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La Plata and home from the La Plata Spring Railfan Event 4/9/2015

by Chris Guenzler

I got to enjoy sleeping in late for me that being 7:30 AM, showered and went to make breakfast in the lobby. With the La Plata Spring Railfan Event now over all I have to do is relax until my train tonight. Back in the Pullman Suite I decided to show you the changes made by the Depot Inn & Suites.

The new wide screen TV has hundreds of channels for you to watch.

The old wide screen TV is over the fireplace still and can be used either to watch DVDs or the Lookout Point channel. So I watched a few concerts during my stay. After that I got the golf cart keys and drove out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. It is my favorite place to just think and clear my head of things. I set the computer up, answered E mails from good friend Carl Morrison before I called Chris Parker. I checked things on the Internet before I heard a horn from the east. I went out to the deck to wait for the train to arrive. It was a very windy morning out here today.

BNSF 7839 West was the first train through La Plata this morning of my visit here.

BNSF 8340 West came through next.

BNSF 4139 East was the first eastbound train of the morning in La Plata. A Depot Inn & Suites guest from Chicago walked out from the hotel to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point to photograph trains. I read my April NRHS Newsletter as I waited for the next train.

BNSF 4641West with Citirail 1209 came through during a light rain shower.

BNSF 7176 East was the next train through La Plata.

Union Pacific 8059 East with UP DPUs 7613 and 7944 was the next train this morning.

BNSF 8081 East was the next train through La Plata.

BNSF 6864 East came after a brief lack of trains on a wonderful windy day. I finished the April NRHS Newsletter in the peace and quiet of the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. A thunderstorm came from the west moving northeast so I am nice and dry inside the Lookout Point. I called Carole Walker and we got caught up on things.

BNSF 7568 East came through during the storm.

BNSF 7199 West came through after the storm.

BNSF 7512 East came through town next.

BNSF 6607 West came through La Plata next.

BNSF 7420 East went through here next.

BNSF 4559 West with BNSF DPU 7472 went through La Plata next.

Union Pacific 8750 West with CSX 4720 in the motive power consist as it ran through town. Looks like my last set of train pictures in Missouri will be a late Southwest Chief due in at 12:54 PM, 2 hours and 54 minutes late today. I hope my train home does better than my eastbound trip here to La Plata.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief coming in and leaving La Plata on this day.15 trains, not a bad morning spent at the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. I returned to the Pullman Suite and I wrote this story as I watched my Asia Fantasia Live in Tokyo. At 3:00 PM, Tom Anderson and I went to Colton Steakhouse where I ate another great steak. I returned to the Pullman Suite and watched Jethro Tull Ian Anderson Thick as a Brick1 & 2 Live in Iceland Concert. I called Carl Morrison who proofed this part of my story so I would not have to do it later. Thank you Carl! I took a sauna bath then washed my hair and waited to be taken down to the Amtrak station by Tom to end my visit to La Plata.

Southwest Chief Train 3 4/9/2015

We went into the La Plata station and Bob Cox and I talked and got caught up on things. The train pulled in and the conductor scanned my ticket right at the door of the sleeping car. The train left La Plata as I entered my Room 5 in the 330 Car which was the Texas. This train had a consist of Engines 112 and 81, Baggage 1750, Transition 39041, Sleepers 32109 South Dakota and 32111 Texas, Diner 38046, Lounge 33026 and Coaches 34097, 34085 and 31011 with private cars Pacific Sands, Silver Splendor and Tioga Pass which were added in Kansas City. I listened to Ian Anderson's Homo Erraticus as the train headed west into the night. I made up my room and called it a night.

4/10/2015 I bounced across Kansas during the night then at 6:40 AM I got up and went to the Dining Car for a breakfast of French Toast and sausage. We had to stop to switch conductors out because they had died on the hours of service law. I went back to bed and woke up about ten minutes from La Junta. I changed clothes then checked a Text Message telling me that the LA Kings had lost to Calgary Flames and are out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for 2015. The train stopped at La Junta and I went outside for pictures and car numbers so a walk of the train, so a walk of the train was in order this morning.

The front of my train at La Junta.

Views of the LA Rail Private Cars at La Junta. I spoke to two of the three owners of those private cars. We departed fifty minutes late and I put on a Jackie Chan DVD of Police Story as the train headed to Trinidad and beyond. That movie took me through the Raton Tunnel and I relaxed until the fresh air stop of Raton where I detrained for a few minutes. My next movie of this DVD collection was Police Story 2 which I watched near Las Vegas. The next DVD was Dragon Fist and while that was playing, the Southwest Chief Train 3 went into the siding at Fox for the eastbound Southwest Chief Train 4. After Glorieta Pass I put on the last Jackie Chan movie of this set, The Protector, which lasted through Apache Canyon to Lamy and almost to Albuquerque. The movie finished and we stopped for nineteen minutes for a New Mexico Railrunner train a Bernadillo. I put on John Cougar Mellencamp's Freedom Road to get me to Albuquerque and a fresh air stop here this late afternoon. Randy Jackson came down and visited with me during the layover. We left at 5:55 PM {4:45 PM} and headed west as I went to the Dining Car for dinner. I was seated with a couple going to Salinas from Chicago and a lady going home from Santa Fe. I had the steak with a chocolate bundt cake for dessert. I watched my Honeymoon Suite DVD as we rolled west. Next it was John Mellencamp's Farm Aid 2014 that took me west past Gallup and into Arizona. My ABBA Live DVD took me to Winslow and on to Flagsfaff, where I detrained to see Danny of Proamtrak fame on After that I made up room for my last night on the train.

4/11/2015 I got up at Cajon Jct and the room was made up by Devore. I ate my cinnamon roll which I had purchased yesterday from the lounge car. I watched my DVD of ABBA The Ultimate Collection after taking a fresh air break at San Bernardino. The train stopped in Riverside and Fullerton before making the final sprint to Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal, arriving there at 9:27 AM {8:15 AM}. That ended a much better trip home on the Southwest Chief than that five hour late eastbound trip I made to La Plata.

Pacific Surfliner 768 4/11/2015

I boarded Pacific Business Class and put on a CD to listen to going home. The train left LAUPT on time and made the fast trip back to Fullerton. The train then headed to Anaheim and a few minutes later dropped me off in Santa Ana, ending the excellent La Plata Spring Railfan Event 2015 Trip.