The Cimarron River is a former Frisco Railroad 14-4 sleeper built by Pullman in 1948 for the Meteor. From this side one can see the window for the "porter", now galley, the paired windows of the double bedrooms, and then the windows for the roonettes.

It is seen just out side St. Louis Union Station 0n July 23, 2012 following a trip to Chicago and a connection with an Amtrak Hiawatha and then the S S Badger former rail car ferry across Lake Michigan.

Here we see the owners, brothers Andy and Tony Marchiando.

Here are four views inside Roomette 7
These views show the hallways, the galley, and the doorway to the vestibule in the Cimarron River.

Cimarron River Photos
by Mike Condren

High Iron Travel's
"Southern Explorer"
Rare Mileage Excursion
May 25-30, 2010

Dave Ingles was on the "Southern Explorer" and wrote "Mike took several of us, including Tony, on a railfans' tour of Memphis, and then we adjourned to a local restaurant for a BBQ dinner. This is our train from the west, in the depot, where a sink hole kept the line closed for weeks last winter."

South West Explorer
April 28, 2012

In taking this sequence of photos, I was standing on the embankment of the former connection between the Frisco and the MKT used by the Texas Special and the Bluebonnet. Most of the embankment is long gone.

And now for the cars in the train.

Ride on Frisco Cimarron River & S S Badger

This trip began in Tahlequah, OK and involved driving to St. Louis to ride the former Frisco 14-4 sleeper Cimarron River owned by a friend from my graduate school days. The trip involved being pulled to Chicago on the rear of Amtrak's "Texas Eagle". We then headed to Milwaukee, WI on an Amtrak "Hiawatha". In Milwaukee we transferred to a van for the drive to Manitowoc, WI where we boarded the former C&O railroad car ferry S S Badger for a trip across Lake Michigan. We got off the ferry at Ludington, MI to drive to Grand Rapids, MI where our sleeper had been repositioned. After another night on the sleeper, Amtrak pulled us back to Chicago where we then would be returned to St. Louis. After another night on the sleeper in St. Louis, I drove to Memphis.

July 19, 2012
Amtrak from St. Louis, MO to Chicago

The northbound "Texas Eagle" is seen arriving on time.

The Amtrak conductor is seen directing his train towards cour car.

The Cimarron River is seen on the reat of the "Texas Eagle" in the station. On eht next track is an annuled Chicago train. All trains to Chicago except the Eagle are annuled due to track work on the normal route. The Eagle detours over the C&EI, adding 1.5 hr minimum to the length of the trip.

and then Tony Marchiando, Jim McKeel, Andy Marchiando, and Rick Strung.

We are finally on our way climbing the hill toward "Gratiot Tower" and the MacArthur Bridge over the Mississippi River.

We now see our train heading into Chicago.

Friday July 20, 2012
Ride Amtrak Chicago/Milwaukee and
S S Badger Manitowoc, WI to Ludington, MI

Tony and I walked up the ramp in an attempt to flag down a taxi. I got this shot of the "private cars" in the coach yard.

The clouds had given way to clear skies before we reached Milwaukee where I shot the head-end of our train.

Tony had a luxury van waiting for us in Milwaukee to take us to Manitowoc and the S S Badger. We stopped at this Culver's on the edge of Manitowoc for lunch.

Our goal, at last!

Here are some views of the S S Badger before we sailed.

Ludington, MI straight ahead.

Saturday July 21, 2012
Amtrak Grand Rapids to Chicago

Here is the power for our "Pere Marquite" from Grand Rapids.

Sunday July 22, 2012
Ride Chicago to St. Louis

This is the switcher that moved our car into Union Station to await coupling it to the back of the Amtrak "Texas Eagle".
Here is our car parked by itself in Union Station.

Our train is seen weaving out of Union Station.

The sky line of Chicago disappearing.

Some views of downtown St. Louis at dusk.

Tony and Cimarron River 65th Birthday Celebration Trip

Sept 12, 2013

The image below was taken from the Amtrak station pick up for taxi customers.
Below is a Google Maps satellite view of the area shown above with the spot where the car was parked on the night we stayed in it and the Cimarron River is labeled. The car next to it is ex-Frisco sleeper, now Caritas.

It turned out that the Beirnes had not had lunch when we arrived so we headed to Hoarts for something to eat. Jan and I had eaten on the train from KC so we just had some cheese sticks. Jan also got a carryout sandwich.

This display is at the end of the hallway beside the Double Bedroom section of the Cimarron River.

Jan is seen here enjoying a book on the couch in Bedroom D of the Cimarron River.

Sept 13, 2012

Our car was coupled onto the Missouri River Runner in the middle of the night and we were shoved toward the station. The Texas Eagle snucked into the station when I was not looking.

The Missouri River Runner is seen in the station awaiting departure.

Tony and Cimarron River 65th Birthday Celebration Trip

This year marks 65 years for both of us, and coincidentally, both of us “entered service” in May of that year (1948).  To celebrate, a western trip for our railroad friends.

Friday September 13
Amtrak train #311  “Missouri River Runner”
Leave St. Louis                                 Leave 9:15 AM
Arrive Kansas City                           Arrive 2:55 PM
Dinner in KC
Amtrak train #3  “Southwest Chief”
Leave KC                                            Leave  10:45 PM
Overnight across Kansas

Saturday September 14
Over Raton Pass
Leave Albuquerque            Leave 3:55 PM

Sunday September 15
Early morning over Cajon Pass
Arrive Los Angeles                          Arrive 8:15 AM
Free day in LA.  Spend night on car in LA Amtrak yard.

Monday September 16
Amtrak train #14  “Coast Starlight”
Leave Los Angeles                           Leave 10:10 AM
Along Pacific coast, Cuesta Pass, San Luis Obispo
Arrive Oakland                                 Arrive 9:24 PM


  1. Tony Marchiando
  2. Andy Marchiando
  3. David Graham
  4. Bob Still
  5. John Beirne
  6. Ann Beirne
  7. Earl Harting
  8. Mike Condren (STL—KC only)
  9. Jan Condren (STL-KC only)

The Missori River Runner is seen leaving the Union Station area close to where the Cimarron River was parked overnight.

This shot shows our engine and all four cars of our train.

Our train is now approaching the former Missouri Pacific station at Kirkwood, MO, our first stop.

The former Missouri Pacific passenger station that we see here is no longer used by Amtrak.
Below is a eastbound train stopped at the station in 1967.

This is a view of the State Capitol in Jeff City.
I shot the photo below 3 years before Amtrak was formed.

Sedalia has a nice Amtrak depot.

Our next stop was at the nice Warrensburg station.

The next stop was Lee's Summit.

The last stop before Union Station was in Independence, MO.

The late 1960 Rolla boys l to r: Mike Condren, John Beirne, and Tony Marchiando.
Mike and Jan Condren
The group who made the trip are l to r: John and Ann Beirne, Mike Condren, David Graham, Jan Condren, Tony Machiando, Bob Still, and Earl Harting.


Every 10 years, Amtrak certified cars must be jacked up and inspected.  This is what it looks like. Actually, this is the easy part.   The required repairs are the tough part.

These photos are from Tony Marchiando.

Earlier issues of Recent Trains are available through the indexes.
This site is maintained by the Arkansas Boston Mountains Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society located in Springdale, Arkansas
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