Short Visits to Short Line
April 10 and 12


Jan and I took off for Des Moines mid-morning on Saturday with a couple of errands to do. The day was cool and it was raining off and on. We wanted to stop by Hobby Haven and Computer Renaissance. I'd taken advantage of the Simpson I.S. department's "garage sale" to stock up on a few spare Mac Color Classics, thinking that I might network my house and maybe even run my layout with them. The price was right - five computers for $70. Now I was looking for used memory chips and hard drives.

After our stops out on the west side of town, we drove over to Short Line Junction to check on the Union Pacific. We arrived around 11:00, just in time to catch the ITDM arriving. They stopped short of Dean Avenue to talk to CNW fandom luminary Dana Grefe. On the headend of the train were UP 6079, 5008 and RG 3123.

A couple of units, SP 8560 and UP 3836, pulled out onto the southeast leg of the wye to turn, but would have to wait on traffic.

A northbound came through the junction at 11:30 behind CNW 8715, UP 3775 and SSW 9624. This train was entirely empty flat cars, mostly old piggy-back style cars, many with wooden stakes standing in the sides. From the scanner, it sounded like their destination was the Beverly Yard.

A couple of CNW units were working the west end of the yard this morning, an SW-type (1413?) and 4405. The next train through the junction was a southbound grain extra of 75 cars, with UP 5074, SP 9243, UP 6364 and 3747. They came through at 11:57, as the rain started to pick up. I began taking my pictures out of the window of the Jeep in order to keep myself and the camera dry.

With some traffic out of the way, two sets of engines were quickly turned on the wye. First out were UP 3836 and SP 8560, that had been waiting on the southeast leg. They were to go on the Valley Park train. Right behind followed SSW 9638 and UP 525.

At 12:22, just before we took off for Indianola, we caught UP 2403 coming south down the old Fort Dodge line to go west on the IAIS.


Monday evening after supper we returned to Des Moines, this time to get some computer clock batteries. Naturally, on the way home we stopped by Short Line again. We cruised around the yard a couple of times and were about to go home when we heard about some trains on the scanner. We returned to the junction and waited. At 6:55 the MEADM with UP 3050 and CNW 5529 came in around the northeast leg of the wye.

The yardmaster next called the Avon job, waiting at the BN diamond, and told them to "start this way". We drove down to Market Street to see them, with CNW 4608 and 25 cars. I took another shot back at the diamond as they pulled into Short Line Yard.

Next up was the power we'd seen turning on Saturday, returning on the VPDM. They came into Des Moines at 7:20, with UP 3836 and SP 8560. They rolled around the northeast leg with107 cars for Short Line.

On our way home we stopped by the NS Glake yard, where O.L. "Think... Before You Cross" unit BN 1510 was working the west end of the old CB&Q yard with a long cut of grain and syrup cars.

That's It!