Kate Shelley Meet

Saturday, November 1



Saturday was cold and overcast in central Iowa.  I left Indianola around 8:20 and headed north out of town.  The UP Trenton dispatcher was talking to southbound UP 9348, which was leaving Des Moines.  They got a warrant to take them from Beech to Williamson after meeting UP 3177 north at Beech.  I cut across from Scotch Ridge to Carlisle in hope of catching the southbounder there, but I arrived too late.  They passed the Hartford detector at 8:30, just as I was getting to Hwy. 5 in Carlisle.

I got back on Hwy. 65 and continued north to Ames where I went west on Hwy. 30 to United Community School, the site of the Kate Shelley meet.  CIGRS, the Central Iowa Garden Railroad Society (CIGRS voted recently to make the name of the club "Railroad" rather than "Railway"), had their display layout set up in a prime location just inside the front door and registration desk.

Several club members were already present and operating some equipment on the display track.  In spite of some equipment failures (some garden train stuff involves rather complex electronics), the group managed to keep trains moving throughout the day.  A scratchbuilt trolley running on battery power, I believe built by Bryan Anderson from Boone, went loop-to-loop reliably all morning.  Bryan was also responsible for the loan of the small pine trees in the display.  Equipment was changed several times through the day and included IAIS diesels and various steam locos.

Two other layouts were set up in the lobby area of the school.  One was a small HO setup brought by Kent Girouex of Radcliffe.  Another layout, very popular with youngsters, was an NTrak modular outfit built and set up by Gary Klein. Thomas was among the trains running on Gary's layout.

I checked out the models in the contest room, two Rock Island HO engines, RI 1308 and RI 49 were entered in the diesel locomotive division.  Models with detailed interiors were entered in both the revenue and non-revenue categories.  There was one interesting, "Think Inside the Box", display in the Youth section.

The school's gymnasium held the "swap meet", where vendors provided a large selection of models and memorabilia.  I talked to Bill Greenley, a retired engineer from Ottumwa who was selling loads and grain doors for boxcars.  Bill, a.k.a. "Billy Whittle", has a number of other creations for sale and can be contacted by email at "billywhittle@mchsi.com". Kathy Williams of Indianola, assisted by Paul Speer and John Averil, had a large collection of her late husband's HO scale Rio Grande equipment for sale, and seemed to be doing a brisk business.

Around 12:15 I skipped out of the meet to go see some prototype railroading in Boone.  At the east end of the yard I encountered Iowa railfan Dave Kroeger and his son Garrett.  Shortly, we were joined by a carload of the ISU Railroad club.  The UP was trying to get an EOT to communicate on a train sitting on the main, while some power, UP 2231, 2996 and EMDX 2818, pulled out to move onto a yard track.  I'd not seen a UP unit with EMDX reporting marks before.  Several other units, including ex-CNW UP 3042, were parked at this end of the yard.

It was chilly out in the wind this afternoon so I soon excused myself to go get a No. 3 and an Apple Pie and dine trackside.  I'd just about reached the mainlines west of the old depot when I saw an eastbound stacker running through town.  Shortly, at 12:55, another one showed up.  This train was pulled by UP 4573, 4678 and 4081.

After lunch I went to the Boone and Scenic Valley depot where a group of "speeder" enthusiasts were having a meet today.  The cute little track vehicles were parked on both sides of the street east of the station and a few were on the numerous trailers in the parking lot.  BSV's new F unit was proudly displayed in front of the depot.

I passed through the old yard office area, the "Red Zone", on my way back to the model railroad meet.  A number of locos were parked there, a patched SP unit UP 6377 and yard engines UP Y706, ex CNW UP 405, UP Y703, Y735 and Y711.  Two road units, UP 6656 and 5976 waited near the west yard leads.

I headed back to the meet, intercepting a coal empty at Jordan just after 2:00.  On the point of the CWEX cars were UP 6874 and as yet not patched SP 134.

That's It!