Sunday, March 2, 2014

Prairie Rails 2014 - Part 1: Overview

Of course there is snow on the prairie in February, but certainly not enough to have any effect on Prairie Rail 2014 weekend. The organizers picked a nice hotel in a good location on the south side of town, and check-in, banquet and handouts were all superbly accomplished with no glitches or omissions. The group in KC really are a class act when it comes to hospitality, generosity and graciousness. Plus there are some damn fine layouts to operate!

I'll post more on the layouts later on, but here is an overview in images of some of the people and things that made up a fantastically fun weekend. I hope I get the chance to come back soon!

Jack O. may never see this picture on the world-wide Intertubes, but it will always remind me of his great stories and funny running commentary on the weekend. I ended up driving most of the weekend, and it was nice to have the entertainment!

The banquet was held in the Bottoms, which is a place ripe for redevelopment. Some great old industrial and warehouse buildings with painted signs galore. The steak dinner was at the Golden Ox.

Inside the Ox, another great auto companion and navigator most of the weekend was Lloyd, who came from Chicago and filled me in on the history and lineage of Prairie Rail and operating in general in the US. Note to self: I need to find the articles he wrote about the TP&W for a friend at work who has an interest in the line.

The young Mr Willer in yellow who patiently helped all of us out finding our way around the SP&S Ry on TT&TO!

The "EN OX" had decent food, but the location really stole the evening sited next to the Cattle Exchange building (below).

Horrible photo, but a really grand monument to the importance of cattle to the city.

Kemper Arena in the background. Someone said they were thinking about tearing it down...
We had to try out the Mexican food restaurant at the airport on our way out. They didn't do too bad a job, but it is hard to beat Tex-Mex in the ATX. Surprised to see the range of the nine-banded armadillo extend all the way to KC. Must be global warming.
Oh, and there were railroads, too. More on them later as I organize my photos and thoughts a bit further. This is from Bob Willer's SP&S Ry. My peddler freight sneaking around higher class trains in a TT&TO session.


  1. Standing next to Lloyd in the black shirt in Rich Steenwyk, the face behind

    1. Rich, I had no idea! I guess I need to pay closer attention to who I might run into!

    2. Same here; it was only after the event was concluded that I saw your name on the invite list (my brother owns one of the host layouts) and made the connection as a blog follower.

  2. Riley -

    A couple of buddies operated in KC with you at Prairie Rails. Are you headed for Tulsa in a couple of weeks?

    -Kevin Blair

    1. Don't believe anything they tell you, Kevin. I was on my best behavior.

      I'm not going to make it to Tulsa this year - too much going on!