Spring Break 2007

March 10 through March 17

Saturday, March 10

Mark VanWyk met me early Saturday in Pleasantville so we could head down to the Quincy Mall in Ottumwa for a train meet.  My son Byron was to drive over from his home in Audubon and meet us in Ottumwa later in the morning.  Mark and I took a quick look around Albia on our way through at about 7:30.  Before we moved on, I took pictures of the helper power parked in the Albia yard, BNSF 5884 and 9492.

We got to Ottumwa in time for some traffic on the BNSF and the ICE lines.  We parked southeast of the ICE diamond and at 8:40 caught a coal empty, mostly BN cars, with four units, BNSF 5757, 9741, ??, and BNSF 9358.  From the radio we could tell that a northbound (eastbound, if you wish) ICE freight was ready to go and would soon have access to the BNSF crossing.  At 8:50 they came around the corner from their yard with a good-looking set of SDs, DME 6200, 6097, 6094 ("20th Anniversary" engine) and 6456.  The ICE train moved slowly over the BNSF crossing and onto Rutledge Hill.  Before long we could hear the units wound up as they took their train up the hill.

In just a few minutes, the BNSF had traffic again.  Another empty, UCEX hoppers was first, led by BNSF 5888.  Before the rear unit of this DP train reached us, we had an eastbound trailer train with BNSF 5199 and NS 6622 in charge.

Operation of the BNSF yard in Ottumwa has been taken over by the Burlington Junction Railroad.  They had a freshly-painted unit, BJRY 714, parked just west of the yard.

By this time we'd met up with Byron and decided to head over to the train show.  This annual affair seems to be slowly shrinking.  I got a few images and spent some hobby money while we were there:

Burlington Club HO Modular
Burlington Club HO Modular
Burlington Club HO Modular
RITS President Jack Carson
We grabbed some takeout and went back to a parking lot east of the Ottumwa depot to wait on traffic.  At 12:30 we had a coal load, PNJX tubs, running reversed on Main1.  This DP train had two units, BNSF 8891 and 9423 on the front, and BNSF 8947 behind.  They were followed about one half hour later by another lefthand load powered by BNSF 8884, CEFX 123 and BNSF 6096.

Without much other rail traffic in the picture (Amtrak was 7 hours down and not due until 4:30), we said goodbye to Byron and headed back over to Albia.  There we found the DMOWQM switching at Maxon with four units, BNSF 8621, 8737, 2001 and 2011.  It was pretty close to 2:00 when they pulled out.

Tuesday, March 13

On my way to Des Moines to help my father-in-law with his taxes, I stopped at what remains of Short Line Junction for a while.  The UP provided a couple of trains during my visit from 10:20 to 11:30.  The first train was a southbound that took the northeast leg of the wye into the yard.  On the point of this freight were CN/WC 6917, UP 8406 and CN 2561.  They were watched by the west yard job as they entered the yard.  Just before I left at 11:30, a freight came out of the yard to go north with two units, UP 3132 and UP 3182.

Saturday, March 17

We had some early morning flurries Saturday as I headed for Des Moines around 7:30 to pick up some lumber and hardware for the model railroad under construction here.  The BNSF's been doing some tie work on the Des Moines branch, and I found a work train tucked into the Pleasantville siding behind BNSF 2846 and 4266.

On my way back from Des Moines I drove to Avon where I found a turn working the elevator as a freight passed slowly on the main track around 8:30.  The southbound freight was powered by UP 4843 and 2174.  I drove down to the Main St. crossing in Carlisle to watch them come onto the elevated curve of the mainline, head around the corner and parallel Highway 5.  I went to the highway and passed the train, pulling off at a grade crossing just east (okay, south...) of the defect detector at MP 61.6.  The light snow added a nice effect to the images as the train passed me and went on over the highway.

That's It!