Simpson student and railfan Mike Endres and I made a trip to Des Moines Wednesday. Mike's a big CNW fan, and we managed to intercept a few of the old locos from his favorite line. Mike has a web page here at Simpson.
On the scanner, I heard a northbound stacker talking to the Trenton sub dispatcher as we were getting ready to leave Indianola, so we drove first to Carlisle and found the train just starting to roll at 10:30, past the signal at the south end of the Carlisle siding. They'd been waiting there for a few minutes while some trackworkers cleared up on the siding. On the head end of the train, mostly K-Line containers, were CNW 8601 and UP 6113. Mike was already convinced that he needed a scanner.
We went on up to Short Line junction next. The usual exits off of the Hwy. 65 bypass were closed due to a pipeline leak in Pleasant Hill, so we had to go up to University Ave. and work our way back south. We got to the junction just in time to catch the MITDM coming south and into the yard with UP 4119, SP 8684 and UP 2733. They arrived at 11:30.
While we waited for the stacker to come up from the BN diamond, we watched as a couple of air-dump ballast cars were pushed around the southeast leg of the wye by CNW 4630 and 1314.
We'd expected to see the stacker, but our next train turned out to be an eastbound IAIS freight, which came across the diamond at 11:42. They had two units, IAIS 600 and 103. The train included a relatively well-preserved Rock Island covered hopper with IAIS reporting marks.
The stack train, with CNW 8601 and UP 6113 finally got to come north through the junction at 11:55. After that, things quieted down at Short Line, so we went exploring. We found SF 3705 switching the west end of the NS Glake yard.
After take-out at Short Line, we went north to the Hull Avenue yard, where we caught Job 63, with CNW 4608, backing some cars on the old Fort Dodge line. I drove on up north of the yard to show Mike where Transglobal was and we found Job 62 switching a lumber yard on Aurora Ave. They were using CNW 4613. After swapping a couple of cars, they turned the corner and headed west. We stopped for another picture as they crossed 2nd Street on the wooden Des Moines and Central Iowa Railway bridge. We left them as they entered the Firestone plant and drove to the southwest corner of downtown Des Moines.
Mike had discovered some track construction by the IAIS on a line going south from just west of 11th Street. IAIS 408 was parked in the area, along with a few ballast cars. To the south, the line that once went across the Raccoon River has been dug up out of the mud, ballasted and aligned. Across the bridge, this line connects into the old CGW Bell avenue yard. At the south end of the work, a switchback provides a connection to the south end of the refurbished portion of Pittsburg Des Moines Steel. The IAIS track equipment was parked on an as yet unfinished portion of the spur into the new PDS plant. The company was putting up a new sign on Wednesday afternoon.
Back at Short Line on the way out of town, we found the welders at work on a break in the Spine Line near Maury St. We went south and east on the way home and caught the Avon Job, with CNW 5527, working the elevator there at 4:00.