Right after WW2, when I was 3 or 4 years old, my parents bought a house in 
Arnold, MO, in the middle of nowhere on top of a long hill above the MoPac 
tracks at Wickes Station. In the Winter, I could actually see the trains 
through the bare trees, the rest of the year, I could only hear them. I spent 
a lot of time roaming the woods, bluffs, fields, and rivers (Mississippi and 
Meramec) along those tracks. I loved the quartz-bearing gravel they used to 
use for ballast along that line, and I'd love to know where it came from.

In 1974, I moved my own family to one of the big old Victorian houses on the 
bluff overlooking the DeSoto Shops complex. Took me about a week to learn to 
sleep over the all-night sounds of the trainmen "sonic spotting" 
already-damaged cars on the RIP tracks.

For decades, I've been planning an N scale railroad based on the early 1950's 
passenger operations out of St. Louis Union Station. The MoPac passenger and 
commuter trains featured large in that operation, so MoPac and Frisco will be 
the featured railroads on the layout, with all the other passenger railroads' 
passenger trains and the TRRA's freight and transfer operations all coming 
from, and departing to, hidden staging. The basement in our current house has 
at long last been finished, and I can now start refining my draft layout plan 
to fit around all the support and plumbing columns...wish me luck!

Rich Zellich