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Steam Chaser
With the Columbia Star Dinner Train now up in running in the college town of Columbia, a friend and I decided to do a little chasing. Since the Sunday brunch trip was pretty predictable and sunny skies were in the forecast, we set out for a good chase. The slow speeds made shooting the line pretty easy.

Power for the train consists of two ex-GN F7s. Both are adorned in Wabash colors in honor of the line's heritage. Passengers enjoy nice meals in former Southern Pacific articulated Daylight dining cars!

Here are the shots from the chase (we caught the train in many more spots, but this is all I edited since some of the shots were pretty redundant):

CESX 1950 by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Columbia Star Dinner Train by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Wabash Impersonator by stlgevo51, on Flickr
The Good Side-CESX 1951 by
Wabash Cannonball by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Almost Back by stlgevo51, on Flickr


Steam Chaser
NS Plutonium Shipment

For the drive home in the afternoon, we decided to take the out-of-the-way route and drive along the parallel KCS and NS lines. Though both are pretty dead, we thought we might get lucky, and boy did we!

Just a few minutes in, I spotted an unusual load on an NS train with a caboose! Realizing it was a nuclear move of some type (O57), we sped back west to intercept the move. Missing it in the nearest town, we drove even farther west until the tracks turned north-south. Since a well lit shot was not to be had, we raced to Moberly and the NS yard to get a good shot of the whole train. Upon arriving, I met another railfan who knew that a few trains were in the area but didn't know that the nuclear shipment was on its way. After bagging it east of the yard, we drove west for one more shot. Luckily, it stopped for a heavily-guarded crew change!

After a couple of minutes of waiting, we heard an approaching horn from the west. Immediately the nuclear move whistled off and began to move. Driving west, we caught the eastbound auto emptys at the first grade crossing. Since the racks would block the O57, we went to one more crossing and got it. Overall, a pretty successful day and catch if you ask me!

Nuclear Flask-A Nice Surprise by stlgevo51, on Flickr

Skunked West of Moberly by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Nuclear Materials on the Move by stlgevo51, on Flickr


Railfanning Meteorologist
Both sets of photos are spectacular! I've never seen a nuclear train before, only heard of them. Thanks for sharing!


Whistle Pig
Beautiful F's

Any day that you can see an F unit is a good day. In railfan miles, Columbia is not all that far from Omaha. Is the dinner train fairly regular? Is there a website? Do tell.

Nuke is cool too. I've never seen one. It's too bad you can't get close, About a hundred glow in the dark marking pens would be fun to write with.


Steam Chaser
Rick- The Columbia Star does run on a regular schedule. On Saturdays, they leave in the late evening (with just enough light in Summer to get some shots). On Sundays, they run 11:30 to 1pm.

Yeah, the glow in the dark pens would probably result in some major questioning. I bet there are a few armed guards in the caboose behind the plutonium flask! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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