recent
lightning strike but normally is there). There is also free Wi-Fi internet available as well as AC outlets.
With ample windows, this is a great place to get in some railfanning when the temps get cold outside!!!
Let's check out the railfanning deck! There are more chairs here if you'd rather sit and relax. The webcams are mounted
on the building. This view is looking east towards Chicago!
This view is looking west from the deck towards Kansas City. The La Plata Amtrak Station is in the far left side of this photo
and my camera bag decided it wanted proof it made the trip to La Plata along with me! :)
The first train I saw today was this BNSF van train with GE ES44DC #7220 leading. The only thing that didn't exactly work out
was the angle of the sun as all trains on this side of the tracks were in shadow. Oh well, can't control everything!
Frequently, BNSF runs pusher engines on these long van trains.
This bridge abutment on the other side of the BNSF Marceline Sub is part of the old Wabash mainline (last owner was Norfolk Southern)
that used to cross over this line. Tracks were still on this piece of property as late as the mid-1990's.
Next up, another BNSF westbound van train with GE ES44DC #7871 on the head end.
Another GE ES44DC, this time #7254 leads another westbound van train.
A westbound manifest flies through La Plata with GE C44-9W #4551 with a Santa Fe Warbonnet-painted trailing unit!
BNSF GE ES44C4 #6929 leads an eastbound van train through La Plata. You can see the La Plata Amtrak Station in the far
right side of this photo with the North Owensby Street crossing next to it.
My time railfanning at the Rail Lookout would come to an end with a beautiful sunset!
  After photographing that beautiful sunset, I eventually headed back over to the La Plata Amtrak Station for a night photo of the station building and a photo of the Southwest Chief that night. Those photos were already showcased in the section of this travelogue about La Plata Amtrak. For more information about the Rail Lookout, check out it's own web site in the link below. Next up, I'll take a drive out to nearby Marceline, MO to see the old Santa Fe train station there which is also the museum dedicated to Walt Disney who was born in Marceline, Check it out!!!