Friday and Saturday, Sept. 19 and 20
Grandpa's 55th and a Quick Trip to Des Moines

Friday evening my mom and my daughter's family came over to help me celebrate my 55th birthday. Not railroad-related, you say? Well, actually the party featured a cake decorated with a Rock Island herald. You'll notice in the picture that my granddaughter Ellen's decorated with one, as well. You can't start "training" them too soon. Grandson Will enjoyed the cake, too! My shirt? A Power Mac, "Slow is not an option", one!

My mother brought her usual present of a check, so Saturday morning Jan and I headed for Des Moines so that I could get myself a birthday present. We stopped by Short Line Junction (of course!). The power from the ITKC, UP 3595, 499, and SP 7791, came south across the diamond and back around the southeast leg of the wye into the yard for fuel.

Things were pretty quiet at Short Line, but before we left, the UP rolled east with an engine, CNW 4617, and three cars.

We left at 10:30 and went out to the west end of the Des Moines area to Hobby Haven. I spent some of my birthday money on a couple of DCC decoders, a package of couplers (the bulk variety - no draft boxes, thank you), and the latest Model Railroader.

Jan needed to be back in Indianola by 1:00, so we picked up some sandwiches and drove back to Short Line for lunch at 11:45. The switching chores at the west end of the yard (Job 1) were being done today by CNW 4102 and 4625. 4102 is one of the GeePs that appears on a periodic CNW first generation report published on the "foamer" list. One had just arrived in my in box the day before:

      Sept 19 1997      CNW 1st Generation Location Report 
             Date       Location - type service
4100    8/12    On SP Beaumont, TX  status?
4101    9/12    On SP Houston shop  status?
4102    9/18    Des Moines, IA  yard
4103 R  9/2           RETIRED
4107    9/9            Clinton, IA
4118    7/30    Kansas City   shop  status?
4121    9/12    Mauriceville, TX  local
4130 R  7/15    RETIRED
4131 R  7/16    RETIRED
4132    8/30    Houston   shop status?
4135    9/18    Orange, TX local
4138 R  8/26    RETIRE
4140    9/18    Angleton, TX  local
4141    9/18    Mitchell, WI  yard
4144    9/16    Butler, WI local
4160    9/15    Boone, IA 
4163 R  7/17    RETIRE
4169    3/22    Status ?
4174 R  7/15    RETIRE
4190    8/29    Chicago  M-19A  shop status?
4191    9/18    Mauriceville, TX  local
4194 R  8/25    RETIRE
4201    9/3     Houston, TX  shop status?
4206    8/28    Carrolton, TX  local ?
4209    9/12    Houston  shop  status?
4307    9/10    Chicago  yard
4324    9/19    Chicago  yard

4551    9/      Mauriceville, TX  local

6634 R                          9/16    Proviso  RETIRE
6646                            9/19    Mankato, MN  yard

UP Roadslugs            
UPS300 mate                 9/18        N. Little Rock  shop
UPS301mate 3006-3007    9/19    Enroute N.L.R.  train MFWNL 18
UPS302mate                  9/18        N.L.R.   shop
UPS303mate3002/3003     9/19    Eureka, TX yard

Fuel Tenders            
UPT5                            5/22    Stored N. Platte
UPT6 mates 6841-6842    9/19    O'Fallons, NE train CCASN 17 to Sergent Bluffs IA
UPT 7 mates 6843-6844   9/19    Kimball, N train CCCNN 18
UPT 8 mates                 8/22         At N. Platte
A train, mostly of grain hoppers, appeared to be ready to leave the yard, but was being held for traffic. We could see the power - UP 3584 and BN 5141 (interesting), but we didn't have time to wait for it to move into camera range.

That's It!