RITS 2006, Cedar Falls

August 17 and 19

Thursday, August 17

I was in Cedar Falls for the annual board meeting of the Rock Island Technical Society and went to the "Ice House" with some takeout lunch.  There were numerous CN personnel around, still working on the rails after a coal train derailment near the Broom Factory Restaurant at the south side of the bridge over the Cedar River.  At 12:15, a westbound manifest, L571, came off the bridge and around the corner in a light rain.  The freight train was led by WC 6926 and IC 6059.  A rail train was fairly close behind, but I had to head to the motel for our marathon meeting, starting at 1:00 and lasting almost 10:00.

Saturday, August 19

Susan and I came to Cedar Falls on Saturday to attend the RITS meet.  My first stop at the meet was the modeling contest, which had a large number of entries.  A photographer and assistant were getting digital images of the models to show later at the awards ceremony, so it was necessary to work around them to get shots of the models.  Here are a few of mine from various contest categories:
Short Train
Short Train
Alco FA
O Scale Hi-Rail Truck
Fantasy Paint Scheme
Outside Braced Caboose
While Susan went out shopping in Cedar Falls, I browsed the vendors' area and added a few locos to my Rock Island HO collection.  This meet was marshalled by Lee Bertholf (at the right here, with Jeff Worones), who did a great job!  In the parking lot outside the motel, one could check out this 12" to the foot Rock Island "model" created by Timm Grimm.

In the evening, we went to the banquet and presentation of modeling awards.  The Master of Ceremonies was RITS President Jack Carson.  Here are a few images of the numerous contest winners, most including Lee Bertholf and contest manager Dave Koziol:
Ardi Carl
Steve Suhs
Bill Riebe
Seth Wetzel
Steve Hile
When it came to choosing an overall winner from the modelers Dave decided to have a drawing, so Lee, assisted by Keitha Spangle, chose Steve Suhs.  Steve, a real-life railroader, collected a donated airbrush outfit for his excellent modeling.

The next item on the evening's agenda was a speech by Dan Sabin, President of Iowa Northern Railway.  The IANR runs on former Rock Island right of way, and Dan worked for the Rock as a young man.  He had a number of anecdotes to deliver, and did an outstanding job of telling his stories.

Since we had a long drive home ahead of us, Susan and I left after Sabin's presentation and missed the fund-raising auction that followed.

That's It!