A Foggy Morning in Creston
February 14, 1998


Jan and I took a Valentine's Day morning trip to catch some traffic on the BNSF. At Osceola, JR Green's bulletin board said that No. 6 would be an hour late and arrive at 10:15. Since it was only 8:30, and we'd heard no other trains on the scanner, we decided to drive on over to Creston.

In the yard, BN 2880 was knocking a few cars around, with caboose 12526 acting as a buffer. Idling nearby were BN 2700 and ancient GP-9 1812.

I went over to the other side of the yard to get another look at 1812. I had a short visit with Trainmaster Larry Owens, who said that they were going to "get rid of" the 1812 on a grain train today. Except for the grain train, the Creston yard was unusually empty today. The rest of the power for the grain train was at the east end of the yard - LMX 8547 and EMD 778.

At 9:54, Amtrak appeared out of the fog blanketing the city, with GEnesis units 87, 27 and 68 on the point. In the California Zephyr today:

1160 Baggage
39027 Transition Sleeper
32034 Sleeping Car
32105 Sleeping Car - Oregon
38035 Dining Car
33030 Sightseer Lounge
31538 Coach (Smoking)
34062 Coach
34000 Coach
34004 Coach
1718, 1716 Express Baggage
Amtrak stopped briefly to let personnel and a passenger off of the transition sleeper, then made a second spot to load passengers onto the smoking coach. They were on their way for their next stop in Osceola by 9:56.

A few minutes behind Amtrak, at 10:15, a coal load rolled around the corner by the elevator and made a quick stop for a crew change. The BN gondolas were pulled by BN 7843, 5135 (with red number boards), and SD-60M 9229. They made a quick crew change at the east end of the yard and were rolling again by 10:28.

On the scanner, I heard No. 6 report its stop at Osceola, "26 and 33".

At 10:40, the OMAGAL (the manifest formerly called 492) arrived with recently renumbered BNSF 6733 and BN 7847, and doubled into tracks 5 and 6 in the Creston yard.

Running behind 492 was another coal load, with SD-70MAC twins 9678 and 9677 pulling CWEX cars. They tied up their train at the east end of the yard at 11:18.

BN 1812 pulled down to the east end and its crew moved over to the LMX and EMD units to double together their train. Along the bottom of the faded cab, someone had chalked "SD-70 MAC" over the GP-9 lettering and added "Ain't it pretty?"

At 11:45, with the grain train getting ready to pull out, we drove back east for Osceola. We stopped there for take-out lunch beside the depot, but didn't see or hear of any more trains, so we headed home.

That's It!