Tag Archives: Washington_Missouri

The Summer Tourist season is now over.

August has found it’s way to Washington, Missouri. The town’s Town and Country Fair has come and gone. So let me catch you all up on Mrs. Shuttletrain’s and wanderings over the three months. Over the Memorial Day Weekend, we set off to Northwestern Tennessee, to visit the South Fulton, TN Railroad Museum. The Museum is in the back of the town’s city hall. The Museum is staffed by real-life railroaders. We enjoyed seeing their collection, and taking with three staff members about their memories. Next, we headed to the town of Union City, Tennessee. We visited with the mayor of Union City at his television station. Not sure that a television station should be a mayor though to remain objective. Afterwards, stopped off at the town’s railroad station which houses the County Chamber and Economic Development office. Spoke to the ECO Director about railroads and railfanning in the town. Checked into the Hampton Inn. This Hampton must be a re-brand because it had all outside room doors and a very small breakfast area. I would hope that the owners would close down and move to a new building near the Discovery Park of America. That was real destination of  our wandering that weekend.

The Discovery Park of America, is true wonder. Built in the northwest part of Tennessee near it’s border with Kentucky. It seems to be in the middle of nowhere. The park is way larger than it appears from the roadway due to berms hiding the place from the main roadway. The location sits next to a future Interstate.The science center, living history, gardens facility is just so wonderful.The exhibits inside Discovery Center range from dinosaurs to space exploration. The tower rises about the building allowing visitors a great view of the place and it’s surroundings.

The Pioneer village shows the careful planning that went into the thought process. The Railroad Depot Area has a steam engine, three passenger cars a caboose on loan from the city. The depot itself is a replica of a nearby station from the past. It has lots memories inside. Very nice detailing. Did I mention it also has a G Scale train running around it inside?

We left DPA and headed back towards home, but ended up in Cape Girardeau, Mo  for the evening. The next morning we traveled to Bollinger Mill MO State Historical Site. We walked the mill and over the covered bridge. It was a very neat place. MO State Parks takes very good care of the place. Mrs. Shuttletrain suggested that we visit Elephant Rocks State Park. We tried too at least. The place was packed, No parking anywhere. So we headed to Arcadia, to visit the soon to be Amtrak station. e found out that nothing has been started, no platform or loading area or even a waiting room. And if you ask the Historical Society volunteer inside, they don’t want the waiting room at all. Just wonder how many people will use the new station considering the train will stop there in the middle of the night. No big cities in the vicinity. We left after walking through the museum and headed back to WashMO.

The next weekend, for the Let’s Talk Trains program I aired the interviews that I had recorded in Union City. Then went outside and tried to clean our roof gutters. Mrs. Shuttletrain had a wildlife pet control company over while I was hosting the Let’s Talk Trains show, for a squirrel problem. Why do I mention that? Well, as I was cleaning the gutters I needed a screwdriver, which I had Mrs. Shuttletrain retrieve from the garage. As she was entering the garage, she saw a squirrel and screamed for me to come get rid of the squirrel, forgetting that I was still up six feet on a ladder. She screamed again in panic, so I started to climb down off the ladder, the center of gravity changed and the ladder and I went sideways. I fell between our two cars. and cracked three lower vertebra. I checked myself over found no bones sticking out and found my way to the bedroom. Took some pain pills and then fell asleep. Two days later after the swelling went down called the doctor and he sent me to get x-ray. In the meantime, Mrs. Shuttletrain’s Aunt had died in northwest Illinois. So we traveled there on a Wednesday night, then went to the funeral on Thursday and came back home on Thursday night. The next morning, Friday we then traveled the other way to Springdale, AR for the NRHS National Convention Banquet, since LTT was a sponsor of the convention. The 5 hour drive down was tough. As soon as we arrived in the hotel room, found the bathtub and proceeded to soak in hot water Then went to the banquet, and had a great meal and listened to the CEO of the Arkansas Missouri Railroad. Great speaker and even better railroader.

The next day, did the LTT show from the Springdale train station with one of the show’s special guest host, Skip Waters. Skip is a board member of the NRHS. It was a delight to finally meet him. That night went to one of the seminars about Arkansas Railroading through the eyes/camera of John Barriger. On Sunday, left and headed back home to Washington.

Got home and went to a spine doctor, who confirmed that I had three cracked vertebra. He told me to wear a ortho back brace for the next three-four months. So that is what I am doing. I does make it feel better. Our next wandering brought us to Bowling Green, KY. The Historic RailPark and Museum is our host this time. I was amazed at how beautiful the building has been restored. The station has a museum is the bottom third of the station and part of the top floor as well. They have a double decker model railroad layout on the ground floor. Very cool. We set up from the LTT show, under the old passenger platform, and under cloudy skies. As the show progressed, the sun came through and warmed thinks including my neck up very well. After the show we walked through the rolling stock, packed up and headed back to the hotel.

The next day, we visited Mammoth Cave National Park, and viewed the steam engine and combine car that was used to bring visitors and supplies to the area in the golden years of railroading. After seeing the visitors center, (because of my back could not go down under), we headed to IN, to see the Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home National Historical Site, taken over from the State of Indiana, construction looked just like the George Clark NHS, also a former State of Indiana park.

We stopped off in Illinois to visit a friend from the garden railway club, then headed home.

I decided to stay home and rest my back for a couple of weeks, except, for my annual visit to the APRHF Silver Rails Country Lookout Point. I am always amazed at how many trains go by that place and how fast they go. After co-host the LTT show, we headed over to the Depot Inn and met up with APRHF board member Tom Anderson, to discuss so show stuff and APRHF stuff, along with the new Silver Rails Wine Trail. It is going to be really fun. Can’t wait.

We leave La Plata, and back south towards Columbia, and meet up with our best friends, who live south of Columbia for dinner and ice cream. I is always a great time when we get to hang with them. After visiting with them for over an hour, we make our way back to Washington. Traindog Ajax got to come along and eat some pizza and enjoy lots of trains too.

The next week, was my birthday week and as usual, I had a couple of invites for dinner, which Mrs. Shuttletrain & I gladly enjoyed. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful friends in person and on Facebook and Twitter. I had over 900 well wishes. Glad the came via electronic way, or my mail person would need shoulder surgery.

The first Saturday, I went to the Central Missouri Railroad Assn. Train Show and Swap Meet. I hosted the LTT show from there. I got to speak to people from the club also spoke to a member of the Wabash Railroad Historical Society.  Very interesting day without having to travel too far. The next wandering back to my second home of Kansas City and the Kansas City Northern Railroad, for a LIVE broadcast, then the weekend of the 23rd, head to Taltree Arboretum in Valparaiso, IN and their Railroad Garden Can’t wait.

 

We that’s it for this time. See ya soon.

On the Road Again…

Well, hello all you Wandering fans. Hope you have had a great summer. Most school age children are back in school here in the Midwest. I previously mentioned in my last post that Mrs. Shuttletrain and I would be heading to the Chicago Southland area during the last weekend in July. Well, we did and boy was it a blast. I took a vacation day from my real-life position at Enterprise Holdings Inc.; you know them as Enerprise Rent A Car, National and Alamo. We headed east on Interstate 70 from St. Louis. to Effingham, Illinois. We then followed Interstate 57 north to the Chicago Southland area. I was expecting heavy rain during the drive. We never did run into any, so we arrived into the Village of Park Forest, Illinois. and visited the new railfan park overlooking the Canadian National Matteson connection. The reason, was because the next day we would be broadcasting the Let’s Talk Train Show from the Grand Opening. We spent just over an a hour at the RailPark, we saw over five trains pass by. 

When we arrived we were met by the Park Forest Parks and Recreation director, who then gave a a brief history and tour of the park. We then said good-bye and headed to our next meeting. It was a dinner meeting at an old Metra Commuter station turned into brew-pub, with the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau director and public relations directors. Mrs. Shuttletrain and I learned a great deal about the Chicago Southland Rail Trail. The Rail Trail includes the Pullman neighborhood, The towns of Homewood, Blue Island, Park Forest and Flossmoor. Then we got taken on a VIP tour of the brewpub by the owner. The Chicago Southland CVB officials then picked our brains about what they needed to do to increase railfans visits to the area. We were glad to offer our expert opinions. We spent the night at he Holiday Inn in Tinley Park. 

The next day started early. the public relations director of Chicago Southland CVB took us on a personal tour of the Rail Trail. I will say that the area has a lot of opportunities for railfans. With the support of the cities along the Trail, Chicago may just take the top spot for railfanning. After our quick tour, of three hours, we headed to the Park Forest RailPark and starting setting up for the LTT show. During the show, they held the grand opening of the RailPark, The Mayor, Park and Recreation Director, Chicago Southland officials and the public affairs director of  the Canadian National Railroad all took part in the show. Afterwards, we packed up and headed north and east to the town of Aurora, Illinois to visit their Roundhouse complex of shops and entertainment. We spent the night at the Holiday Inn Express Sycamore .

The next day, we headed to one of my favorite places the Rochelle Railroad Park. As followers may remember, we did a live show from the park last July. This time we just stopped by for a two hours meet and great and to watch trains. We met a whole bunch of people in those two hours and saw seven trains. We pulled out of Rochelle and traveling west to the small farm town of Milledgeville. to watch the BNSF roll by. That night drove to Morton, Illinois for another Holiday Inn Express awaited. Next day drove back to WashMo. 

The first Saturday in August we headed north to the town of Warrenton, Missouri for the annual Central Missouri Railroad Club’s swap meet. The crowd was really excited to visit with us. It was the first time, I began to feel we, the Let’s Talk Trains program, was gaining more attention. The next weekend, it was back to Centralia, Illinois for the dedication of the old Illinois Central caboose. The Canadian National employees renovated  a donated caboose that was placed next to the historic Illinois Central 2500 Steam Engine.. We caught up with the CN Public Relations Director and one of their Vice Presidents of Operations. The rest of the weekend we attended the Gateway Garden Railroad operating sessions in Nashville, Illinois. 

The highlight of the August, came up the third Saturday of the month. a trip to the Topeka Railroad Festival. KC Nathan, the Midwest LTT host; joined us to bring some of the sights and sounds of the festival to our listeners. They even had a wild west shootout during the show. Sunday we headed to the Mid-America Railroad swap meet. We bought another boxcar for our future G scale layout which by the way, we had our first planning walk through with the city engineer. He told us what we need to to to get the trains rolling.

We were planning on having the next weekend at home, but, an email from a LTT listener said that if we were free that the Amtrak Anniversary Train was going to be in Burlington, Iowa and that we should do another On The Road show from the Amtrak station in Burlington. We left Washmo at 530 in the morning and arrived at 930. It almost was a straight drive north. The Exhibit train was great. Even the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation has loaned items to the train. After the show, we headed over to the old Rock Island freight house now turned restaurant for some great food. The Big Muddy’s served fish, chicken and steaks. Everything I saw and smelled looked wonderful. Darkness fell and we headed back home to Washington 

This weekend, since we are having a guest host the the radio show, Mrs. Shuttletrain and I get a weekend at home to catch up on home work.

In four weeks, off to the town of Steelville, Missouri. Why you ask? Well find out next time.