To Chicago and Short Line
March 18 and 22

Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19

Thursday night the 16th Byron and Tammy came over to stay with me and on Friday we put together a caravan with Todd, Sarah and the grandkids following. We went off to join Aaron and Christy in West Dundee, Illinois, for the weekend.

On the way in we made a short visit to the Rochelle Railfan Park. We stopped around 2:30 and stayed long enough to see a few trains go by. In just a few minutes, we saw a BNSF local switching, a westbound BNSF intermodal come through, and an eastbound UP manifest that stopped west of the diamonds.

On Saturday morning, the entire cast of characters - my three kids Byron, Sarah and Aaron, Byron's wife Tammy, Sarah's husband Todd and children Ellen and Will, and Aaron's wife Christy, got on the Metra in Elgin to ride down to Union Station. This is about an hour-long trip along the old Milwaukee line into the city.

Once downtown we took cabs to the Museum of Science and Industry. Unfortunately, everyone and his dog had come to MSI this morning for the Titanic exhibit! Even though we wanted only general admission, there was just one line and it was hours in length. I took advantage of an opportunity to have a look at the exterior of the newly refurbished Pioneer Zephyr (now indoors at MSI) and then we headed back up the lakefront to the Field museum instead.

We did "What is an Animal?", had lunch, saw "Inside Ancient Egypt" and finished with "Life Over Time". That pretty well wore us out! We'll have to hit MSI again sometime when it's not quite so busy.

Tuesday, March 22

An Oklahoma friend, Steve Emmons, contacted me to let me know that he'd be in Iowa this week and we arranged to meet for lunch at Short Line Junction on Tuesday. He brought along a local railfan friend, Dave Cubit. Things were fairly quiet when we got there. It looked like they might be getting ready to turn some power when we left to get our lunches. By the time we returned to the junction, that activity was over with.

The diamond itself was occupied by a couple of geese. Although it's not apparent in the picture, they were westbounders. The Iowa Interstate's west and east trains were going to meet in Short Line Yard today. The westbound was the first to arrive and stopped at the west end of the yard around 1:45 to await the other train. It wasn't long before the eastbound came up behind us and chased the fowl off the rails. This train had IAIS 403, 800 and 102 on the point.

The UP was using some heavy power to switch (or perhaps double a train together) this afternoon. We watched UP 7277 and 7077 come across the diamond and then back into the yard with a long cut.

After the UP was out of the way, the IAIS westbound came out of the yard and by our position at Short Line Junction around 2:15. IAIS 103 and 100 were doing the chores this time. Good looking locos, don't you think?

Next, the UP brought a drag down from the north and around the northeast leg into Short Line with a single unit, UP 2225. At 2:20, a crane, CNWX 262100, came westbound out of the yard and across the junction.

I had a three-thirty appointment back on campus, so I bid goodbye to Steve and Dave and hustled back down to Indianola.

That's It!