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Next in frequency of appearances is


the Union Pacific. Although its major yard, Neff, is reachable by its own tracks farther north along the Missouri River, UP trains go by Union Station because KCT dispatchers can route many Armour Yellow movements on this triple track. Especially common are loaded and empty coal trains, stackers going to and from the West Coast, as well as manifests and an oc- casional auto rack freight. Several other less frequent visitors


add variety to the traffic flow. Norfolk Southern typically delivers its west- bound Roadrailer to BNSF’s Argentine yard in the late morning or early after- noon. In addition NS often sends a westbound manifest to the same desti- nation in the afternoon. KCS gray as well as retro-Belle engines make occa- sional appearances on transfers or as pool power on BNSF or UP trains. Around Christmas and New Year’s, the KCS Holiday Express is parked for an extended stay at KCUS. Quite often the bright yellow Watco units of the Kansas City Switching Company pass by the station eastbound in the late morning and westbound (back to its Mill Street Yard) in the early after- noon. CSX engines appear now and then on UP or BNSF trains, as do loco- motives of FerroMex, Canadian Na- tional, and Canadian Pacific. Rounding out the show is Amtrak. In


the morning train No. 4, the Southwest Chief, makes a substantial stopover on its way from Los Angeles to Chicago. Morning light is perfect on the train, which is eastbound. Its westbound counterpart goes through at night, but another dependable Amtrak arrival in good light is the westbound Missouri River Runner, train No. 311, which ar- rives from St. Louis at KCUS at 2:55 pm. It then unloads, goes west a short distance to a wye, then returns, loads, and departs eastbound at 4:00 pm. The earlier St. Louis-bound Missouri River Runner, (train No. 314) departs KCUS at 8:15 a.m. Given the intense train action, hav-


ing a scanner is not necessary. Channel 60 (161.010) is the radio frequency for the KCT dispatcher who controls the triple track. I have used this channel when looking for the yellow Watco units, whose crew calls that number to get permission to enter Terminal tracks. Channel 53 (160.950) will often give you a line up of BNSF trains two hours before they are due to arrive at Argentine yard. Unless you are looking for such specific information, your best bet is to keep the scanner packed away and just enjoy the show.


Union Station Area Amenities


Besides using the station for a bath- room or drink break, you can benefit from the other amenities in this im-


46 MARCH 2012 • RAILFAN.COM


pressive structure and nearby facili- ties. Union Station’s Science City is great for kids, as is the planetarium, live performances at the City Stage Theater, and the movies that appear on the four-story-tall Extreme Screen. The K.C. Rail Experience has excellent ex- hibits, some of which are interactive, in addition to vintage passenger cars. The modestly-priced Union Café offers breakfast and lunch, while Pierponts


provides upscale steak and seafood din- ners. In the building are a chocolate shop and a science store. Occasionally the Grand Hall of KCUS hosts elabo- rate model train exhibits, while at the lower station level, first rate traveling exhibits feature everything from di- nosaurs to human archeology. At the north end of the Freight House Bridge sit two excellent restaurants, Lydia’s and Jack Stack Barbeque. Just west of


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