Saturday, September 5
I had run short of wire for The Project on
Saturday afternoon of this holiday weekend and decided to drive over to
the hardware store in Knoxville for a little more 14-2 w/ground.
On the radio I heard a DMOWQM train copy a warrant from
Pleasantville to Albia, with the dispatcher commenting that they would,
"Meet one at Hawkeye and then go east". I found the train at
about 2:25, parked on the main with three units, BNSF 5662, 9454 and 1044.
I stayed near the rails where I could on the way over to Knoxville,
taking gravel and "Level B" roads. The minimum maintenance roads
were pretty badly washed and rutted, dry but very bumpy! I locked
the scanner on the EOT frequency, but did not hear or see any sign of
the approaching westbound. I made a quick stop at "Coast" (not
Coast to Coast, just Coast) Hardware, where a big orange cat named Jack
guards the counter, and was back outside in time to hear diesel prime
movers pulling through town.
I drove north and west to a nearby grade crossing and caught the westbound
at 3:00, a solid set of HUTX covered hoppers (road salt, I believe)
pulled by CN power. The two units pulling the hoppers were CN 2543 and CN 2411.
The "cowl" unit is unusual, I don't recall seeing one on this
line before. Actually, the CN power's unusual here, too!
I returned to Pleasantville on the four-lane and was parked by the Hawkeye siding again at 3:25. A black Nissan Xterra
was by the DMO power, and a guy in white pants, who turned out to be a
Trainmaster, went over and visited the cab of 5662. He later
pulled up and, in a very congenial manner, checked on what I was doing.
He seemed very young, but then, so many people do anymore!
Radio contact was made with the approaching train and the brakeman from the DMO walked forward to throw the switch
for them. The salt train (I'm pretty sure that's what it was,
though the Trainmaster had no idea.) got to the siding at 3:45.
Let's see... 10 miles in 45 minutes, a blazing 13.3 MPH.
I got some more images of the CN power as they pulled up to the switch. Check the bell and marker lights on 2411. The westbound crew stopped to drop off their grips, since they were to tie down the train in the siding and get a van to Des Moines. I noticed they were wearing matching red shirts. Interesting.
The meet was made, the Trainmaster offered the
crew from the CN train a ride to Des Moines so they would not have to
wait for a van to pick them up, and the DMO pulled at 4:15. I stayed on the south side of the rails and watched the eastbound roll slowly by, waited for traffic at the State St. grade crossing to clear, and headed back to the ranch around 4:30.