Tuesday, I had a rather different train-watching experience. It was one of the few times that I've been able to go train-watching "on the clock" from my job. I was accompanied by Simpson's Director of Public Relations, Michael Adams. Michael's office is going to do a story in the Simpson Magazine on the connection between Simpson College and the railfan community, and my involvement in that activity.
Michael and I left Indianola about 8:30 and drove to Osceola. I noticed right away upon our arrival that there was unusual power parked on the spur to the north of the depot. PRSX 1003, 1006 and 1001 had backed a ribbon-rail train onto the spur.
I checked in the depot to see how Amtrak was doing. It looked like we'd have at least an hour to kill before No. 6 arrived. Michael posed me for various shots and we discussed where he'd like me to stand when the passenger train came in.
While we waited, some track-working equipment rolled in from the east. On the last machine was Tom Cottrell, with whom I'd visited a number of times in the past. We met for the first time at Shannon when Tom came over to see if I were the "Weed Rat", looking for rules violations. Tom explained that the ribbon-rail equipment would be going just west of Osceola to work after Amtrak was through today.
At 10:20 the Zephyr arrived. I had to face away from the train so that Michael could get some pictures as it came in, but as soon as the head end was by me, I was allowed to just do my thing. In the train's (reversed from the usual order) consist today:
Michael and I had enough time to drive over to Chariton before heading home. We got to the east side of town at 11:00, just in time to catch the Zephyr again as it crossed over to Main 1 at MP 333.10. We spent a few more minutes in town to check out the old Rock Island depot and Piper's Grocery and Candy store before heading back to Indianola.