Passenger Train Historical Society

2008 Meeting in La Plata, MO PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 08 August 2009 18:04

(Click here for additional photos from Steve Grande.)

  • Thursday - Sunday, August 7 - 10, 2008:
    Picnic & La Plata Rail Aspects Tour
    • Thursday Evening, August 7, 2008
      • ~8:06 PM CT
        Arrival of Westbound Amtrak Southwest Chief Train #3 From Chicago
      • Silver Rails Resort Conceptual Plan DVD Presentation (15 Minutes)
      • Pre-event slide show by attendees
    • Friday, August 8, 2008
      • 9:57 AM CT
        Arrival of Eastbound Amtrak Southwest Chief Train #4 from Los Angeles
      • 12pm-2pm CT
        Picnic & Train Watching Lookout Point, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, etc.!
      • Afternoon Activities:
        • Tour of Exhibition of Amtrak History
        • Tour of Depot Inn & Suites Railroad Artifacts
        • Tour of Trackside / Building
      • Evening (in the Silver Rails Event Center):
        • Tour of Silver Rails Event Center
        • Slide Show of Passenger Train History by Attendees
      • ~8:06 PM CT
        • Arrival of Westbound Amtrak Southwest Chief Train #3 from Chicago
        • Tour of the restored La Plata Santa Fe Depot / Amtrak Station
    • Saturday, August 9, 2008
      • Breakfast On Your Own (Suggested: Red Rooster Right Next Door)
      • Railfan along scenic BNSF nee ATSF line visit small town area
      • ~9:57 AM CT
        Arrival of Eastbound Amtrak Southwest Chief Train #4 from Los Angeles
      • 11am-1pm Picnic & Train Watching "at" Lookout Point, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, and more
      • Afternoon field trips:
        • Railfan Area Tour of BNSF Thomas Hill Line (Bevier & Southern RR)
        • 5 PM CT Dinner Stop at Pear Tree Restaurant in Bevier, MO
          ~8:06 PM CT
          Departure of Westbound Amtrak Southwest Chief Train #3 To Los Angeles
    • Sunday, August 10, 2008
      • 9:57 AM CT
        Departure of Eastbound Amtrak Southwest Chief Train #4 To Chicago
        Amtrak & BNSF Photography at Station & Lookout Point for those not departing yet
      • ~8:06 PM CT
        Departure of Westbound Amtrak Southwest Chief Train #3 To Los Angeles

For more information, contact:
David Mangold, Events coordinator, at davemangold [AT]
(Replace [AT] with @ . Exact e-mail syntax not listed to avoid automatic SPAM e-mail address collection).

Updated Info Added Sunday, August 3, 2008:

The present BNSF branch line known as the Thomas Hill Line was originaly known as the Bevier and Southern. 'Have Train Will Haul' was the railroads slogan which was prominatly written on the sides of the railraod's locomotive tenders. The line extends 16.5 south of the BNSF (formerly C B & Q mainline (originaly the Hannibal and St. Joeseph) from a connection west of at Bevier, MO to the AECI Associated Electric Cooperative power plant near the town of Thomas Hill. There coal trains from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming unload using a rotory dumper on a two mile loop track.

The Bevier and Southern originally hauled coal from the area mines south of Bevier to the interchange with the CB & Q in Bevier. In the town of Bevier a roundhouse with a machine shop existed. The railroads offices were located in a vintage passenger car.

The line was abandoned in the early 1980s account of declining coal shipments. All local coal went to the Thomas Hill power plant by truck. The north end was completly abandoned and the rails removed. Track remained on the southern portion of the line and maintained an active rail connection for the power plant using a branch line connection to the NS (N & W) East of Excelo, MO.

Due to the Federal Clean Air Act of 1990 and depleted coal reserves in the area an alternative source of coal was needed for the generation of electric power. Low sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin was the logical solution. The original line could not be used account of the short steap grades (verticle profile). The line was surveyed in 1992 and completly rebuilt in 1993 - 1994. The first train operated over the line in the summer of 1994.

The line is an excellent example of the necesary construction of a new rail line on an abandoned right of way. A very probable solution to our contry's rail transportation system capacity problems. Both freight trains and intercity High Speed rail passenger trains would benifit from this reuse of existing unused property.

The PTHS Saturday afternoon field trip will look at the right of way and infrastructure along the line from public grade crossings. If there is a train operating on the line we will certainly follow it (chase) along the route. After the tour we will meet for an optional dinner at the Pear Tree restraunt in Bevier, MO. We will also have an opportunity to visit the static steam locomotive 112 on display in Bevier before dinner.

For additional information about the B & S see the article in the 196 Trains magazine.

The Passenger Train Historical Society was formed by attendees to prior annual conferences of the Amtrak Historical Society (AHS). The Amtrak Historical Society is currently in a state of hybernation. See:

Last Updated on Sunday, 09 August 2009 18:58
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