Vacation help, please?

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Vacation help, please?
Posted by CShaveRR on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 10:29 PM

Hi!  I posted this over at Trainorders.com as well, and have so far gotten some interesting and helpful responses.  Pat and I hope to take a trip to some southern areas (we're slowly checking off the states in the "lower 48" that we've been to), and I want to see interesting freight cars!  (Pat wants to see plantations, and probably quilt shops, but if I'm watching trains, she's usually happy reading or knitting.)

Pat and I are thinking of taking a trip south of here (Chicagoland) sometime this year, to celebrate 45 years together.  We're looking at late May/early June, unless someone persuades us of a better time of year.

I'm not a photographer, so I don't need the scenic spots to shoot trains or too many of the highways to chase them.  What I would like is spots where freight cars can be found standing still and easily accessible from public roads.  (I would need to stop to make notes, and I have binoculars if necessary.)  A place where trains are frequent but moving slowly would also work for me.

Here's a list of places we're going to be visiting...any suggestions of where we should go are welcome.

St. Louis (Kirkwood works fine for my purposes!).

Pacific (we've had success there)

Springfield

Little Rock (NLR?)

Texarkana

Shreveport

Dallas

Fort Worth (Tower 55?)

Georgetown area (for aggregate cars?)

Houston/Galveston (very tall order, I'm sure!)

Lafayette

Baton Rouge

New Orleans (we'll have a few days in this area, visiting plantations, gulf lowlands, etc.)

Mobile

Pensacola

Memphis

Paducah (we've had success by a dam site or two).

My interests are in seeing freight cars that are less likely to come up this way, but generally anything that I can document concerning former owners and identities.  I'm not interested in trespassing.  I'm sure I can come up with maps online that I can arm myself with.

Thanks for any advice or recommendations you may have.

Carl

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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 11:28 PM

I'm headed your way in mid-May, so hopefully you won't be gone then!

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, February 01, 2018 8:02 AM

Carl, 15 years ago, when Ricki and I were visiting my brother and his wife in Bston Rouge, they took us down to White Castle, and we ate luch at the Nottoway Plantation 

https://www.bing.com/search?q=nottoway&form=EDGSPH&mkt=en-us&httpsmsn=1&refig=2db71c6bb1434f02a1b7dbc0fc86c552&sp=5&qs=AS&pq=nottoway&sk=HS1AS3&sc=8-8&cvid=2db71c6bb1434f02a1b7dbc0fc86c552&cc=US&setlang=en-US

Or, simply look for "Nottoway."

We enjoyed the outing,

Johnny

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Posted by Norm48327 on Thursday, February 01, 2018 9:17 AM

Dang, Carl,

You have just described my marriage to Vicki to a T. She, like Pat was more into the fine arts of sewing, knitting, etc than watching trains. She indulged me as I suspect Pat  does. Pat has to be a keeper.

Norm


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Posted by mudchicken on Thursday, February 01, 2018 10:58 AM

Well it certainly isn't Springfield, CO if it's to look at railcars.Sad

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by PNWRMNM on Thursday, February 01, 2018 11:43 AM

You might want to add Mobile Alabama, a port at the end of a short line, which tells me not likely to be busy and may be a car storage point. I have not been there and have no knowledge.

From there the KCS has a stub line that ends north of Meridian, I think at a paper plant. I would look at KCS system map. You might want to go to Corinth MS where NS crosses sombody. NS is reasonably active.

Corinth was Grant's objective when the rebs attacked him at Pittsburg Landing at what we now call the battle of Shiloh. Park service has nice building just west of Corinth and battlefield site at Shiloh.

Holly Springs has a big 1870 something brick depot, and pre civil war depot that are worth a look. The Mississippi Central at Holly Springs does nothing but car storage. Mostly FL tank cars. There was a cut of old C&O hoppers at north edge of town, and are some box cars at Lamar. May or may not be anything at Grand Jct. TN.

If you want me to poke around a bit, send me a private message.

Mac

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Posted by mudchicken on Thursday, February 01, 2018 2:22 PM

If he gets to Meridian, he needs to keep an eye out for LC....

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by CShaveRR on Thursday, February 01, 2018 3:37 PM

mudchicken

Well it certainly isn't Springfield, CO if it's to look at railcars.Sad

 
Well, no, it's Springfield, Missouri, where I can look at my cousin as well, as well as my cousin once removed (and meet her husband), and my cousin twice removed (who should be born by then).
 
Mobile is definitely in the plan.

Carl

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Posted by SealBook27 on Thursday, February 01, 2018 3:45 PM
Your wife will like Paducah. It's the location for the National Quilt Museum. Very few are traditional, and many of them are absolute works of art.
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Posted by mudchicken on Thursday, February 01, 2018 5:05 PM

SealBook27
Your wife will like Paducah. It's the location for the National Quilt Museum. Very few are traditional, and many of them are absolute works of art.
 

Second that.Thumbs Up......BossHen had a blast.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, February 01, 2018 6:43 PM

CShaveRR

  

 
Well, no, it's Springfield, Missouri, where I can look at my cousin as well, as well as my cousin once removed (and meet her husband), and my cousin twice removed (who should be born by then).
 
Mobile is definitely in the plan.
 

In Springfield, MO, I would recommend the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge over the BNSF (ex-Frisco), although it was closed last year for corrosion problems and I can't find if it re-opened.  The bridge crosses a small yard, and double-stacks pass under it with just inches to spare.

https://www.springfieldmo.gov/3273/Footbridge-Rehabilitation

 

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Posted by CShaveRR on Thursday, February 01, 2018 11:13 PM

I've been on that bridge in Springfield; sorry to hear it wasn't kept up.

As for Paducah, we definitely know about the quilt museum.  I haven't been there, but Pat has--twice!  

Carl

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Posted by billio on Friday, February 02, 2018 7:34 AM

Pittsburgh, especially Conway, might be a good spot.  Lotta trains (NS, CSX) through there.

Congratulations on your 45th.  All best wishes...

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, February 02, 2018 8:40 AM

billio
Pittsburgh, especially Conway, might be a good spot.  Lotta trains (NS, CSX) through there.

Congratulations on your 45th.  All best wishes...

You won't find many CSX trains at Conway.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by CShaveRR on Friday, February 02, 2018 11:20 AM

Conway would be a different trip...we have a good friend (remember Nora?) who would be helpful.  And we haven't been east for a while.

One thing I have to keep in mind is that I have a wife who gets very antsy toward the end of a lengthy stay away from home.  She's very relieved that this trip doesn't get us as far from home as our sojourn to the Pacific Coast a couple of years ago.  But at the same time, I'm trying to get both of us to all of the "lower 48" sometime, so the route is evolving.


Carl

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Posted by Benchedthatpiece on Sunday, February 04, 2018 11:43 AM

I realize it's not near where you may be heading, but if you ever get near McColl, SC you could stop here... 34.662517,-79.549982. The Pee Dee Railroad apparently stores cars there? I photographed a Seattle and North Coast box car there one time which I thought was very cool. Good luck!

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Posted by ShowMeRail on Monday, February 05, 2018 8:49 PM

It has not reopened yet (city leaders are still getting the funding for repair together), but it's still a good spot.  There's a farmer's market area next to the bridge and some restaurants across the street, and even a bicycle history museum if you can catch it open.  (On the other (north) side of the bridge --which can be reached by a walk or drive under the tracks at Lyon Avenue --there is a whole neighborhood of uniquely-painted utility poles, although not railroad-related.)

Another spot in Springfield might be the Kansas Avenue viaduct, which is a highway bridge that passes over the east end of the Springfield yard.  It has a pedestrian lane separated from traffic and you may be able to see what you want between the links of chain link fence there after walking to the top (no parking on the bridge).  If you still don't see what you want, drive several blocks west of Kansas Avenue along Division Street and you'll go by the south end of the yard.

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Posted by Sunnyland on Sunday, February 11, 2018 4:43 PM

Kirkwood is always a good spot and so is Pacific, have went there with railfan group or by myself to Kirkwood to sit by the station or in the park and watch trains. When I went down to NOLA, a friend took me to Oak Alley Plantation, beautiful, it's the one you see on pictures with the oaks lining each side of the driveway.  They have old slave quarters to view also.  Sounds like you have worked out a great trip, but don't know anything about freight cars standing around.  

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, February 11, 2018 4:57 PM

Texarkana is a dump.......Marshall, TX might be a better stop for you.

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Posted by CShaveRR on Sunday, February 11, 2018 10:54 PM

CMStPnP

Texarkana is a dump.......Marshall, TX might be a better stop for you.

 
Thanks for that advice--we'll take the neat freight cars wherever we can find 'em!

Carl

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Sunday, February 11, 2018 11:01 PM

CShaveRR
She's very relieved that this trip doesn't get us as far from home as our sojourn to the Pacific Coast a couple of years ago.

Doesn't seem like it was that long ago, but then again, lots going on since then.  Pat would at least be glad to hear the quilting and fabric shop in Tehachapi is still going strong, in fact it seemed like they had even more inventory and a busy "back room" class of some kind going on when we stopped in.  Kohnen's bakery seemed even busier at lunchtime on Saturday and the cookies were outstanding.

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Monday, February 12, 2018 3:09 PM

CShaveRR
 Pat and I hope to take a trip to some southern areas (we're slowly checking off the states in the "lower 48" that we've been to), and I want to see interesting freight cars!  (Pat wants to see plantations, and probably quilt shops,

Carl, If you do get to Paducah, be sure to allow time to visit the Quilt Museum.

https://quiltmuseum.org/

My wife and I visited it and I (not a quilt fanatic) was blown away with their exhibits. Like Pat, my wife humors me and I her (for 57 years) and so I went. She almost had to pry me out of the place. Not a lot of freight cars there though. We were camping at KenLake State park and it was a easy drive between them. Also went there when on a Delta Queen trip from Clarksville TN  to Pittsburgh. Started on the Cumberland River past the Land between the Lakes thence to Kentucky Lake and locked down to the Tennessee River to the Ohio and docked at Paducah.

Politicians made then take the Delta Queen OOS as it was non union and as it was wood, it could burn and they invoked coast guard safety rules which it had had a waiver from (it was never far from shore) but thats politics. So thats my suggestion. If Pat likes quilts, and these are prize winning quilts, I think she will like it. Also you might find the Paducah VMW railroad shops (former IC) of interest. Don't know what they are doing lately. 

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Posted by CShaveRR on Monday, February 12, 2018 8:19 PM

You can bet that we'd spend some time there.  Pat has been there a couple of times that I'm aware of, without me (she has a friend who lives in Murray; they went once, and one time she and her mother went down there).  

I'll go with her this time.  I often accompany her to quilt shows, and I've been to the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts with her at least once a year for the past four or five.

Carl

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Posted by CShaveRR on Sunday, February 25, 2018 11:23 PM

Thank you for all of your responses to my call for help!  I'll be putting them to good use.

Naturally, since we're so far ahead of the game in planning this trip, a few revisions have come into play.  We got a request for a visit to a friend in northeastern Georgia, and figured that we could do that in a day, delivering a quilt that Pat expects to have finished for her (actually for her granddaughter) by that time.  So now the trip will be doing all of what we previously hoped for, plus setting tire (and maybe foot) into all of the states we need to finish off the Lower 48.  One state for me, four for Pat, and we've got 'er done!

Here's the revised routing, with a few stops added and taken out.
Cairo, Illinois
Paducah, Kentucky
Nashville
Chattanooga
(the secret spot in northeastern Georgia)
Atlanta
Montgomery
Pensacola (this is how we get Florida in)
Mobile 
New Orleans and vicinity
Baton Rouge
Lafayette
Houston
San Antonio
Austin
Georgetown (or other areas here where aggregate loads originate)
Fort Worth 
Saginaw, Texas (I have to find it first!)
Dallas
Shreveport
Texarkana
Little Rock (North Little Rock)
Springfield, MO (Carl's cousin)
Steelville, MO (Pat's brother)
St. Louis (probably Kirkwood)
Home

We haven't logged the trip to see how long it will take or how much it will cost.  

People have warned us about St. Louis being rough.  We haven't experienced that ourselves, but Kirkwood should still be good, in our experience.  We may hit other areas of St. Louis in a trip we have to make to that area in two weeks (for things totally not related to trains or quilts).  

We are both looking forward to where we'll go and what we'll see.  It's sort of a gift to ourselves for our 45th anniversary.

Carl

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 8:09 AM

CShaveRR:

Curious if you have taken your trip yet or if things are still in the planning stages … If still future, what are you looking at calendar-wise?

Best,

K.P.

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Posted by CShaveRR on Thursday, March 29, 2018 7:03 PM

Hi, K.P.!

Still planning.  Yesterday I ordered the SPV atlases I need for the areas we're hitting.  The route is still pretty much the same as it was in my last post (where will we meet you?).

Departure will probably be May 21 or thereabouts.  May 20 is the last day of Lombard's Lilac Festival.  I don't know how long we'll be out...Pat usually gets tired of traveling after three weeks, and that may be pretty close to when the cash runs out...

And there's always the concern that Linda's health may change, or she may require some added help (though everything's been fairly good lately).  If that happens mid-trip, we may have to drop plans and head to California.

Carl

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 11:38 AM

CShaveRR (3-29):

In May!  OK, now the picture is understood, the trip is yet future.

Though we have post communicated before, those close to you are unfamiliar to me.  I take it Pat is maybe your wife, and Linda might be Pat’s or your mother.  Did I guess correctly?

Your mention of California kind of confuses me, as your tentative itinerary is for the eastern part of the U.S.  Do you fly somewhere and then take the train on a circular route, then fly back to your original launching off place?

As for meeting somewhere, I’m still trying to figure out when and where desertdog and I can meet face to face.  The possibility seems to be going downhill, as a possible trip to Texas seems to be disappearing fast, especially if you saw my recent post in the “Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates” thread.  Hey, CShaveRR, you don’t ride the train to Hawaii very often, do you?  I may go there later this year.  There are a lot of trains over there we could meet at and see … (Yah, right!)

Have a good trip in May, Carl, and all of yours!

K.P.

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Posted by CShaveRR on Thursday, April 05, 2018 9:21 PM

K.P., Pat is my wife and co-conspirator, as always.  This trip will, in a way, be a celebration of 45 years of marriage.

Linda is our younger daughter.  For the past three years she's been dealing with Stage IV cancer.  I'd say that right now she's holding her own and doing what she can (she has a Ph.D. in Musicology, and is primarily writing a blog and other things--recently her blog got the attention of the BBC!).  There's not much that we can do for her directly, but if things should change and she requires parents/    grandparents to come out and help, we'd be there just as quickly as possible.  California...she lives in Lompoc; her treatments are centered around Santa Barbara, and she has her husband's family relatively (double-meaning) close by.


Not much more in plans yet--we found a quilt expo in Georgia that can be made on our way.  We can leave no earlier than May 21, and have to be back home by June 15.  

Carl

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Posted by andybuzz2u on Friday, April 06, 2018 12:29 AM

You could spend your entire vacation down here in Houston and Galveston and see every kind of railcar there is, except Boeing 737 rail cars. I worked with BNSF out of Galveston. 26 railyards in the area two major yards, the old SP's Englewood yard and MOP's Settegast yard in Houston. BNSF Galveston terminal sees a lot of switching and turn around of all kinds of rail cars. Galveston Railway, switches the Port of Galveston mainly grain hoppers, boxcars, windmill flats, and auto racks.

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Posted by JC UPTON on Friday, April 06, 2018 2:11 PM

Carl,

I assume, that since you have included Baton Rouge, you are already familiar with the Class 1s in the area: CN (former ICG / Y&MVR), KCS (L&A) & UP (TP & MP).

 

There are several opportunities along Perkins Rd for the KCS;  along LA 30 (Nicholson Dr) for the CN.  For the UP, you will need to cross the Mississippi to Addis, or, for the southern (east) end of UP’s Livonia yard, to Maringoun or Grosse Tete....

Traffic across the Missippi river bridge is a combination of KCS (BR to Shreveport) amd local interchang.

Much of the locall originated loads are plastic pellet...

 

Seasonally, we have had grain for export via various ship loading elevators, along the river between BR & NOLA

 

from the Far East of the Sunset Route

(In the shadow of the Huey P Long bridge)

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