Short Line Junction with Johnathan Quinn

Saturday October 11


On Saturday afternoon, I had an appointment to meet videographer Jonathan Quinn, a Drake student who is producing a midwestern rail documentary and who'd asked to meet with me for some train watching and an interview.  I got to the old Short Line Tower location around 11:00.  Job 1 was working the west end of the yard with UP 1229 and 1233.  At about 11:30, the CPFW, which had been switching cars at the Hull Avenue Yard, came south with UP 3849, 9130 and 8574.  They were to run to the "Soccer Field" and tie the train down for an outbound crew to take over later in the day.

At 11:46 I caught the MCDM arriving with a very long train.  They had four units, UP 6438, UP 8670, LLPX 2254 and UP 5890.  Quite a bit of traffic piled up at the Dean Avenue crossing as they pulled slowly into the yard, stopping just clear of the street, but not quite off of the gate circuit.

It looked there would be a lull in the UP traffic, so I got some lunch and worked on today's NYT crossword while I waited for Jonathan.  Just before 1:00 the yard dispatched a northbound Mason City train with UP 4815, 4059 and 9650 on the point.  They rolled around the northeast leg and onto the Spine line while Jonathan and I took pictures.  We soon heard horns behind us and saw the "Interstate Tramp" coming over to the yard with interchange cars.  IAIS 718 rattled across the diamond and into Short Line Yard at 1:15.

There was another break in the activity at Short Line, so Johnathan and I got into the Jeep and took a short tour around the rail yards in East Des Moines.  We returned to the junction for a northbound at 2:30, the DMAS, leaving behind UP 4527 and 3101.  Ten minutes later the IAIS interchange job came back west across the Spine Line.

I was due to meet Susan and her daughter in the East Village area, so Johnathan and I parted company for today.

That's It!