Miscellaneous Excursions
July 21, 28 and 30 to Osceola
August 1 to Des Moines

Tuesday, July 21

I headed for Osceola around 8:30 p.m. to meet Amtrak No. 5 and pick up a new Simpson faculty member for a week's visit. The train was scheduled into Osceola at 9:17, but I knew from a call to 1-800-USA-RAIL that it was running somewhat late this evening. At the station, I found the train posted for an 11:15 arrival.

At 9:50, a westbound coal empty came through, with OWY 9067 and BN 50?? pulling NCUX cars. They were followed fairly closely by another empty, of CWEX gons, that came through the station at 10:05. On the point were BNSF 9825 and 9944.

I'd heard on the radio that a manifest was to be relieved at Osceola, and just before 11:00 a crew van arrived. The train rolled slowly up to the depot at 11:07 with BN 2086 and a really tired looking second unit, Metro North 802. The engineer leaving the train commented, "Slow, slow. 5000 ton and two old dogs..." They rolled again at 11:12, with plans to try to stay out of the way of intermodal 60 and the following passenger train.

Amtrak finally arrived just before midnight with a GeeP, SF 3409, in front of the two GEnesis units, 100 and 40. I heard from my passenger that they'd had trouble even before reaching Galesburg and had spent a couple of hours before getting on the move westward again.

Tuesday, July 28

I returned my passenger to Osceola a week later so that she could go back to Albany on the CZ and the Lakeshore Limited. No. 6 was only an hour late today, and rolled into Osceola at 10:13.

Thursday, July 30

Jan and I decided to go to Osceola for an evening of train-watching and to watch Amtrak No. 5 come through. Our first train was a coal empty, of BN gons, with BN 9262, (BN)SF 5193 and UP 3969. They came by the depot right at 8:00.

An "Okay on the north side..." message on the scanner tipped us off that we'd be seeing an eastbound shortly. Sure enough in less than 10 minutes a coal load arrived behind BN 9223, OWY 9070 and KCS 719. This train had FSTX hoppers.

After the coal load, a long lull ensued. On the radio, we heard loads being sent out of Creston and trains being held at Halpin to follow Amtrak. With the CZ just east of town, the first load arrived at Osceola at 9:38, GEAX gondolas, behind BN 9418 and BNSF 9795.

Amtrak passengers board westbound trains from the north side of the double track, so they were hurried across the tracks ahead of the load. The CZ pulled in just a few minutes behind schedule. In the silver train tonight:

GEnesis units 20, 86 and 59
Material Cars 1411, 1515 and 1464
Express Baggage 1706
Transistion Sleeper 39030
Sleeping Cars 32034, 32067 and 32030
Dining Car 38048
Sightseer Lounge 33009
Coaches 31535 (Smoking), 34002, 34001, and 34030
Box Car AMTK 71109
We knew that a couple of other trains were nearby, so we stuck around after Amtrak's departure. At 10:02, a load with CEPX cars came through behind BNSF 9765 and 9760. Shortly afterward, we saw a westbound BN empty with BNSF 9640, SF 8128 and OWY 9040.

Saturday, August 1

Saturday Jan and I made a quick run to Des Moines to get a refund on an unused tuxedo from our youngest's recent marriage. We also stopped by Hobby Haven and, of course, went by Short Line Yard as well.

Although no trains were moving, there was a large collection of power near the engine service facility today. We spotted the following locos:
CN (GTW) 5934
SP 8321
UP 5546, 2458, 3023, 3041, 3487 and 9463
CNW 4600 and 4331 were doing the switching at the west end.

Meanwhile, at the east end of the yard, an eastbound Iowa Interstate train was making a pickup and preparing to leave along the old Rock Island route. It had an interesting collection of IAIS locos, in assorted paint schemes:

IAIS 850
IAIS 850
IAIS 603
IAIS 303
IAIS 303
IAIS 103
IAIS 401
That's It!