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Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad Trip and the Journey to Columbia 10/1-03/2023

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I arose and did our Internet before we checked out and went to JB's Restuarant for another excellent breakfast. I started the drive driving through the rainshowers from Price, Utah to Mack, where Elizabeth took over driving and she drove through a few rainshowers. West of Rifle, I spotted a train.

Union Pacific 2644 West west of Rifle, Colorado.

Union Pacific 9061 West in Glenwood Canyon.

Fall colors on the way to Leadville. I then took over at Gypsum and drove us to Leadville where we parked in the railroad's parking lot and I went in to pick up our tickets.

Leadville Colorado and Southern GP9 1918, ex. Burlington Northern 1918, nee Northern Pacific 333, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1957.

The train we will be riding and the Denver, Leadville & Gunnison station built in 1893.

A pre-trip picture.

Colorado & Southern freight house built in 1883.

The hospital that Doc Holliday stayed in during his tuberculosis eposide from "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral".

Jordon spreader 2007 and Leadville, Colorado and Southern caboose 2005.

The Colorado and Southern roundhouse built in 1883, with Leadville Colorado and Southern GP9 1714 ex. Burlington Northern 1714, nee Northerrn Pacific 241 built by Electro-Motive Divison in 1955.

Leadville Colorado and Southern GP9 1889, ex. San Luis and Rio Grande 89, ex. Mount Hood 89, exxx. Minnesota Valley 306, nee Milwaukee Road 306 built by Electro-Motive Divison in 1959.

The first curve where you could see both ends of the train.

The aspens are showing their autumn colors.

A view of Mount Ebert.


Autumn colors across the valley.

These trees are losing their leaves.

Looking down into the valley.

Fall colors abound.

Looking down into the valley.

View looking up the side of train.

Looking down into the valley.

Looking forward along the side of the train.

Both ends of the train.

Both ends of the train on a big curve.

Looking down to the valley.

View along the side of the train.

View into the valley as we ascended.

View looking back at the engine.

More autumn colors.

Two views of Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet, is the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America.

View along the side of the train.

Another view across the valley.

Both ends of the train.

Looking down into the valley.

Peak fall colors.

The rear of the train at French Gulch.

This caboose was new since our last trip in October 2022 and is currently unidentified.

French Gulch water tower built in the late 1800's.

Looking down into the valley.

Bright yellows among the pine trees.

Looking down into the valley.

This is as far from Leadville as we could go and we started our return journey. The Climax Molybdenum Mine is off in the distance.

Two views looking down into the valley.

A forward view of our engines now leading the train.

Mount Elbert.

Both ends of the train on the big curve.

My very beautiful wife Elizabeth enjoying her third ride on the Leadville, Colorado and Southern.

The Colorado Southern roundhouse on the return trip. We then returned to Leadville, which ended the trip.

Elizabeth and I detrained and we drove to Subway for dinner then filled the car with petrol at Sinclair before going to the Columbine Inn and Suites where we checked in for the night.

10/2/2023 We arose and after our regular morning preparations, checked out and went to the Mineral in the Delaware Hotel, where we both had French Toast with me having sausage. After that we drove south and got stopped by livestock crossing the highway.

After the livestock crossed the highway, we continued to Saluda and took a new route through downtown then drove east on US 50 and stopped when I saw passenger cars at Parkdale.

Royal Gorge coach 3035 "William Jackson Palmer", nee Canadian National 5604, built by Canadian Car and Foundry in 1954. Next I drove to Pueblo then after that, I missed a turn so we took US 50 to Colorado Highway 9 and soon found a colorful train.

Colorado Pacific 1923 on a grain train at Boone, Colorado. Colorado Pacific Railroad is a rail line that runs from Towner, Colorado to NA Junction, east of Pueblo. It was purchased by the Soloviev Group in 2018 and enables communities in eastern Colorado and western Kansas to transport goods for domestic and international shipment via Union Pacific or BNSF Railroads. The Soloviev Group has refurbished and improved the line, including the construction of a new grain shuttle loader facility. It offers competitive tariff quotes and aims to minimize ground storage for local farmers and shippers.

Colorado Pacific SD40-2 1964, ex. National Railway Equipment 3045, exx. First Union Rail 3045, exxx. Electro-Motive Division Leasing SD40 6427, exxxx. Electro Motive Division 42, exxxxx. Conrail 6270, nee Penn Central 6270/ built by Electro-Motive Division in 1971.

Colorado Pacific SD40-2 1923, ex. National Railway Equipment 3019, exx. First Union Rail 3019, exxx. Electro Motive Division Leasing SD40 6402, exxxx. Electro Motive Division 402, exxxxx. Conrail 6331, exxxxxx. Penn Central 6078, nee Pennsylvania 607, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1966.

Colorado Pacific SD40-2 1964 and 1923 one last view.

As we made our way through Ordway, we found Southern Manitoba M420W 3518, ex. San Manuel 3518, exx. Valley and Siletz Railroad 3518, nee Canadian National 2518, built by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1973.

Union Pacific caboose 25471 built by the railroad in 1955 on display in Sugar City, which was donated to the Sugar City Community Club in 1988. We made our way to Hazwell.

Missouri Pacific Hazwell station. Elizabeth then drove us to Lamar and we went Ranchers Restaurant and both had grilled chicken breasts then checked into the Holiday Inn Express for the night.

10/3/2023 Elizabeth and I woke up and after our Internet duties, checked out and went to Ranchers Restaurant and enjoyed French Toast, although I had bacon and Elizabeth had fruit with it. After that I drove us back to Eads and then east to Towner where we found several items of interest.

The Missouri Pacific Towner station, now a garage for residences. Next we had spotted a few locomotives on the way so went to explore.

These are the locomotive that we found.

Webb Asset Management Kansas and Oklahoma GP40-2LW 4008, nee Canadian National 9447, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1974.

Webb Asset Management Kansas and Oklahoma GP39-2 3929, ex. Union Pacific 2735, exx. Union Pacific 1235, exxx. Boston and Maine 356, nee Delaware and Hudson 7616, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1976.



Webb Asset Management Kansas and Oklahoma GP40-2LW 4008, ex. Progress Rail Service 9440, nee Canadian National 9440, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1974.

Missouri Pacific Horace station, a former crew change point. Next I drove us to Leoti.

Santa Fe caboose 999190, nee Santa Fe 502, built by the railroad in 1948.

Santa Fe Leoti station from Shallow Water which has moved five times. The building had to be sold and removed from its present location caused by the new four-lane highway being built across Kansas. We have been told this depot started at the Alfalfa station site, on the Garden City, Gulf & Northern Railway between Garden City and Scott City, Kansas, which was only 35 miles long. The first passenger train to Scott City ran on December 30, 1909. The train only had to maintain a 20 m.p.h. schedule, so would stop and let people on or off anywhere along the line!

A very small shelter was built at Shallow Water and the larger depot at Alfalfa. Before long, Shallow Water was needing a real depot and the two buildings were exchanged, very possibly loaded on a railroad car and moved. The line was purchased by the Santa Fe Railway. After many years of service as a depot, where passengers made their connection with the Union Pacific on the north and the Santa Fe line at Garden City, it was sold to Charles Anstaett of Garden City and moved to his private property on the east side of Highway 83 in Finney County. The third move, still being owned by the same person, was to Garden City, in the vicinity of the Crazy House, where it sat for several more years.

It was then sold to Don and Pam Smith of Pierceville who purchased the building and had it moved out on their land on the north side of Highway 50, with the intention of making it into their "dream home", but that was not to be. The State Highway Department was making the highway into a four-lane road and need the land owned by the Smith’s. The people were not given a choice. It was either sell the land to them or it would be condemned. After selling to the state, they made the decision to sell the depot to be moved off the land, as it was in their hearts to have the depot restored, and were happy that a group like us wanted to do it. This was a great opportunity for the Wichita County Historical Society. The depot was purchased in August.

Next I drove us to Scott City.

Missouri Pacific Scott City station built in 1917.

Missouri Pacific Route of the Eagle box car xx177 built in 1924.

Central Kansas Railroad SW8 101, ex. Terre Haute Brazil and Eastern 101, nee Chicago Rock Island and Pacific 835, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1952. The Terre Haute, Brazil and Eastern Railroad was a short-line railroad that was incorporated May 1, 1987 and began operations on October 15, 1987. The TBER operated over 30 miles of the Pennsylvania Railroad's St. Louis- Indianapolis-Pittsburgh Line, which had been abandoned by Conrail in 1984 in favor of the former New York Central-Big Four St. Louis Line subdivision. The line extended from Terre Haute to Limedale and included a seven-mile branch line to the Amax Coal Company's Chinook Mine south of Brazil. The TBER interchanged with the Soo Line Railroad's Latta Subdivision, Conrail's St. Louis Line and CSX's CE&D Subdivision in Terre Haute. Traffic was an even mix of lumber, fertilizer, and plastic pellets inbound and grain, cement and plastic pipe outbound. A tourist excursion called the Beaver Hawk Express was operated under contract between Brazil, Indiana and Limedale. Coal traffic was also anticipated but failed to materialize, as a result the line entered bankruptcy. The TBER ceased operation on December 31, 1993, and the line was dismantled.

Mext we drove east and found an eastbound train and went to the first crossing at Ike Road.

The eastbound Kansas annd Oklahoma train came to Ike Road.

Kansas annd Oklahoma GP40-2 3930, ex. Union Pacific 2736, exx. Union Pacific 1236, exxxx. Boston and Maine 357, nee Delaware and Hudson 7617, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1976.

Kansas and Oklahoma GP39-2 3873, ex. Birmingham Southern Railroad 711, exx. Cedar Rapids & Iowa City 111, exxx. Southern Pacific GP35 6338, nee Southern Pacific 7423, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1963.

Kansas and Oklahoma GP40-2lW 4031, ex. Canadian National 9625, nee Canadian National 9622, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1975.

A going-away picture. I then drove us two roads east to Kaw Road.

Kansas and Oklahoma 3930 at Kaw Road. We drove into Digton and went to Kwik Stop for petrol then resumed our station hunting.

Santa Fe Bazine station. Next we went to Ness City for another station.

Santa Fe Ness City station built in 1903. Branchline frame depots were virtually extinct by the 1990's, but the large frame depot at Ness City somehow beat the odds. Though no longer an agency, the freight room was converted to a garage for maintenance trucks, with a large roll-up door at ground level replacing the sliding freight door. The depot is believed to still be in use by the Central Kansas Railroad, which purchased the Scott City branch from the Santa Fe at the end of 1992.

From here we went north to La Crosse.

Santa Fe Timken station, buit in 1887, at the Rush County Historical Museum, was constructed prior to the adoption of the 1910 standardized scheme. However, the building resembles the "Number Two" plan. The 24'x42' combination building features a small waiting room adjacent to the telegraph operator's office and ticket counter, and an elevated freight room with loading platform in the rear. Notable features of the building include large six-over-six paned divided light windows in the office and waiting room and a moderately ornate office dormer with projecting gable tower. The building's windows and roof brackets differentiate it from later designs that feature six-over-nine paned windows and simple rafter tails instead of ornate brackets.

From the turn of the century, through the Great Depression, and into the years following World War II, the depot served the Timken area as its "link to the world". In the 1960's, the railroad discontinued passenger services and regular freight service was cut back. Depot agents were no longer assigned to small community depots. Railroad depots, once a hub of activity in the community, were left to sit silent. In the mid-1970's, the Santa Fe Railroad abandoned most of its depots including the one in Timken. In an effort to preserve the historic structure from demolition, the Rush County Historical Society purchased the wooden building from the railroad for the sum of $5.15 ($5.00 plus 15¢ tax). On May 27, 1975, the old depot building was loaded on the back of a truck and moved to Grass Park in La Crosse with plans to restore it as a museum.

When the building arrived at its new home, it was situated on a full basement, a feature it originally did not have. Historical Society members then began the task of transforming the former train depot into an historical museum. Photographs, scrapbooks, dresses, uniforms and other memorabilia were placed on display to tell the story of the people of Rush County. On April 17, 1983, the Rush County Historical Museum was dedicated as a museum of general history of the county. A new era in the life of the old depot had begun.

Kansas annd Oklahoma 3930 East again west of Great Bend.

Along the road to Ellinwood, we found Bartlett Grain GP10 1004, ex. Midwest Locomotive Works 2017, exx. Midwest Locomotive Works 1004, exxxx. Santa Fe 2017, nee Santa Fe 2850, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1959.

Santa Fe Ellinwood station is an example of a community other than a county seat receiving a large brick depot. The seat of Barton County is nearby Great Bend, but nevertheless, when Ellinwood's frame depot burned down in 1902, Santa Fe constructed this large and unique brick depot as a replacement the following year. The structure presently serves as the Hines-Gossman American Legion Post 320.

We continued east until we stopped at another train.

The train we stopped for.

Webb Asset Management SD40-2R 4218, ex. CIT Group/Capital Finance, Incorporated 2810, Southern Pacific SD39 5308, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1969.

Webb Asset Management SD40-2 4217, ex. OFOX 2797, exx. CEFX 2797, exxx. Union Pacific 4747, nee Southern Pacific SD45 9097, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1968.

We drove to McPherson and had dinner at Braum's, where we enjoyed chicken sandwiches with milkshakes then went across the road to the Best Western McPherson Inn and stayed there for the night.

10/4/2023 We arose and after our Internet duties, checked out and I drove us to 5 Loafs Country Kitchen where I had French Toast and sausage and Elizabeth had sausage and eggs then continued our eastbound journey.

Santa Fe McPherson station.

Between Strong City and Emporia, we passed a BNSF freight train which we stopped for, BNSF 4436 East, with Norfolk Southern AC446CM 4668 built by General Electric in 2023. I then drove us east on Interstate 35 and after we changed drivers at a rest area, Elizabeth drove east via Interstate 35 to Interstate 435.

We entered Missouri, our new hometown state then went east on Interstate 70.

We stopped for a change of drivers in Boonville and found a caboose, identitiy currently unknown then went to our bank in Columbia to pick up a cashier's check and our new check book before we went to the house, but that will be in another story.