September 4 and September 11
Saturday, September 4
On Saturday Susan and I left the acreage fairly early and headed east along
Hwy. 92. We made assorted stops along the way, one in Oskaloosa around
8:30 to get a picture of some UP power (UP 394 and
375) near the engine house. We had carefully followed an un-posted
route into the yard area, but before long a man came along and scowled sternly
as we drove away. Fortunately, looks don't kill.
Much later in the day we found ourselves in Fairfield waiting on Amtrak No.
6. This train would have normally been long gone, but it was almost
six hours down from its schedule today. At 4:15 the train came over the horizon and approached slowly, running in
a 25 mph slow order section. At this speed I was able to get the consist:
AMTK 194 and 162
The detector just east of Fairfield reported the Zephyr at 70 axles. The
freight on the rear of Amtrak's passenger trains will soon disappear, with
a hoped-for improvement in meeting the published timetables.
Transition Sleeper 39039
Sleepers 32117 and 32047
Sightseer Lounge 33009
Coaches 34008 and 31026
Five boxcars and two Roadrailers.
Before leaving Fairfield we stopped at the storage area used by Rail Merchants International. There
we found retired Amtrak MHC cars 1435 and 1429, along
with a couple of MoPac cabooses, 13758 and
13866. These and a number of other pieces
of rolling stock are for sale. The asking price for MoPac 13758 is
We moved west along the BNSF line, stopping next in Batavia to catch a coal load at 4:47. On the point of the FSTX/PSTX
cars were BNSF 9598 and BNSF 8281.
From the scanner we learned that a train had left the Cargill spur and was
coming in our direction. We managed to intercept this train at Gateway Drive in Ottumwa at about 5:30.
Leading a unit train of mash by-product from ethanol production were
BNSF 4708, CSX 584, SP 160
and BNSF 4929.
I tried to catch a couple of eastbounds, a local on Main 1 and a coal load
on Main 2 out near Chillicothe, but we were just a few seconds late for each
Saturday, September 11
On this Saturday morning Susan and I drove to Boone for "Pufferbilly Days".
We parked near the Boone and Scenic Valley depot and got tickets to
ride the trolley to the downtown area. Before we left, I got some pictures
of B&SV switcher (and road power) 1003 and
a museum area recently established in the heavyweight
passenger car "Kate Shelley".
The short trolley ride, on restored Charles City and Western No. 50, is exceptionally
enjoyable. The interior of the car has
plenty of beautiful oak woodwork and brass fixtures. The car was running
from the downtown area at :15 and :45 past the hour. We paid the adult
round trip fare of $2.00 and were aboard for the first departure at 10:00.
The parade was under way when we arrived and we worked our way south to the
old Fareway building where the CIGRS group had their
garden-sized equipment running. The C&NW Historical Society had
a non-operating display nearby. There were also several tables of over-priced
railroad memorabilia at the "swap meet".
The UP mains at the north end of the old business district were very busy
this morning. I managed to get pictures of a few trains as they passed
through the area. At 11:00, a coal empty
pulled up to the UP yard office for a crew change.
Before they were on the move again, an eastbound
manifest came into town and pulled by the yard office. On the point were UP 7215 and
5936. The westbound, a collection of miscellaneous
company hoppers, started moving at 11:10 with
UP 8108 and an SP "patch" unit, UP 6150 in charge.
We got some lunch before catching our ride back to the B&SV depot. On
the way to the trolley stop I got images of another pair of UP trains (you
don't have to "chase" in Boone, it's like shooting trains in a barrel). At
11:32, another empty, this one DEEX tub gondolas with UP 7092 and UP 6156, made a crew change and
moved out just as an eastbound stack train led by UP
3913 came through. The coal empty started just a little early so that I missed the rest of the stacker's
With the poles reversed and the "freight" end of
the trolley leading, we rode slowly back to the depot. Just after
the electric car stopped, a few minutes before noon, the B&SV's "Dinner Train" pulled up to the depot.
Before leaving town we intercepted a coal load at Division St. at 12:08.
A set of CWEX tub gons were led by UP 7127
and 7125. We drove out of Boone on the old
Hwy. 30 route and got one more train at the Jordan elevators. This
was a westbound train of covered hoppers led by an as yet un-patched C&NW unit, 8828. Trailing
the C&NW unit were UP
6251 and 7077.