Once in the city of Des Moines I checked out the UP's "BN" diamond and found a northbound freight waiting, facing a clear signal through Short Line Junction. I went to the Junction and caught this train just before 7:00 with UP 4451 and HLCX 9013.
I followed the northbound up to Easton Boulevard where they went through the crossover onto the Fort Dodge line. A grain load was waiting to take the main, but UP 4451's train stopped with the rear end still on the crossover track. Eventually they pulled ahead a few car lengths and, at 7:26 the southbound crossed Easton. The covered hoppers were led by UP 6827, ex-SP UP 6402 and UP 8005.
After the grain train was moving, I got on I-235 and took I-35 out of town. Iowa State had a home game today and even at 7:30 in the morning the football fans were flying by me on the interstate. I reached the UP mains at Jordan just after 8:20, just in time to see the rear end of a DP coal load leaving for Ames.
I spent the next hour at the east end of the Boone yard and caught the following traffic:
8:26 - EB K-Line Stacker pulls up for a crew change. UP
5059, 4626, 8411
and 4663. This train
left at 8:43
8:53 - WB Autoracks. UP 4699, CEFX 3147 and UP 4962.
9:11 - WB Stack train. UP 4808 and UP 8331. Meets waiting EB manifest
9:25 - WB Stack train. UP 4514, CSX 9015 and UP 9214. Above manifest still waiting.
9:37 - EB manifest rolls. UP 4928, GECX 8308 and NS 9022.
I went to Casey's in Boone for a quick pit stop and then saw another eastbound just west of the depot at 9:52. The train looks like it's on fire, but the smoke was just from leaf burning in Boone. This was a coal load made up of miscellaneous 30+ year-old company hoppers. On the head end were UP 6798 and 8180.
My next stop was the Kate Shelley meet at the United Community Middle School. Near the main entrance the CIGRS garden railroad had their portable layout set up, along with Brian Anderson's traction outfit. Opposite the large scale stuff was an exceptionally small (Z, I assume) set in a coffee table, looping at a scale 200 mph or so.
I checked out a few of the contest models, RI 18253, NYC 36999 and a model of the Grinnell depot before getting some lunch (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) at the school. In the afternoon I attended a very interesting clinic by Jeff Otto. Jeff is constructing a large (3700 sq. ft.) layout and demonstrated how to construct roadbed using homasote splines.