CIGRS at the EJ&K RR
Sunday, October 29
The Central Iowa Garden Railroad Society meeting for this month had been
postponed twice, but in the end it worked out well. We had a sunny
and fairly warm afternoon for a visit to a "ride on" sized layout northwest
of Ames. The EJ&K is managed by Bob Bourne and operates regularly
with guests welcome. You can see their schedule along with other information
at a web
site featuring large scale setups.
We arrived around 12:30 to find one steam-powered train already running and
another being prepared for operation later
in the day. I got a shot of the yard and car barn
before turning my attention to a steam engine and
train with a couple of CIGRS members already aboard and enjoying a ride. While this train pulled a 1.75% grade, I took pictures of some of
the equipment near the "depot", a Monon F unit,
a boxcab electric loco, and another train with
a gas-powered switcher. The C&GW steam
engine was pulling a very nicely-modeled passenger
After wandering around the tracks taking pictures
for a while, Susan and I were invited to board for a ride. Here are
some images from our ride:
Our ride around the mainline took just short of 10 minutes. By the
time we returned, several other trains were circling with us. Some
engines were gas powered and others carried batteries.
The SP Pacific that was being fired when we arrived was now moving
onto the turntable and was then moved out onto
the mainline to pull its own train. The CIGRS crowd watched from the "depot" as trains circulated. In
front of this building was a yard where trains could be parked and pass one another.
The trackwork here included slip switches.
This area also provided for locomotive service.
At 2:20 or so we assembled for a meeting and had a briefing from Bob Bourne on the workings of the outdoor rail line.
After almost another hour of train operation, it was time to drop the
fires on the steamers and start putting things away. The EJ&K provides
a transfer table - elevator device that operators
can use to load their trains into pickups and trailers. We watched
while the C&GW outfit was put into a pickup, itself equipped with an elevator
so that rolling stock could ride on two levels. The engineer released steam pressure from the loco's boiler before
rolling it into the pickup.