A Visit to Short Line Yard


This is a brief account of a train-watching excursion taken to Des Moines, Iowa on April 8, 1995. The "photos" were taken with an Apple QuickTake camera, and processed with the program PhotoFlash into JPEG images. You can also see a map and read about the Short Line Junction area in the Train Watching Spots in Iowa pages.

Short Line Yard is the home of an interesting loco, currently being used as a switcher at the west end of the yard. CNW 6644 has had a number of modifications in it's life span, several of which are noticable in these two photos looking east and west from the walkway over the yard.

At about 2:00 in the afternoon, an Iowa Interstate train, led by IAIS 495 heads west across Short Line Junction. IAIS dispatches plenty of power, in lots of colors, on their trains. This one was pulled by units 495 (Gray), 601, 405, 466 (Orange and White), 850 Red), 303 (Green), and 627.

At 2:20, after the IAIS westbound cleared, the DMITA was sent around the northeast leg of the wye at Short Line. With CNW 8515 and GECX 3009 on the point, the DMITA went only up to the Hull Avenue yard area to wait for two southbound trains. At 3:04, a stack train headed by UP 6364 and 6059 paused at the NS diamond for a crew change and headed on south toward Kansas City. At 3:35, a grain train with CNW 8650 and UP 9104 arrived from the north and entered Short Line yard via the northeast leg.

Just southeast of Short Line Junction is the AVON 1269, used for switching at a grain elevator. The tracks next to the elevator are the Norfolk and Southern yard, now operated by BN. At 3:30 in the afternoon, BN 2775 with train 446 pulls out of the yard, heading across the C&NW Spine Line toward Albia, Iowa.