CMO On The Go!
The first stop was supposed to have been a visit to the Hercules Power Equipment shop for a look at the torn down Vulcan. Unfortunately, the three-day weekend traffic in LA was terrible as everyone in the LA basin seemed to be going to Las Vegas, which put a crimp in getting to the shop early enough to meet David Laban and look at the locomotive. After a quick regroup, the Readers headed off west and spent the night in the town of Needles. Needles is a hot bed of BNSF activities with container trains passing through every 10 minutes or so.
Once up and back on the road, the Readers were westward bound into Arizona. The first stop of interest was the park engine in Kingman, Arizona. After a rest break and some railfan photo shots of the engine and caboose, it was onward again toward Williams, Arizona, for a look at the Grand Canyon. BNSF continued to have active freight activity as the line parallels the old Route 66, now known as Highway 40 east.
Arriving in Williams in the late afternoon, the Readers stopped in to see the Grand Canyon Railway and explore the depot and hotel. On display was the Arizona Railroad Museum’s three-truck Shay, which provided fuel for Phil’s curiosity. The train arrived in the depot at about 5:30 PM and a trainload of happy passengers disembarked. After a phone call to the Reader’s good friend Natasha Bettis was successful, Natasha and her friend Jason met the Readers at the Grand Canyon Hotel’s very elegant Spenser’s lounge for some relaxation and gossip. It was discovered that Natasha had been assigned to engine service and on the board for student engineer on Monday’s trip out and back to the Grand Canyon.
The Readers rose early and got tickets to ride on Natasha’s first 15-car train. Natasha arranged for upgraded tickets and the Readers got to ride to the Canyon in the lovely Bucky O’Neill car and back in the luxury of the Chief. What wonderful service! It was a beautiful day and after some souvenir shopping the Readers walked the Canyon rim and explored this amazing geologic wonder. Natasha did an outstanding job and provided a great ride for this packed holiday weekend train. A dinner at the hotel restaurant, Max and Thelma’s with Natasha and her friends, Eric and Donya rounded off a perfect day.
Stay tuned for more on-the-road updates from Phil and Karell!