The UP made one of its rare appearances in Indianola last week. UP 637 arrived around 2:00 p.m. We had a strong northwest breeze and Jan heard the whistle out at the high school and alerted me via email. I drove over and got a couple of pictures as they switched some covered hoppers of fertilizer into place and set out a tank car.
They were last here on December 27, having not been to Indianola before that for several months. The local elevator, Heartland Coop, has stopped shipping grain from Indianola by rail and has moved their trackmobile to another elevator. According to a train-watching friend here, there were only 19 cars brought in during 1996, and the elevator is actually trucking grain to another elevator (on the IAIS) to be shipped out by rail.
In other news, Jan and I went to Audubon on Sunday (01/26/97) afternoon and on the way out caught a meet between a westbound UP detour and an IAIS freight at Booneville. UP 6830, UP 9242 and LMS 714 were westbound with NORX cars, and had stopped on the main. When we arrived, an IAIS eastbound was pulling into the siding. The IAIS had an interesting articulated spine car with small containers, MERX 0033 in the consist.
After the UP train rolled west, IAIS 401, 625, 802, 627 and 626 pulled east out of the Booneville siding, backed up to pick up the brake-one, and then headed on for West Des Moines. A string of 15 new IAIS covered hoppers (7000s, 7100s) remained on the elevator spur at Booneville.