Cascade Siding Revisited
June 16 through 20
Saturday, June 16
Late on a hot afternoon I heard the DMOWQM working its way up out of the
Des Moines River valley from Runnells, so I headed into town to catch them
as they came by the Hawkeye, a.k.a. Pleasantville, siding. Leading
the train today were BNSF 7857 and BNSF
1015. After the train passed I took a few more pictures of the
right of way. The new siding into Cascade
is not quite finished. The switches
are cut into the main track, but not yet connected to the siding itself.
While I was there, I also got a couple of shots of what must be Iowa's
most poorly maintained paved road grade
crossing, on 40th Ave. (called State St. in
town) just north of old Hwy. 5, in Pleasantville. There have been
a few sections of panel rail lying beside this crossing for, oh...about
a year now. I sometimes wonder if I'll live to see it repaired?
Monday, June 18
The scanner tipped me off that a crew was going to retrieve the derrick
from the Hawkeye siding and move it east down the line, and that they would
be waiting for the DMO to pass. I got into town about 2:15 in a light
rain, and could see the train approaching.
They came through with BNSF 146, 8626
and 4421 on the point. The synthesized
"bell" at the State St. crossing came on and then gradually slowed down
and dropped in pitch - the sound was hilarious, like it was being choked
to death or something. Unfortunately, this was not repeated later
when the derrick moved and I had my tape recorder ready.
After the Des Moines train had passed, two track machines, a broom
and a regulator(?) were moved out of the way east and back west
onto the main, the boom on the derrick was swung around and then it
rolled east, trailing a flatcar, to clear the machines. The machines
were put back in the siding and the derrick headed
out for a slow trip to Knoxville.
Wednesday, June 20
On Wednesday morning around 8:15 I heard the westbound local tell the dispatcher
that they were about 10 miles out of Pleasantville, so I drove into town
to catch them. The train appeared at 8:40,
led by familiar engines, BNSF 4421, 8626
They had a block of empty diesel fuel cars on the head end; I counted
67 of them. Since I'd started counting, I continued and found the
train to be pretty close to 175 cars in length. With a slow order
still in effect on the Cascade switches, it took quite a while for the
WQMDMO to get through town today!