On the evening of September 15th, 2000 the Party Car and Business Car Alaska returned home from an extended trip to California. Having departed in mid May, and joined shortly there after by the Party Car, all the travelers were glad to be home. The high point of their trip had been a visit to the West Wing, where the Prez had made many demands which were flatly turned down..
Upon his return home, the Prez was faced with several women who had preachers waiting to marry them. After being chased all over the railroad, on Sunday evening, the Prez loaded the Alaska into Frits Liebregs duffel bag and headed first to Japan, then the Netherlands and Europe. The last thing that we heard him say was "so many women, and there is only one of me". The following is Frits' report on the European trip:
On 25 September 2000 the Alaska and Prez departed Anchorage on board KLM flight 9196, with flight engineer Frits Liebregs for the Netherlands. On the way, they had a magnificent view of Mount McKinley. On the 6th of October the Prez visited Rail 2000 a model railroad happening Brabanthallen in Den Bosch (or 's Hertogenbosch) There the Prez had the opportunity to ride on several module-type lay-outs build by Dutch model rail clubs. Sunday 8 October was a visit to the model railroad club of Alkmaar where he enjoyed a ride on a vintage train, hauled by a famous Dutch steam locomotive named "Bello". This Bello used to haul tram like-trains between Alkmaar and Bergen at Sea. Then a ride on a circus train owned by circus Krone from Germany. This was followed by a ride crossing the Dutch lowland or polders with numerous bridges and typical small raildepots, with a typical diesel-electric motorcars. These cars have the nickname "Blue Angels", caused by there original blue color. The Prez then rode to Raildepot Heerhugowaard to cross the Noord-Hollands canal. This canal was dug to serve ships sailing from Den Helder to Amsterdam in the past 19th century. This was followed by a special Amsterdam wich included a canal tour and the Red Light District.
On the weekend of 17, 18 and 19 October 2000 the Prez was invited to a model railroad happening: Eurospoor 2000, held in Jaarbeurshallen" in Utrecht, a city centrally located in the Netherlands and is also the home of Dutch Railway museum and visited many lay-outs. In November, the Prez was invited to the Belgian-orientated home lay-out of Gerard and Roy van Dijk. The Prez was toured on a special train consisted of a diesel-electric locomotive, a self made coupler wagon and two ex-passenger carriages. For the next several weeks I enjoyed a white Christmas holiday in the Netherlands and a New Years Eve of wonderful Dutch pastry. Then after several glasses of champagne and a lot of fire works we started the new year. On 17 January 2001 I visited the local Modelbouw model railroad club in Kennemerland. Secretaris the Netherlands, hosted by Mr. H. Schipper. I was given a tour, pulled by a Cotton Belt diesel and in the Alaska. On the morning of February 11, 2001 the Business Car Alaska and Prez returned home on the middle of the 2001 Fur Rondy where the Prez got his first ride in the new Mooselip Railroad.
On February 14, 2001, the Prez aboard the Alaska were given a special tour of the MSMRRE portable N Scale railroad. The Alaska was loaded aboard a special low rider car for the tour. The Prez was heard to comment several times as to the small size of everything he saw out side his window.
On February 20, 2001 the Prez and the Business Car Alaska departed by Barge to Visit John Combs, Alaska Railroad in Dayton Ohio. On March 30, 2001 the Alaska and Prez traveled to Alaska Railroad southeast in Dayton, Ohio. After a long lunch at Hooters, he met with the board of directors and found he had a great deal in common with them.
On April 1, the Prez boarded the "Circus Train". The lineup was ARR GP40 #3015, GP38 #2504, three passenger cars (with the windows blocked out) and the Alaska tacked onto the end. For some strange reason, the Prez seemed very concerned that he could not locate any tigers, elephants, or acrobats on the train. Spirits on the train were high as icy cold mugs of green "Haight Punch 2001" were served to all passengers. The President and CEO of Alaska Railroad southeast, John Combs, took the Prez by the arm and introduced him to each and every guest on the train. However when the train ride was completed, our Prez had found a new love. Tambra, the captain of the OSU cheerleaders escorted our Prez back to the Alaska.
On April 6, the Business car Alaska departed Dayton Ohio for it's next stop, Jerry Ritter's Toklat Northern in Fairfax, Va. Where he arrived on April 9th. The Toklat Northern is home to the famous Gradley Bore, Really Important Federal RAilroad Guy (RIFRAG)
On May 9, 2001 a tired, worn out and bedraggled Prez arrived on his special barge. He was tired and dirty from his nearly a week of floating around in the postal system. However upon has arrival. the good DR. Cookoo climbed aboard the Alaska, gave him a little rub down, and he is as good as new.
Early on the morning of May 10, 2001 and without the Alaska ever being unloaded from the barge, the Prez and Alaska departed for Peter Kailun's South German Railroad, near Switzerland style Railroad in Riverside, California. The Alaska was on King Ludwig of Bavaria special train, pulled by Steam Engine 18201. A visit to the New Schwanstein Castle and then to Ludwigs Castle which is the pride of Bavaria and Lake Starenberg. The following day, it was on to Switzerland behind a 6/8 BLS engine and breakevan called Sputnik and helper engine Be 6/8 of the SSB RR took them over Gotthard Pass where the Prez got a wonderful view of the Alps. The Alaska was then switched by engine 05002 which had been used to pull trains between Hamburg and Berlin in 1936 and used to pull visitors to the Olympic Games arriving by boat from New York. Here the Prez found a new love, Heidi who could handle 10 steins of beer at once. The Prez later accompanied Heidi on a visit to the Glenn Eadon nudist camp. From here the Alaska was pulled behind Steam Engine 01/10 to Heidelberg and a trip with Prince Leopolds business car pulled by a class C locomotive of the Royal Wuerttemberg State Railways to the Black Forrest. The following day a ride behind an ICE. Then it was time to say goodbye to Heidi and continue to his next adventure.
On June 11, 2001 the Alaska arrived at Peter Ely's in Moorepark Ca. The Alaska and Prez then boarded the Southwest Chief to attend the National NMRA convention in Saint Louis. This 4 unit consist was followed by almost twice as many material handling and roadrailer cars as passenger cars. It was a pretty rough ride as, due to bad behavior, the Prez had to ride most of the trip in his private car at the very end of the train. At Kansas he changed trains for the corridor's Mule which took him to St Louis. the train was quite late, due to a UP freight's having run a red signal ahead of us and the resultant investigation. No one blamed the Prez, which we all found surprising. The Prez then pushed his way into the cab from St.Louis to Chicago. It was quite an exciting trip, topping 80 MPH for many parts of the journey. The return was made on the Texas Eagle, to St Louis, the next day before departing for England in the crew's transition car. It was the only place on the train where the rooms had locks...
Having traveled to England with Ted Smale, the Prez aboard the Alaska is having a fine time discovering the pleasures of WARM beer. He has so far visited about 5 railroads from Berkshire to California, not bad for the UK. The roads visited so far are Ian Wheeler's - Mamies Diner - Northern Ca in HO, Bill Hutchings - Colorado and South Western in Sn3, Roger Winterborns G scale layout, Margeret Evans EM gauge - East Ilsley and Brain Daniels O gauge layout - UK and US outline.
East Ilsley station was planned to be constrcted as a branch off the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway. Morlands Brewery was founded at East Ilsley and I expect the Prez did not realize that it has been taken over and closed down. The Alaska arrived attached to the local push-pull branch line train. He then addressed a party of Girl Guides and was seen leaving town (well a village really) shortly after.
The Business Car Alaska and Prez arrived late Saturday (November 17, 2001) in the middle of a freezing rain storm. As the Brakeman from the CSWRR switch crew climbed aboard the Alaska to release the Brakes, he made a startling discovery. There was the Prez laying on the observation platform. The Brakeman rolled the Prez over to see if he was breathing and as he did so, the Prez belched with a belch that would rival any belch. Smell, it smelled like the inside of a brewery vat. There lay, the Prez with a big smile on his face and every few seconds another belch would come out. As the crew looked around the observation platform, they found it to be covered in empty beer bottles. Then they opened the car door, and found the Alaska was full of empty beer bottles, wall to wall, floor to ceiling. Ted, it seems that in the last minutes before his departure from England, the Prez stashed thousands of bottles of warm beer and smuggled them out of England, then drank them all the way home. There were so many bottles, that I am surprised that you are not having beer shortage. Well, I am happy to report that after sleeping it off in the care of Dr. Cookoo, the Prez is almost back to normal and as soon as his hangover wears off I am sure that he will be as obnoxious as ever.
The Alaska and Prez also toured Ted Smale's Railroad being pulled by two WP F units - Pride of the line.
On December 18, 2001 the Alaska and Prez departed with Ken Elmore North to Prudhoe Bay Alaska. Having planned his trip to coincide with the holiday season, the Prez was treated to some good eating on King Crab, Prime Rib and Lobster. The Alaska was spotted at the "End-of-Track" in the Spec Room, beyond which was only imagination, Christmas and Bear Paws. The Prez then found out there is no daylight outside this time of the year. By now, the Prez was nearly frozen to death and so he decided it was time to return south to the CSWRR to thaw out. Arriving home on January 8, 2002 he was still shivering so bad that he could not even speak. The only sounds that were heard was his teeth chattering and his bones creaking. It was time for emergency action, and the Alaska was sent south to California to thaw out in the sun.
On January 19, 2002 the Alaska with the Prez aboard departed for Indio California as a guest of Peter Kailun at the Date Festival. For two months, Heide had wined and dined our Prez which included numerous trips on her fathers yacht sailing to secluded coves on the Salton Sea. But alas he resisted her offers of marriage and finally loaded the Business Car Alaska on a barge and sailed North.
On March 29th, 2002 the Prez arrived home amongst a lot of fanfare from a welcoming crowd which would have made a conquering hero proud. Well, at least I was there to cheer him home. It was obvious that he had been mauled all over from Heide. At this point, I must say that I think he jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Just as he was about ready to step from the Alaska, from out of nowhere came the Widow Black dragging Marrying Mike right behind her. Upon seeing the Widow, the Prez bolted down the track. I must say, I don't think that I have seen the little fellow move so fast since his last encounter with the Widow. Fortunately, because of all the mud from the melting snow, the Widow slipped and rolled in a BIG mud puddle. Her wedding gown was a mess. This gave the Prez a chance to make it to the safety of the good Dr. Cookoo's where he has been in therapy ever since and may have to remain there for some time. At last report Dr. Cookoo had the Alaska well hidden in the rear of the old roundhouse while the Widow Black was working on a new wedding gown.
In early July 2002, the Alaska and Prez spent about a week with Pat Durand touring and working on Train Mountain, near Chiloquin Oregon. Train Mountain is without a dought, the biggest model railroad on the planet The business car Alaska with the Prez on board was turned on the 38' TM turn table at Central. Later, the Prez was hosted at the state dinner by the Benevolent Dictator of Train Mountain, Mr. Quentin Breen and his gracious wife, Sharon. I must report that the Prez was on his best behavior until we advised him the Alaska would be transported by truck over the ALCAN Highway back to Alaska. The Prez then went into a tirade about how he as a "BONAFIDE RAIL BARON," would rather go home in a black box than by highway. He got his wish, the black box that is!
On the trip back to Alaska a stop was made in Oakridege, so the Prez could visit and have lunch with old friend and roller bladder buddy, Bob Sanchez, the CSWRR Business Agent South. The Prez stood in awe looking the fantastic railroad flophouse right across the street from the UP Y, snow fleet track and the helper pocket. In the time he was there no fewer than four trains crawled up the grade to be viewed from the patio. The Alaska posed for photos in the bay window looking over the yard and in the middle of the wide open spaces from which the N scale railroad will bloom.
On June 7, 2002 the Prez arrived back in Alaska and when asked about the insult of highway travel just commented, "When you got sour grapes, you just make wine".
On May 26, 2001 the Alaska and Prez visited Bob Sinclare's Rock Island Railroad in Corona California. Bob is another old friend of the CEO. Bob's railroad has been under construction for over 20 years and the CEO had made several special switches and crossings which are still in use today. The Prez reported that there was a lot of new scenery and there were roomers of expansion.
Our Prez would never admit that just two weeks before he had ridden down the ALCAN in a black box.
Would you like to have the Prez and Business Car Alaska visit your Railroad or Club? For more information, e-mail Marty Quaas, CEO of the Consolidated South Western Railroad.
On April 27, 2001 the Prez created a major incident when all of a sudden, he was, spending an inordinate amount of time staring at the naked ladies on horseback in front of the Library of Congress. This immediately alerted, the Capitol Police, the Metro Police, the National Guard, the National park Service Police, and the Marines. The Prez then tried to get a library card and check out the Madonna picture book. Then on May 8th 2001 the Prez toured the Capitol, dictated policy to Senator Murkowski, met with the statues of E.L. Bartlett and Ernest Gruening, stopped-in to see the Speaker, who was not there (although there were reports that he either slipped out the back or jumped out the window. He then rode the Senate Subway system and wound-up at Senator Clinton's office and, well, you can probably guess the rest. We then gave him the key to the city. Now we've had to change all the locks. .