Marshalltown and Maid-Rites

November 25

Byron and Tammy came over early Saturday morning for a visit and to have Thanksgiving dinner with the Tinder family on Sunday.  While the "girls" went shopping, Byron and I headed north for a dose of some Union Pacific traffic.  The day was cloudy, hazy and dark, but it would be our only opportunity this weekend, so we decided to go for it anyway.  We also thought it would be a good idea to warm up for Sunday's big dinner with some of our favorite sandwiches from Taylor's in Marshalltown.

Our first stop on the way was Short Line Yard in Des Moines were we caught a light engine, UPY 652, rolling around the northeast leg of the wye on its way to Hull Avenue Yard.  Things were pretty quiet otherwise - it looked like there was a DMEA-type train made up in the yard.  We jumped on I-35 and made for the junction.  On the way over from Nevada to Marshalltown we met a couple of westbounds, one pig and one stack train.

We got to Marshalltown right at noon.  A couple of units were parked in front of the depot, CNW 5527 and UP 395.  I'd heard at the Boone model railroad meet that the UP's moving out of the old depot to a new office on the south side of the yard, so during the day I took some pictures of the old building.

Byron and I made directly for Taylor's and then parked next to the tracks west of the depot.  We didn't have to wait long for a train.  At 12:15 an eastbound stacker showed up with UP 9553, UP 4500, FURX 3012 and UP 9273.  This train stopped east of the depot, and from the radio traffic it sounded like they were doing some work in the yard - unusual for a stacker, as far as I know!

The next train, at 12:24 was a westbound coal empty with lots of beaten-up older cars.  On the point were UP 8287, 7121 and 7120.  As you can see, we had another pretty hazy day in Iowa - okay for taking pictures from the "wrong" side of the tracks, though.  We drove down to the east end of the yard to see what the stacker was up to.  They were in fact making a pickup, and got their train together and headed east again about 12:35.  I got another shot of the FURX unit as they rolled out of town.

We stayed at the east end for a couple of more trains.  At 12:45 there was an eastbound manifest with five units, UP 7249, CR (PRR?) 1448, UP 474 and 491, and a MRL unit whose number we missed.  The next, just a couple of minutes later, was a CWEX coal empty behind UP 6505 and 6494.

In a visit to the Transglobal facilities we found CNW 6584, apparently a fire victim, east of the shop.  The usual path through under the viaduct was blocked by construction of UP's new yard office.  While up on one of the viaducts to get a shot of the depot I noticed a critter, that had spent some time at Avon before finding its way to Transglobal, parked near the turntable.

At 1:22 we caught a coal load near the west end of the yard.  This was NORX tub gons pulled by UP 7192 and 6566.

Things seemed to have quieted down, so Byron and I started working our way back west toward the junction again.  We found one more train, just entering West Marshall, before we left town.  This was another coal load, EDGX cars, with UP 6538 and SP 296.  They were pulling into town at 1:45.

We got back over near Nevada pretty quickly and caught an eastbound stacker just outside of town at 2:12.  This train had UP 6163, LRCX 9543, UP 5007 and UP 2877 on the point.  We stayed at the same crossing for a short westbound manifest behind UP 4055 and 6839 just 5 minutes later.

While driving through Nevada we missed another eastbound stack train.  We stopped next to the overpass at KC Junction and, at 2:30, caught a couple of moves.  The first was eastbound light power, UP 8250 and 8054.  They were met immediately by a coal empty, CWEX cars (I think) behind UP 7141 and 6500.

Byron and I moved west to the first crossing beyond the junction and waited quite a while for the next trains.  At 3:06 we had a westbound stacker with UP 4205 and (? another new winged '70).  They blasted off into the gloom and were met by an eastbounder with UP 6332, 4233, 4828, 2949 and SSW ?? rolling down to a high green at KC Junction.  This train had a long string of flat-tops at the rear.

It was getting pretty dark by now, but we stuck around for a couple of more trains.  At 3:23 we had a westbound auto train behind UP 9554 and CNW 86??.  Byron said this one was referred to on the radio as "APRNPB".  Two minutes later we caught the last one, an eastbound manifest with UP 2377 and 5513.

That's It!