In Search of a Critter
June 9, 1997

Following up on a message from the Railroad List,

Iowa Interstate and UP are currently handling a center cab switcher,
possibly a 85-100 ton variety, from Henry, IL to Transglobal, a
locomotive dealer in Des Moines, IA.  The white unit is riding on flat
car OTTX 90881. 

IAIS handles the car/eng from Henry, IL to Des Moines, then UP
delivery to Transglobal.  On June 3 it left Iowa City at 1330 on a
westbound grain empty train, and will probably be in Des Moines on
June 4. 

Jan and I looked around in Des Moines on June 5th and again on Saturday the 7th. So far we've had no luck finding the critter. I thought I'd show you a few things we did see, however.

Transglobal is located northwest of UP's Hull Avenue yard, on a property identified on an old map of mine as the "Wilson RR". We've looked around there before, and there is usually a collection of locos being refurbished, like (ex-RG?) SD, 5317. Other locos recently on the property were marked APNC 973 and NREX 5316.

On our way into Des Moines from the southeast on Saturday, we stopped to get a picture of SF 2314, switching the old CB&Q yard, now called "Glake" yard by the NS. The SF power is there because BNSF works the Des Moines branch under an agreement with NS.

In Short Line Yard, we found a Mopac transfer caboose, I believe numbered 12837. The UP's special agent was busy this morning chasing down some children who had been in the yard. We saw them westbound on Dean Avenue. Over at the elevators west of Short Line Junction, the Avon grain switcher 1269 was moving covered hoppers around.

North of the junction, the ITKC was just arriving at Hull Avenue with UP 3957, B4316 and 593 on the point.

We took a quick look at the IAIS yard area in the west part of downtown Des Moines, just beyond the recently torn up NS yard. No critter was there, but we found IAIS 600 and this interesting setup, probably an old scale for weighing cars.

I got these images of a derailment in Des Moines on May 28:

At about 2:30 this afternoon, an Iowa Interstate train coming back
into Des Moines from the Grimes branch derailed six loaded grain hoppers
in Clive near 88th street. The engine (603) and first two cars
remained on the rails, as did the remainder of the train,
which blocked the extension of University Avenue. 

That's It!