SUBSCRIBE

FRONT PAGE

 MORE NEWS

 FEATURES

 OBITUARIES

 ADVERTISING

 Headline News

 SPORTS

 COLUMNS

 JEWELL

Reminder: While we attempt to bring you the latest and most important Superior and Jewell County News every week on this website, the only way to ensure you receive it all is by subscribing to the publication! Please call our office at (402) 879-3291 or 1-800-359-2120 to receive this paper by mail. It's cheap and easy to subscribe- why not get this news delivered direct to your doorstep every week?

THE SUPERIOR EXPRESS

NEWS!

New medical clinic opens in Davenport

Rare passenger train cars make appearance in Superior

Guide Rock hosts annual horse show

Model train show planned in Deshler


 

New medical clinic opens in Davenport

The Village of Davenport opened its new medical clinic. The building replaces the older clinic facility which will be renovated and converted for use as a wellness center.
The clinic and wellness center are the culmination of a three-phase project undertaken by the Davenport Community Foundation.
The foundation was established more than 30 years ago. Its stated purpose was to promote business and civic improvement in the village. In 2014, the group laid out plans for three community improvement projects. They set about raising the funds required to bring those plans to fruition.
The first phase was the installation of new playground equipment for use by the youth of Davenport. The second phase was to replace the existing clinic building. The final phase is the conversion of the former clinic building into a commubnity wellness center.
The original clinic building was constructed by Dr. Pumphrey. When he died, the foundation purchased the building and entered into an agreement with Thayer County Health Services to staff the facility.
Ground was broken for the clinic building in July, 2016. The community foundation had raised $360,000. The United States Department of Agriculture awarded the village a $50,000 grant to be applied to the project.
The new clinic has three examination rooms, a waiting room, an office and reception area, a utility room and a handicapped acessible restroom.
Thayer County Health Services will have personnel at the clinic two days per week.
The former clinic faciltiy will undergo an extensive renovation project. Interior walls will be removed to open up the interior space. Insulation will be installed in the walls. Fitness equipment will be put in place.
The Davenport Community Foundation is comprised of Jerry Brase, president, Mick Onnen, vice-president, Robin Schardt, secretary, Whitney Miller, treasurer, Kelly Ficken, Loma Grone and Phil Johnson.
The foundation has not yet identified its next project but they will work to remedy any need which might arise which will benefit the community.

To return to the top of the page and choose another story, click here.

Rare passenger train cars make appearance in Superior
By Marty Pohlman
Area residents would be forgiven for thinking they were seeing an apparition from the past last Wednesday. A three-car consist of passenger cars was connected to a BNSF Railway locomotive at Superior Junction at the east edge of Superior.
The last passenger train to serve Superior faded into the past more than 60 years ago. Yet these cars would not have been out of place passing through Superior in the 1950s. But no. Passenger train were not making a return. The cars have been repurposed and serve as part of BNSF track geometry trains.
The BNSF rail network is comprised of more than 32,000 miles of steel track. The track is attached to either wood or concrete ties with spikes or clips. It is vital to the safety of the trains and their crews that the track remain in a state of good repair at all times. The consequences of failing to do so are catastrophic. Trains can derail, threatening the lives of crew members and damaging property.
In the early days of railroading, section gangs patrolled every mile of track. They inspected every tie and spike to ensure the track was safe. The development of hand car and the motorized speeder enabled track walkers to ride and lengthened the distance they could cover.
By the 1920s, rail traffic was dense. The sheer volume of trains made visual inspection of track impractical as higher speeds and increased train numbers left little opportunity for the visual inspection. Higher speed in addition to longer and heavier trains required track to maintained to higher standards.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway built and operated the first track geometry car in the United States. The Baldwin company constructed the car which utilized technology provided by the Sperry Corporation.
Other railroads followed suit and the car became a standard component of the maintenance of way departments at railroads.
The track geometry car was born of necessity. The old visual inspection method was manpower intensive, costly and dangerous as men were intermingled with speeding trains. Manual instruments were used to perform the measurements of various track parameters.
The modern track geometry car is equipped with laser measurement systems to measure rail profile and wear, crosslevel and rail gauge. Accelometers measure alignment by seeking out acceleration in a certain direction then integrating until a position is obtained. The positions are used to create artificial chords to measure several parameters. They also acquire data to measure ride quality. Substandard track can lead to freight damage and uncomfortable passengers. Video systems record the right-of-way for analysis and for machine vision inspection of specific track components.
The cars are used to check for alignment or straightness of track. Crosslevel, the variation in the cant of the track over the length of a predetermined chord length, normally 62 feet. There should be no variation on straight track while cant is acceptable in curves. Curvature is checked. Rail gauge is constantly monitored. the gauge is the between the rails, 4'8.5" in the United States, or standard guage, as it is referred to. The instruments check the rail profile, looking for wear and deviations from the standard profile. Warp is also checked. This is the maximum change in cross level over a predetermined chord length, normally 62 feet.
In addition to the railroads, the Federal Railroad Adminsitration uses a fleet of three geometry cars as part of its Automated Track Inspection Program. These cars check the railroads track and notify them of any defects they discover. The railroads then repair the defects.
The BNSF utilizes several methods of track inspection. The railroad employs more than 650 track inspectors who visually inspect more than 10 million miles of track annually. These inspectors either walk or utilize hy-rail trucks (trucks equipped with railway wheels to ride on the rails) to check the track and make repairs as needed.
Rail detectors are located alongside tracks throughout the BNSF system. They use ultra-sonbic waves to detect internal flaws in the rail.
Track geometry cars travel the system. They use a non-contact inertial based system and full rail profile measurement with a laser optical system. The BNSF employs both manned and unmanned track geometry cars.
The manned cars traverse the system and measure the lines. A computerized printout indicates where measured flaws exist in the track. The information is immediately available to onboard personnel.
The unmanned cars are placed in regular train service and operate around the clock. They transmit data to a central office as to where the measured flaws exist. The information is then immediately disseminated to field personnel.
The BNSF also maintains a comprehensive bridge inspection program for the more than 13,000 bridges in the system. The railway has certified bridge inspectors who carry out more than 35,000 comprehensive inspections per year. The BNSF has a fleet of eight specially equipped bridge inspection vehicles which enable inspectors to access the entire bridge structure. The BNSF also has a team of divers to inspect underwater bridge foundations.
The BNSF has been in the forefront of adopting drone technology for track and bridge inspections. The drones allow the inspectors to access difficult to reach terrain and track locations.
The three cars which arrived in Superior have a rich and varied history. One car is owned by VX Rail and is leased by the BNSF. It is a track geometry car. It began life as a sleeper coach with the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1950. It proudly wore the nameplate Pacific Plateau. After the demise of passenger service in the 1970s and the formation of Amtrak, the car went to several owners before being converted to a track geometry car in 2011. The side of the car now bears the nameplate Michael D. Harding.
The second car in the lineup is owned by the BNSF. It was part of the Atchison, Topeka, Santa Fe Railway fleet of fluted sided passenger sleeper cars. The car once wore a plate announcing to the world she was the Regal Crest. Now she is adorned with a plate announcing she is BNSF Track Maintenance 81. The car serves as the sleeping and food preparation area for the geometry car crew.
The final car in the train is the Rio Grande River or BNSF 80 (formerly 43). She was a former Southern Pacific bi-level communter coach. In her heyday, she carried commuters from San Francisco down the coast of Northen California. When she was acquired by the BNSF, she was extensively renovated for her present task. The rear of the car was fitted with a window from the top to the bottom. This allows the crew and managers to view the track as they pass over it.
The train was in Superior for a crew change. The crew, which brought the train up from Newton, sometimes at speeds up to 70 miles per hour, then entered a van for the return trip to Newton. As the crew departed, another crew arrived by van and boarded the locomotive. They sounded the two longs, short and long whistles for the crossing, and headed west to continue their inspection. For a brief moment, if one glanced out of the corner of their eye, memories of the golden age of passenger service could be glimpsed on the first two cars with their streamlined, stainless steel sides. As the saying goes, they have good bones.

To return to the top of the page and choose another story, click here.

 

Guide Rock hosts annual horse show
By Sandra Foote
Sunday was a perfect day for outside activities like the annual horse show held at Guide Rock Arena. Though the temperature was in the low 80s it was nice to have the concessions in the air conditioned fire hall. The American Legion and Auxiliary organized and worked the concessions stand. This was the second year for the concessions stand to be located in the fire hall and considered to be a vast improvement over the tent once used for the show's concessions.
The fire hall was a good place to relax and visit with old friends. The common statement was "Hi! I haven't seen you in years!"
The queen of the 2010-2011 Webster County rodeo, Kelsey Parker Lauenstein, of Shickley, was among those attending the show and visiting with her friends and former neighbors. Her top three show events are reining, barrels and poles. Her favorite is barrels. The former state contestant, now trains riders.
Guide Rock show contestants came from a 100 mile radius to participate in the event.
Deb Adams, a rider from Superior, said she enjoyed the morning as she participated in the walk-trot open for all ages and western pleasure. In the walk-trot open, the riders are asked to have their horses to first walk, trot then lope. After that they were asked to back up near the rail and then go to the center of the arena and face the judge. This is Deb's favorite event as the horse is not supposed to run. "I don't like to go fast anymore," Deb stated.
In the western pleasure event, it's all about judging the horse rather than the rider. The horse is judged on how smooth they respond and how collected they are physically. If they are moving in a jerky or hesitant manner, points are lost.
Deb began showing horses at the age of 8. Her overall goal is just to have fun with horses. She works for Dr. Hatch and helps care for his quarter horses. She said she thoroughly enjoys being with the horses.
While working at Hatch's Quarter Horse's, Deb has had the opportunity to travel to Oklahoma City to see the American World Quarter Horse show. She also got to see the Reichert Celebration show in Tulsa, Okla. Horses and related activities play a large part in the life of Deb Adams.
Twelve year old Reagan Rust, daughter of Dave Rust of Guide Rock has had a lifelong love for her horse, "Silkey." She's been riding horses since she was a baby.
Her main events were barrel racing, poles and key hole. Her favorite event is the poles. She likes to call the event the "hotdog" because from the aerial view the pattern that is run looks like a hotdog with catsup or mustard on it.
Barrel racing has an aerial pattern similar to a 3 leaf clover. Reagan's friend, Kayce Clark of Red Cloud, also enjoys riding her horse, Bandit. Reagan's uncle, Cliff Vogel, said "Kayce has long been interested in horses." She is living with Cliff so that she can be with her friends and live in a smaller community with a country lifestyle. Her mother works in Ellsworth, Kan., as a corrections officer.
Kayce and Reagan have been friends since they were toddlers. Enjoying each other's company throughout the day was a plus along with participating in the equine events. They agree that the best part of riding is that they like to have fun and to go fast. They said going fast gives them a thrill. They spoke about the excitement while the dirt is flying around the horse during these events.
The everyday chores of caring for their horses provides a time of bonding. They have learned combing out the mane and tail can be a relaxing time for both the horse and the handler.
Hunter Englehart, a fourth grader of Guide Rock, got to be with his grandfather, Mike Bruce, of Juniata. They considered it a perfect way to observe Fathers' Day. Hunter was riding Cutter during his events. He placed fifth in the walk and trot horsemanship and second in walk and trot pleasure.
His mom, Jill Bruce, got him interested in riding two years ago. Twelve year old Cutter is a quiet horse owned by Matt Ping of Guide Rock. Hunter likes to praise Cutter when the horse is doing a good job and believes doing so keeps the horse working well with him. Hunter said if you don't tell the horse when he is doing a good job or if he makes mistakes, the horse will keep looking at you to see what you need next.
Cutter needs to know Hunter is the boss, but normally Cutter is a good horse. Hunter wants to go to state with Cutter next year.
Hunter's mother is a 4-H leader in the Guide Rock area.
Joe Theer of Lawrence and his wife, Kay, seemed to be enjoying their day together. Joe participated in the horsemanship, reining and trail events. Each event uses different aspects of the horse. Joe was riding Grace, a horse he's had since Grace was a colt. Grace is the first colt out of his mare and stud.
Joe started riding when his children were in 4-H. At first he went to horse shows to watch but then started participating because he wanted to lead his children by example. Joe said "Grace is the only girl my wife, Kay, will let me play with."
In the eyes of this novice, the Guide Rock horse show was exciting and entertaining as well as educational. The people were good to their horses and the sense of community was strong.
To the seasoned eye the show is a time of continual training toward the goal of perfection while realizing mistakes happen and one must move on and try to do better next time.

 

 

To return to the top of the page and choose another story, click here.

Model train show planned in Deshler
Seventeen years ago, Dave and Deb Zucker started Spring Creek Model Trains, LLC, with a pickup load of inventory and a love for the hobby. They began by attending train shows and sharing their enthusiasm with other modelers. Since that time, their inventory has grown one of the largest between Denver and Chicago. They now travel to nearly 50 train shows each year across the country. The store moved to its permanent location at 304 East Bryson Ave. in downtown Deshler in 2009. Customers have come to visit and shop from all contiguous 48 states and 27 other countries.
This summer, Spring Creek Model Trains will host their second train show at the Thayer County Activity Center in Deshler on July 1 and 2. The show will feature great layouts in HO, N and Hon3 scales from clubs in Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming. Representatives from Scale Trains, Athearn, Intermountain Rapido, ESU-LokSound and Scenery Solutions will be on hand to display and discuss their products.
New to the show this year will be modeling clinics on various processes and techniques. Special guest clinicians are Pelle Soeborg, Denmark; Doug Geiger, Colorado, and Chris Brimley, Utah. Clinics are scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday of the show and will be held in the Deshler Lutheran School gymnasium
Train show hours will be Saturday, July 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, July 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Concessions at the train show will be supplied by the Deshler Legion Auxillary. The store will also have extended hours throughout the show weekend.

To return to the top of the page and choose another story, click here.


 

To see more news, click here.