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 and 146.

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!

That's It!