Spring Break Short Line Visit

Thursday, March 13



After getting Susan off to work, I headed for Des Moines to see if I could find some trains this morning.  On the radio I heard the crew on the BNSF's WQMDMO, that I'd missed as it went through Pleasantville, planning to turn and head back when they got to Des Moines.  The UP dispatcher was talking to a southbound that I thought I might see, so I stopped in Carlisle and caught them as they went through town at 9:25.  Leading this manifest were UP 8545, 9076 and 3925.  The detector near Hartford reported 454 axles on this one.

I went into Des Moines and checked out the NS Glake yard where the West Quincy train had turned and was getting ready to head back east at around 10:30.  Power on the DMOWQM was  BNSF 6480, BNSF 867 and SF 520.  The last two units had been pretty heavily "tagged" somewhere along their route.  The crew was told that they would tie the train down at "Hawkeye", a.k.a. Pleasantville.

I went up to East 18th Street and found an Iowa Interstate loco, 485, waiting to enter Short Line Yard at 11:00.  It sounded like there would be a southbound through the junction pretty soon, so I went to the Maury crossing to wait on it.  There were a couple of truckloads of DOT and UP personnel hanging around the grade crossing this morning for some reason.  At 11:30 I spotted the southbound, a grain train, coming past the old Inland Mills elevator and rattling over the IAIS and NS diamonds.  Leading the grainer were UP 9695, 9159 and 9500.

On the radio I heard about a "rock" train waiting at Easton for a crew, so I drove up there to check it out.  The short set of ballast cars was led by UP 4117 and 5500.  I got some lunch and hung around the junction for a while, then started back toward Carlisle.  At Avon, I caught NWLX 12 switching the elevators, just as the ballast train came through.  I decided to catch them one more time, and drove out Hwy. 5 and then down S-31.    At 1:30, the rock train came by and rounded the curve leading them off of CTC and onto TWC.

I got back to Pleasantville at 1:45 to find the DMO that I'd seen getting ready to leave Des Moines tied down on the main.

That's It!