Well hello there everyone. Hope the everyone has been gearing up for a great summer. Railfans should have lots of exciting adventures this summer. Those on the left coast, get to have an early start with all the good weather they are having, minus the wildfires. The Railroad Days have been very well attended in lots of cities. The steam train trips have been sold out and are and running. The train watching is very intense right now at the Grand Canyon with their regular steam train, filled with recycled vegetable oil, and a visitor from the California area of a ATSF steamer.National Train Day was a huge success according to all the people that I know. National Train Day was even celebrated in town of Washington, Missouri. Even if I had to give them a push via all the Facebook postings on the Tourism site and the Missouri River Runner page. The Tourism official did see that people were interested. This in a town that was created by the steamboat, then the railroad. The town has two depots still standing. One, the passenger depot, has a United Way office, an art gallery, AMTRAK waiting area, and the town visitors center. The freight depot had a local retail business until a year ago, when it left for the highway part of town. Then the city father’s decided to allow a local small business manufacturing company to come in and cut two holes in the track side of the building for exhaust fans. A couple of railfans and I wanted to make the building a rail watcher paradise. The building has a transload platform on the trackside, that would have made a great platform to sit and watch the trains. Of course, we would have to put a railing up. Washington leaders did not think that railfan tourism would bring any visitors to the city. A developer got permission to build a new style row-house condos on the western edge of the track frontage. Of course, they wanted the team track removed. Which the city leaders gladly agreed to. I went to the TIF hearing when I first moved to Washington. I told them I was for the development but that I would need the city to keep the siding and develop that into a siding that private varnish could use to bring the travelers to eat, drink and be merry, after all we are smack dab in the middle of Missouri Wine country. Washington is a quiet zone, all though only one grade crossing of the two has been properly protected. That’s why I think that I will help the Route 66 Railfan Visitor Center and Mainline Viewing area get off the ground. I am planning on taking the mayor and city officials to Rochelle and Galesburg to show how it’s done and what type of tourism there is in train watching. Oh, by the way, did I say that I’m hosting today’s Let’s Talk Train BlogTalkRadio podcast from the center? Listen to the podcast on I-Tunes. Keyword: letstalktrains. Well that’s it for this time. Have to take the yardwaste to recycle place before show starts. Keep on keeping track of those trains.
Until next time…Toot Toot.