Beggars Can’t Be Choosers (Santa Fe Signal Bridges Gone at LaPlata, MO)

La Solana The APRHF and BNSF have been in communication for quite a while about the donation of one of the Signal Bridges in LaPlata. This was to happen when they were torn down. Sadly there was a communication issue within BNSF and the proper paperwork etc. did not get done.  My contact in LaPlata was kind enough to put a note on the house door to let me know that the bridges would be torn down Monday 3/16/2015. The note came the Friday afternoon prior. Sunday I was trackside to photograph them one last time.
Last photo 1
As luck would have it. The consist had a friend in it that no doubt has seen many miles, many changes and many signal brdges. The mast and signal we received is the one one the right hand side. last photo 2
A little closer view of our Santa Fe visitor. The lead unit (first photo) could have very well been painted in the classic Red Warbonnet paint scheme at one time and the second unit is an Ex conrail unit. Farther back in the train was a large logo Santa Fe “Shock Control” boxcar and two Rock Island covered hoppers. I was very happy my last train under the bridge was not a stack train.

Monday morning came and I was trackside meeting with the scrappers. They were quite nice and agreed to leave me a signal with a mast and told me where it would be. I thanked them and headed off to work. As soon as work was done. I raced back to LaPlata feeling like a kid at Christmas time. Sure enough the signal lay in the spot it was supposed to be fully intact. I called some friends to help me move it. And, after some grunting and lifting we got it in a truck and took it to its storage place to await display.

last photo 3
Yours truly posing with the signal. The luggage cart it is resting on will be redone also for display. The sign in the back was a float decoration from the 1998-2000 redo of the LaPlata Amtrak station. The APRHF really wanted to whole bridge but this little gem will no doubt help us tell the story of railroading in LaPlata.

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