Short Line Yard
September 11 and 17

Saturday, September 11

Jan and I ran up to Des Moines for takeout and some train-watching on Saturday evening. Our first stop was at the north end of Hull Avenue yard to catch the MKSIT leaving town. On the point were SP 9750 and UP 4270. They pulled across Hull Avenue and by the "bean plant" at 5:50.

We drove down to Short Line Junction and parked at our old stopping place of thirty-some years. There's no longer a tower, there's only one track each direction and half of the wye tracks have been removed, but it's still "our" place! Job 6, with CNW 4612 and UP 1698, was breaking up and distributing into yard tracks a recently-arrived train. The work required them to pull out onto the IAIS mainline and cross over the diamond in order to get long cuts of cars clear of the yard ladder.

At 6:25, the Valley Park (DMVP) train pulled out of the yard, around the northeast leg of the wye and headed north out of town. On the front were UP 5551 and 3626. The 3626 still carries an Operation Redblock logo.

Friday, September 17

On Friday evening we headed for Short Line again. This time we arrived at the junction around 5:40, just in time to catch a southbound grain train coming by the elevators and crossing Dean Avenue. Powering the train were UP 3525, SP 7368 (interesting nose lettering) and UP 3370.

Two trains were made up and ready to go in the yard, one with Wisconsin Central power on the point. The first to leave was a northbound with UP 3684 and UP 2972 in charge. They rounded the northeast leg and started up the Spine Line at 6:20. Between trains, Job 6 (YDM6) worked the lead and occasionally came out on the IAIS main toward our vantage point. On the radio, "Kick 'em job six...", would elicit a cloud of smoke from the old CNW GeeP.

After learning that the WC-powered train would be southbound, we drove down to Maury Street to watch it leave. This manifest came by us at 6:55 with WC 6610 and SSW 9665. They crossed Maury and accelerated toward the high green at the BN crossing.

We'd run out of trains and were almost out of sunlight to boot, so we headed back down the highway to Indianola.

That's It!