A Morning in Chariton

Friday, June 8


I got away from the ranch on this clear June morning at 5:00.  It was 63°, with a forecast of sun and a high around 90°.  As I ran south toward Chariton, I heard two eastbounds on the Russell detector, 532 axles at 5:30, and 550 axles just as I got to town at 5:56.  I called Julie and learned that Amtrak would be just a half-hour down, expected in Osceola at 7:12.

I hung around town by the old freight house, getting a picture of an old frame elevator across the street that is being torn down.  Reception on the scanner was good and I could read the dispatcher clearly on the Creston radio.  The Zephyr reported times of ":35 and :37" at Creston, and a couple of trains were given warrants to follow it out of town, 8922 East at 6:50 and 9638 East at 6:52.

Shortly after 7:00 the Russell detector reported 448 axles on Main 1, and at 7:15 I got pictures of a freight train led by BNSF 6694 and 5147 as it came around the S curves through Chariton.  The passenger train came up Whitebreast Hill and reached the old depot at 7:46.  On the point were AMTK 195 and 117.  They must have been under a slow order because I was able to record the consist as the train rolled by:

Baggage 1714
Transition Dormitory 39012
Baggage-Coach 31031
Coaches 34095 and 34135
Sightseer Lounge 33018
Diner 38057
Sleepers 32067, 32006 and 32065

By this time, another eastbound train, led by BNSF 6031, had received a warrant out of Creston, so I knew I had at least three headed my way.  The dispatcher told Amtrak that they would be taking Main 1 out of Halpin to the ICE crossing.  I assume this was probably in order to pass the two eastbounds I'd heard on the detector when I was driving down here.

I relocated to the HyVee grade crossing at the west edge of town, near MP 336 on the railroad.  At  8:21 the Russell detector came on again, this time with a 546 axle train on Main 1.  This turned out to be an empty coal hopper train, UCEX cars with BNSF 6135 and 9264 on the point and BNSF 5830 in the rear.

Just before the first of the three eastbounds arrived, I heard the Russell detector with a 466 axle train on Main 1 - another westbound!  At 8:39, a coal load led by BNSF 8922 and 5921 came out of the trees.  This train was not completely by my location before the 466 axle westbound I'd just heard arrived.  This was a set of 112 covered hoppers with three units, BNSF 6678, 4069 and 4782.  I caught the number of the DP unit on the coal load, BNSF 6045, by looking though the open spaces between grain cars.

Two more coal loads were on the way.  The first got to the HyVee crossing just before 9:00 with BNSF 9638 and 6361 on the point and BNSF 6404 trailing.  The last one was just 20 minutes behind, NRG tub gons with BNSF 6031 and 5779 pulling and BNSF 6329 in DP.

At this point, the dispatcher started giving away the main tracks to maintenance personnel, so I decided to see what was going on (if anything) in Creston.  As it turned out, things were pretty quiet there today!  One load was in the yard, CEFX hoppers with BNSF 9726 and 3888 leading and BNSF 6324 idling in front of the yard office.  Switching duties were being handled today by BNSF 2967.  This engine was poised to cross over and work the elevator on the north side of the mains, but eventually had to back into the yard so that some work equipment, HZGX 191, could clear up.

Before I gave up and left town, I drove into the old roundhouse area to get pictures of a couple of antique SD units parked on the north side of the yard.  These are apparently in service with De Bruce Grain Co.  One is former IMRL 610 and the other Indiana Rail Road 558.  The latter is marked DBGX.

That's It!