Ride across the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Cuba Subdivision between St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri on intermodal train Q-STLCLO. The former Frisco main is an undulating hog-back line that cuts through the rolling hills of the Ozark Plateau. An engineer’s skills are put to a test here as the terrain often causes trains to be stretched along up- and down-hill grades while simultaneously twisting through multiple curves. Experience is the engineer’s best tool as he works to keep the train together and moving.
The Cuba Sub typically sees three to four trains a day in each direction. However, BNSF was rerouting traffic at the time of our visit and an additional six to eight trains each day brought traffic to unusually high levels. You’ll see plenty of meets on this ride!
Ground shots supplement the on-board footage for a balanced view of the line. Highlights include the steep climb out of the Merimac River valley up Iron Hill to St. Clair and the even steeper grade up Dixon Hill from Jerome. The rolling hills and severe curves between Dixon and Sleeper provide great views of the consist as the train snakes through the Ozarks. This Cuba Sub cab ride is a thrilling experience you’re sure to enjoy!