Assorted October and November


Saturday, September 22

I've had less time for train-chasing lately because I've been working with these trains on the layout under construction in my new train room.

Saturday, October 20 - Pleasantville

While at work on my layout in the basement around 9:30, I heard the WQMDMO getting a warrant to go ahead from "Hawkeye" to Des Moines.  It sounded like there actually were two westbounds on the branch, and that a second one was approaching Pleasantville as the above one was leaving.  I headed to town but could see that I was going to be a bit late, so I took a gravel road west to intercept the first train as it headed down the hill toward Runnells.  Leading a short train were BNSF 4320, 6717 and 6905.

I went on into Pleasantville, where the roadmaster and a crew van were waiting for the second train.  While we waited, I took a few shots of Pleasantville's fine BNSF State Street grade crossing, and the excellently maintained rail nearby.  If you're waiting here for a grain load, I'd keep my distance, or at least unfasten the seatbelt and be ready to evacuate.  If I recall correctly, you're to run 45º from the rails and toward the rear of the train.

AT 10:20 the train arrived, just light power, led by BNSF 1520.  They stopped short of the grade crossing while a crewmember dropped off to get the switch and derail into the Cascade Co. siding.  Following 1520 were two rusty ex-SF units, BNSF 2606 and 1374.  They cleared the crossing and rolled onto the Cascade track where they were tied down.

Saturday, October 27 - Humeston

Susan and I took a day for a drive in Southern Iowa and landed in Humeston, where there is an interesting refurbished depot.  This structure once was at the intersection of a Chicago, Burlington and Quincy line with the Keokuk and Western.  The interior of the depot features a mural by an Indianola artist, a chalk schedule board, HO layout and a telegraphy demonstration.  The depot/museum wasn't actually open for visitors on Saturday, but after asking around town, we were able to borrow the keys from a local who is involved in the project.

Saturday, November 11 - Kate Shelley Meet

Byron came out to the ranch on Friday so that we could go to the Kate Shelley model railroad meet at United Community Middle School near Boone.  Just inside the front door was a real attention-getter.  Darrel Lawrence, from Des Moines, had brought to the meet two diorama modules, actually sections of a larger layout, depicting grain elevators in HO scale.  The motive power on the tracks was Chicago and Great Western equipment.  Most of the buildings were scratchbuilt or kitbash projects, and all was set in a winter scene.  I took a number of pictures:

Lawrence Module
Lawrence Module
Lawrence Module
Lawrence Module
Lawrence Module
Lawrence Module
Lawrence Module
Lawrence Module
Lawrence Module

Across the hall from the excellent elevator scene was a small "oNeTRAK"l N-scale modular setup by Ashley Rinehart and his father.  This layout included a couple of round barns and a working model of a bridge with a rotating section.  If you've seen NTrak modular setups, you know that they feature three mainlines.  "oNeTRAK" has, well, one!  

N Modular
N Modular
N Modular
N Modular

After browsing around the train show for the morning, Byron and I were joined by Mark Van Wyk, and we headed into Boone to get lunch and see if there were any traffic on the UP mainlines.  We managed to catch two trains, one a westbound pulling out of the yard at 12:30 with UP 4824 (headlight check), ex-SP UP 6375, UP 9537 and UP 9383.  This train had a number of covered gondolas with MHFX reporting marks labled "Radioactive".  Fifteen minutes later an eastbound long-pool stacker came into town with UP 3838, 3786 and 4245.  This poor critter got caught between the rails, and although thoroughly exhausted by the experience was still okay after the train passed.

That's It!