Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall 2013 Trip - 8

Hi, On Saturday, 10/12 we turned our attention to the Iowa Interstate. It turned out to be the most frustrating day of the trip. Because there are so few images I feel are worth sharing I am combining Saturday with our final day, Sunday, also spent along the Iowa Interstate.

After checking out the yard in Cedar Rapids where the Iowa Interstate power for the run down to the mainline would lay over we headed south following that line to South Amana hoping to find the train.  It was a faint hope and not to be but we needed to go that way.

When we got to South Amana we found this set of road power switching.

 The first photographs of this power set were taken shortly before 9:00 AM.  About 11:00 AM a FRED was hung on the rear and a brake test performed.  We thought we were in business.  However, almost immediately we heard a westbound being given clearance to South Amana.  We went to find it but it got by us.  We were not very upset as it was a local with a single locomotive running long hood forward. 

Much to our chagrin as soon as the local entered the yard switching began again, with the local's power working the west end and the road power the east end.  Aha we thought, they are just adding some hot cars to the eastbound.  Unfortunately at about 11:45 AM the crew uncoupled from the train, spotted the power on the engine house lead and walked away.

Here the road power is switching with the new engine facility at the left.

After lunch we went up to the UP.  Again frustration as the expected parade of trains did not materialize.

We set up at Norway, IA where there were two old style elevators.  The first westbound showed up at about 2:20 PM.  We had been along the tracks for over an hour.

The second west bound ran over an hour later.

From the west end of town it was possible to photograph the train as it passed both elevators.

After exploring to the west a bit more we stopped at Blairstown, IA.  Our final train of the day came along at 5:00 PM.  No westbound trains got by us during the afternoon.

We spent the night in Coralville, IA, a suburb of Iowa City. 

Before heading back to South Amana we photographed Iowa Northern's Hawkeye Express, which was parked on a siding in town.  This train is used to bring Hawkeye football fans from Coralville to the stadium in Iowa City using Iowa Interstate track.

When we arrived at South Amana we found a different set of road power switching.  It turned out this was train CBBI and on this day it would run only to Walcott, IA where the crew would park it and return to South Amana with a train mostly of empty tank cars.

About 9:30 AM the crew got their orders and left town.  This view is just east of the yard.

About three miles east is the small town of Homestead.

We shot the train at Tiffin and tried to beat the train to the Iowa River Bridge in Iowa City; but missed it by a minute or two.

From Iowa City we beat the train to Downey.

At this point we encountered two major detours causing to arrive in Moscow seconds ahead of the train.

We found many views in Walcott, including this grain elevator and

a grade crossing on the east side of town. 

Here the CBBI entered a siding.  Because of work being done on the Mississippi River bridge between Davenport, IA and Rock Island, IL the train would remain here until ater 9:00 PM.

East of the east end of the siding the westbound sat on the main (above and below).

We photographed the westbound passing the CBBI (above and below).  The gondola in the photo above is carrying a small panel truck and two pick up trucks.

The train stopped for a few minutes at the west end of the siding.

We shot it at Atalissa (above and below) and

then went directly to Iowa City.

Our final photographs were back at Homestead and

coming into the yard at South Amana.

All of us agreed the trip was very productive over all and very enjoyable.  Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall 2013 Trip - 7

Hi, It was another challenging day on the Iowa Northern. An early call to the dispatcher seeking information was not productive. We spent the early part of the morning carefully checking out the Iowa Northern yard in Manly to make sure that the southbound had already departed. It had. Also, the UP was still tied up with a southbound on the single track in town and a northbound in the passing track south of town.

We followed the Iowa Northern south, however, the only train we encountered between Manly and Waterloo was a UP ethanol train with a patched and badly faded SP unit on the point.

About noon, as we were on our way to UP's Linden Ave Yard in Waterloo to see if any Iowa Northern power was there we fortuitously ran across this light power set.  A minute earlier or later and we would have missed it. 

The power was traversing Iowa Northern trackage from Linden Yard over to the CN mainline.  On a previous trip Stan Short and I photographed the Olwein Turn using this line to deliver cars to the CN.

We chased the set and were able to photograph it running along the edge of Gates Park Golf Course.

Once on the CN (former IC) the power proceeded to the CN yard where

it picked up an empty ethanol train.

Before the ethanol train left a CN train came into the yard from the west.  This CN trackage was sold by the IC to the Chicago Central & Pacific and then bought back by the IC.

We proceeded to chase the ethanol train through Waterloo (above and 2 below).

We caught it again twice in Cedar Falls (above and below)

and south of Shell Rock. 

While it was delivering its cars to the ethanol plant in Shell Rock we got a shot north of town.

We then drove to Cedar Rapids for the night.

While in Cedar Rapids we checked out the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City engine house.  Just after we got there this train pulled to a stop outside the facility.

Thus ended our day.  Two more to go.  Thanks for looking. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall 2013 Trip - 6

Hi, This will be a shorter post as it was a challenging day. We began by calling the Iowa Northern dispatcher from our motel about two hours west of Manly, IA.  He told us the train for Manly was out of Greene and would stop at Nora Springs to switch so we headed there.

On the way we passed through Britt where we spotted this 35 ton Plymouth at a Farmer's Cooperative elevator.

When we arrived at Nora Springs we did a quick exploration and determined the IN train had not arrived so we headed south to look for it.

Soon after arriving at Rockford we heard a horn at the south edge of town and the northbound train came into view.  The sun angles were terrible but I felt the station and grain elevator were too neat to pass up.

The train moved at about 10 mph so we easily found a spot north of Rockford.

After looking around Nora Springs a bit we found a spot (above and below) where we had at least side light.

The train went north of Nora Springs to switch.  In the meantime we heard a CP train blowing to the west so we set up near the grain elevator in town.

After the train finished switching we caught it at Rock Falls and

south of Manly (above and below).

At Manly we learned from the crew that they would need to wait for two UP trains before they could enter UP trackage and cross over to their yard.  This gave us an opportunity to try different angles on the sitting train (above and below).

Eventually, a southbound UP train that had been waiting north of town got clearance and took the siding south of town.

We relocated to the south end of the siding for a final photo.

Meantime the UP dispatcher decided not to hold the Iowa Northern for a second UP train (this one northbound).  The track breaking off to the right is the UP Spine Line heading south and the switch stand is for the Iowa Northern's connection to the Spine Line.  The train will run only a few blocks on the Spine Line where it will take a switch to its left and enter the Iowa Northern's yard.

At this point we headed for dinner and our motel.  Thanks for looking.