This time on Shuttletrain’s Wandering we venture to a place that a railfan would love to spend the rest of year at..the Arborway TT and Northwestern Railroad in Steelville, Mo. That’s right, I said Steelville, Missouri. This railroad is a private grand scale railroad complete with full sized Class I signals. This railroad is so special that if you drive up to the gated entrance you will find the gate controlled by those full size signals. The railroad was the idea of former St. Louis businessman John R. Woods. He loved trains so much that he built the railroad on part of his property that is larger than the Disney World complex. After John died in 2008 in a motorcycle accident, his family decided to keep his memory alive and turned the railroad day to day operation over to his “FrIends”. The Friends of the Railroad keep Mr. Wood’s memory moving down the rails. This place is fantastic. Run just like a Class One, only on a miniature scale. Did I mention that the ATT&NW is one of the largest private miniature railroads in North America.
They have all the original Bell Garden’s of the Taco Bell fame, railroad rolling stock Their pride and joy is a steam engine 801. Shiny ain’t she?
This railroad has friends from all over the United States. It truly is a labor of love for these friends. It sadden’s me to remember that I met John a long time ago at a train layout in Webster Groves, the Big Bend Railroad Club.
After seeing this amazing place., I remember why I am enjoying this hobby so much and love hosting the Let’s Talk Trains show. John was from my hometown of Webster Groves too. I found out that John never got to run 801, instead he jusst watching other people having the fun to run it. I guess in a way I am a people watcher too. I love going to Six Flags and just watching people. I remember back a few year ago, when I was driving the shuttle bus for the Holiday Inn at Six Flags and having a group of marketing executives at the hotel trying to find a way to grab people’s attention and get them to Six Flags. I said to a couple of them, I could just stop by Wal-Mart or a senior citizen’s home and load up my bus. Well, the Idea too off and the Six Flag commercials began. I got the opportunity to travel other Six Flags and critique them. During my visit to the Magic Mountain park in California, I was walking with a park manager getting my tour, when that now famous song came on the loudspeaker. People started to dance to the music. The manager I was with walked over to the dancers and told them that they were pretty good, which they were. He then turned to me and told them they came very close to me, and he as me to remove my hat, which I did. The people went crazy. Now I was not the actual dancer that was in the commercials mind you, but, since they was using my likeness it did not really matter. As long as it helped bring more people to Six Flags, I was all for it.
Writing a blog, hosting a podcast, and having a website really gives me a great responsibility. I love to bring new ideas to the table, revisit memories. and travel to places that I can only imagine I would visit. With the current state of our country, it’s almost like a civil war has begun. Trains are a hobby for me and hundreds if not millions of people. But when it comes right down it, people are supposed to be aware of others and to help one another. I try to remember that everything I do helps someone else is some way or could hurt them too. My question to you is; what have you done this week to help someone?Let me know, comment below and next time when I wander around this great country of ours I will think about what your doing.
Bye for now…..