Short Line Bridge Closed
Tuesday, March 9
I had an errand to run on Tuesday that required
a visit to one of the Marion County road maintenance offices. At home
at lunch time I heard the UP's Trenton Sub. dispatcher arranging a meet at
Beech, so I decided this would be a good time to head east. I got to
the railroad bridge over Hwy. 92 about 12:20 and could see a train standing
in the siding. I drove to my usual favorite photo location at the south
end of the siding and was surprised to find that it had been closed! In the brief interval since my last
visit, both ends of the wooden bridge had been blocked by I-beams driven into the roadway.
The southbound manifest came into sight about 12:26.
They pulled slowly to a stop alongside the
northbound and two men stepped down from the cab.
One lined the switch for the mainline while
the other made use of the outdoor "facilities". At 12:35 they were
rolling again. Power for the southbound was UP
7316, 7318 and 7306. I watched them come
under the bridge and accelerate away toward
I figured that the northbound might get away from me, but they hadn't moved
by this time, so I drove back to the highway, ducked under the train on Hwy.
92 and then went north on newly-paved S-31 to a grade crossing north of the
siding. At 12:43 the northbound, another manifest, appeared and came around the curve toward the grade
crossing. This train was powered by UP 4621,
UP 1829 and SP 189. Just
after I took this shot of the head end going
away, a passenger at the rear of a covered hopper inquired, "How far to Des
Moines?" I yelled back, "20 miles.", but I doubt that I could be heard
over the noise of the train cars. By the time I had the camera back
in position, the two riders had climbed back inside the framework at the
end of the car.