Eldon and Burlington

Saturday, September 2



Susan and I made a round trip to Keokuk on Saturday to help a friend of hers who is getting ready to move.  On the way down, we stopped in Eldon to have a look at a Rock Island caboose, situated in front of the old RI depot.  The extended vision waycar, which was obtained from the IC in Waterloo, was in pretty poor shape and has had a lot of restoration, such as the work on the steps.  This depot is the site of one of the commemorative tree plaques, dedicated at the Rock's 70th anniversary.  While we were inspecting the caboose, a gentleman pulled up in his pickup and offered to show us around inside the depot, which is being converted into a railroad museum.

The museum has a growing and eclectic collection, which includes quite a few authentic RI relics, along with a number of interesting contributed pieces.  Model and "toy" trains were abundant.  Behind the depot I found a "critter".  Our host explained that the old Plymouth industrial loco wasn't part of their collection, but belonged with a bunch of salvage in a lot southwest of the depot.

On our way back home late in the afternoon, we stopped for ice cream at a little shop near the Santa Fe yard and Amtrak depot in Fort Madison.  I managed to catch a little traffic at the depot around 4:00.  A short set of intermodal cars came out of the yard behind NS 9903 and 8873, and waited for a signal to get on the mainline.  We also watch westbound and eastbound trains meet before heading on up the river to Burliington.

At Burlington we stopped long enough to see the California Zephyr make its stop.  When we arrived at 4:45, BNSF 4248 and 2565 were leaving the yard with a few freight cars.  They were just out of sight when a UCEX coal load came down the hill, stopped for a crew change at the depot and continued down the "K Line".  This train had distributed power, with BNSF 5721 leading and BNSF 5851 on the rear.

With the coal train out of the way, Amtrak came to the depot for its stop at 5:24.  As they were pulling in, the two engines that had left the yard returned, now running light.  In No. 5 tonight:
AMTK 191 and 94
Baggage 1755
Transition Sleeper 39018
Sleepers 32030 and 32032
Diner 38005
Sightseer Lounge 33028
Coaches 34133, 31035 and 34057
Amtrak Boxcars 74052 and 74051
Amtrak made a brief stop and pulled out at 5:30.  In just a few minutes another coal load came through.  This one had BN and BNSF cars with BNSF 9725 and BN 9610 on the point.  The conductor gave us a friendly wave from her window as 9725 rounded the corner.

That's It!