- 1424 Grimsby - CN 333 east - CN 5543 (photo)
- 1456 Grimsby - Via 92 west - VIA 6429 (photo)
Well, here I was in Iowa again. I was on my way back home but I had a couple more stops to make. The first was to check out the Iowa Interstate in Iowa City, Iowa. I found them just fine but there weren't any decent photography opportunities. So I continued eastward. I was going to be passing by Davenport, Iowa once again so I made a quick stop at the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern again. Just as I pulled across the tracks I could see an eastbound pulling into the yard. Good timing!
I also photographed some of the parked power in front of the roundhouse.
After a few photographs I departed the Davenport area and got back onto Interstate 80 for the trip home. And so ends Vacation 2007. I think it was rather rewarding.
I woke up in… Wait, I remember where I am. Sioux Falls, South Dakota! That's it. I first drove downtown to check out the Burlington Northern Santa Fe yard. Just after I got there a switch move was pulling through.
Then I went to turn around and found some parked power.
My first stop of the day was to be Alton, Iowa but while passing through Sioux Center I ran across a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train just pulling in.
After a few photos I continued on to the grain elevator in Alton to see the GP7 that I knew was located there.
My next stop was going to be Mason City, Iowa. Once again while passing through town I discovered a train. This time the town was Spencer, Iowa on the former Milwaukee Road track. The train was a westbound Iowa, Chicago and Eastern. I had to wait for a bit for the train to move, but I was patient.
After my waiting paid off I continued on to Mason City by way of Clear Lake. I found the western terminus of the Iowa Traction Railway and followed it east toward Mason City. First I encountered a variety of Iowa Traction Railway equipment.
Behind that was a parked motor outside the shops and in the weeds.
I continued following the tracks and in short order met a westbound train with a cut of gondolas. Luck was on my side.
After a few photographs I continued along and discovered a parked motor at the AGP elevator.
My luck today was really good. I ran across trains by accident and managed to stay ahead of the ominous clouds that were constantly behind me to the west. Somehow I was always just ahead of them. I continued driving east until I got to Urbana, Iowa. I noticed a Super 8 motel and decided I really didn't want to drive any longer so I called it a day.
I got a nice early start before the sun rose. My first destination was to be the Nebkota Railroad in Chadron, Nebraska. While on the way I ran across a parked BNSF empty coal train in Orin, Wyoming, just west of Shawnee Junction. The sun was just above the horizon which led to some interesting lighting.
I continued along and discovered the Union Pacific main into the coal fields. There were coal trains parked all over the place. One loaded train was just leaving Shawnee Junction when I passed so I drove out ahead of it.
I drove on leaving that coal train behind only to find another coal train ahead of it. I chased it ahead and photographed it as well.
Before long I arrived at Chadron, Nebraska. I quickly found the engine facility and three locomotives parked outside.
After photographing the engines I got some breakfast. While getting breakfast I noted that there were an inordinate number of motorcycles parked around town. I quickly came to the conclusion that I sure know how to pick a week to visit South Dakota. This was Bike Week in Sturgis. The next part of the day was purely sightseeing. First I drove to Mount Rushmore. I've never seen so many Harley Davidsons in my life. They were everywhere. I drove through Rapid City among the motorcycles and photographed a Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern SD40-2 parked by the shops.
Next I departed down Interstate 90 for Chamberlain but not before first visiting the Wall Drug Store and Badlands National Park. Now that is a fascinating place. After a long drive I found Chamberlain and the variety of interesting power the Dakota Southern had lying around the grain elevator.
I awoke to a bright sunny morning. My first destination of the day was to be Heber City, Utah. My goal was to find the Heber Valley Railroad. I drove through the valley between Provo and Heber City and quickly found the railroad in town.
I managed to get some nice photos of the operation and then continued on to Ogden, Utah to visit the Utah State Railway Museum. The first thing I ran across was a Southern Pacific engine parked behind the museum.
I wandered around for a while looking at the museum's equipment. After a while I drove by the Union Pacific yard in town and found a variety of power.
After Ogden I started driving east. I saw a few Union Pacific trains en route, but unfortunately it's pretty impossible to stop and photograph them from Interstate 80. Interstates are a pain. I stopped by a few towns on the way, but didn't find anything terribly interesting. Eventually I arrived at Cheyenne, Wyoming. This time the weather was quite nice so I hunted down the Big Boy steam engine.
I also ran across a pair of Union Pacific SD40-2s and photographed them.
I began making my way north ultimately bound for Chadron, Nebraska. I made it as far as Wheatland, Wyoming where I bunked down at a Motel 6 for the evening.
This morning I was feeling a bit lazy and decided to make a later start. Once I headed outside I could see mostly clear skies to the west. This was a good sign. I started off by dropping by the yards in Grand Junction, Utah to see what was going on. Union Pacific had a variety of power parked in their yard but it wasn't terribly accessible. I swung by the station where I discovered a lone Burlington Northern Santa Fe C44-9W. A four axle dash-8 was just about to shove some cars onto the engine. I photographed it before that happened.
The dash-8 cut off the cars and the dash-9 began shoving them around the yard. Not much else was going on so I headed west into the desert. I drove for a long time before I finally ran across a moving train north of Green River, Utah. It turned out to be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe trackage rights train.
I decided to give a short chase and photograph the train again since it was the first moving train I'd seen all day.
I continued along to Helper, Utah to see what was going on. There was little in the Union Pacific yard so I began exploring the line westward. I heard the dispatcher talking to a Utah Railway coal train that was going to be cutting their helpers off at Soldier's Summit. Apparently I was just a little too late to catch the train run from Helper to Summit. At least I was able to photograph the helper set returning to Martin. I decided that the Nolan Tunnels would be a good location.
On my way back to Helper I found the Utah Railway helper set about to head onto their own tracks. I got a few more photographs there and then returned to the Union Pacific yard to photograph the power there.
While photographing the power parked in Union Pacific's yard I noticed that a westbound coal train was staged. I drove back out into the Price River canyon to wait for it. Just as I parked I heard an eastbound Utah Railway empty coal train rumble by with Union Pacific power. Oops… I missed that one. Before very long the westbound arrived. I chased it through the canyon for a variety of photographs. The scenery in there is stunning, particularly with the nice lighting I had.
The helper set cut off at Colton and the westbound continued with just the DPU power.
Once again I returned to Helper to see if any other trains had arrived. None had but I was now able to photograph a pair of Union Pacific engines that I was previously unable to.
Well, it didn't appear that much else was going on so I figured I'd go find a room in Price. As it turned out things were pretty booked up. I called up Marriott and found a room at the Fairfield Inn in Provo, Utah. OK, that works for me. I began the drive to Provo and as luck would have it I ran across a Utah Railway westbound coal train rumbling through the canyon. The shadows of the mountains had engulfed the canyon but I figured I might still have some sunlight at Colton. I drove directly there and proved myself correct. It was getting close, but I had light.
This morning I awoke in Ogallala, Nebraska to a thunder storm. That didn't really set a good tone. I set out by heading yet farther west. As I drove the weather gradually began to improve. The rain soon stopped and it was starting to get brighter. By the time I got to Sydney, Nebraska it was still overcast and not terribly bright, but at least it wasn't storming.
While photographing the parked power, a westbound passed behind. I was unable to get a photograph. Oh well, I moved on. Just west of Sidney I caught up to another westbound. I drove ahead and photographed it. I looked behind me and noticed an eastbound approaching as well.
I continued westward and stopped at various locations whenever I noticed a train approaching. The skies were clearing nicely and I was eventually back into sunshine.
As I neared Bushnell, Nebraska the sun was out nicely and I could see a row of grain elevators. I had to stop and photograph some trains passing the elevators. The second westbound to arrive was the train I was unable to photograph in Sidney. It all worked out for the best since the weather was much nicer in Bushnell.
For a while I was trying to figure out the onslaught of westbounds. Eventually the Union Pacific dispatcher talked to an eastbound out of Cheyenne about a break-down. Apparently all the westbounds piled up behind it. A-ha! Now I understand. I'd really been hoping for an eastbound at Bushnell because there was a really nice scene with one of the elevators. No such luck. It didn't seem that any eastbounds were imminent and the westbounds were done.
I continued my trek west. I decided on a whim to stop at Burns, Wyoming to see what was there. It turned out to be a good move since there was a decent looking grain elevator. I decided to try for an eastbound again here. Of course the first train was one of the westbounds I photographed earlier.
But wait! Just after the westbound slowly passed I could see eastbound headlights. At last!
The skies were beginning to cloud up and look like rain again. I drove to Cheyenne but the skies didn't look inviting at all. I stopped for lunch but ultimately decided to forego Cheyenne for the time being. I vowed to try again on my return trip through Wyoming. So I headed south through Colorado. Unfortunately it was stormy for most of the day. One of the stops I wanted to make in Colorado was the Leadville, Colorado & Southern. Luckily the weather was improving on my way there. By the time I arrived the weather was good enough to yield some reasonable photographs.
After chatting with the crew of the train and having a look inside their engine house I took my leave. I figured Grand Junction, Colorado would be my night's destination. The drive there was very nice. I had fun on some of the winding roads until I got back to Interstate 70. Interstate highways tend to be kind of boring.
I awoke to a nice sunny morning in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was already getting rather hot at 0800. It was going to be a hot one.
After getting my gear together I set out to see what was in town. I drove to the Omaha, Lincoln & Nebraska but their power is all stored indoors. However, a Burlington Northern Santa Fe eastbound was just coming into town.
After the eastbound passed I started my westward trek. I found an interesting location near Seward, Nebraska where I waited for some action. Before long the coal trains started showing up.
The last eastbound stopped in the distance and I figured it was a good opportunity to continue west. The next town west was Tamora where I ran across three locomotives at a grain elevator.
Parked in the distance was an eastbound that I couldn't get near. I hung around for a little while and was presented with a pair of westbound coal empties.
While driving westward out of Tamora I came to the conclusion that no eastbounds were getting through Lincoln. They were parked everywhere. Only a couple were accessible for photography.
When I arrived at Bradshaw, Nebraska I found a parked westbound rail train on the elevator track, a Cargill switcher and yet another parked eastbound coal train. In total I think I counted nine parked coal trains.
On my continued travels westward I encountered some parked power in Aurora.
At Grand Island I left the Burlington Northern Santa Fe behind and began following the Union Pacific. Before I encountered any Union Pacific trains I discovered an SD40 elevator switcher in Wood River.
Travelling farther west I noticed that the Cargill elevator in Shelton was loading corn into hoppers. Two switchers were at the elevator. One was parked, the other pulling the hoppers through the elevator.
While photographing the switchers I saw the headlights of a westbound approaching.
I continued westward to Gibbon where I found another elevator switcher but before I could photograph it another Union Pacific westbound was approaching. It was starting to get busy.
I travelled on in search of some more interesting scenery. The town of Odessa afforded me a somewhat better view so I stuck around for a few trains. The previous two westbounds caught up to me after an eastbound.
I missed a few other trains as well. The traffic was heavy but the day was getting on and it was stinking hot. I wanted to visit the Nebraska Kansas Colorado Railnet so I drove south to Holdrige. As I drove into town I could see a westbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe train pulling through town. My timing was a bit off but I photographed a Chicago, Burlington & Quincy caboose at the station.
I found the NKCR tracks and immediately found the tail end of a pipe train parked on the mainline. I was surprised to find a pair of Canadian Pacific ES44ACs on the head end.
I started following the tracks west and discovered a former Indiana Railroad SD9 which is now an elevator switcher in Loomis.
I continued driving along the tracks through some amazing Nebraska scenery and eventually found another pipe train with Canadian Pacific locomotives. This time the train was empty in Maywood. At various places along my route I could see where a pipeline was being laid. Beyond the pipe train was another elevator switcher.
My ultimate goal for the NKCR was Grant where the railway is headquartered. I was rewarded with three former Detroit Edison SD40s and a Nebraska Kansas Colorado Railnet GP40.
Today was day two of my 2007 vacation. I departed the hotel in Valparaiso early and headed west. I didn't intend to stop until I got to Iowa. The weather was gradually deteriorating the entire drive. When I arrived at Nahant, Iowa there was a light overcast. As I finished crossing the Mississippi River into Iowa I could see a variety of locomotives parked around the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern roundhouse.
While photographing the engines parked at the roundhouse a switching move approached the crossing.
The Kansas City Southern locomotives were a pleasant surprise. After taking my photographs I was on my way toward Burlington, Iowa to hunt down the Burlington Junction Railway. The weather was getting worse as I arrived in town. It was starting to rain when I ran across one of their General Electric switchers.
Very shortly after photographing the switcher the skies opened up and it poured. I called off the search for more power and drove westward through the rain. By the time I arrived in Ottumwa, Iowa the rain had stopped and the sun was starting to shine. However, the moisture in the air was stifling. I explored town a bit and ran across a Burlington Junction Railway engine parked beside what was once the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy roundhouse.
I also dropped by the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern yard where another set of Kansas City Southern engines was parked. Unfortunately it was not parked anywhere I could photograph. Next I drove on to Albia, Iowa. The first item of interest I ran across was a Burlington Northern Santa Fe power set coupled to a snow plow. It was way too hot for snow, but what the heck.
I then started to follow the Appanoose County Community Railroad tracks which led me to the Relco facility just south of town. Parked near the switch into the grounds was an Appanoose engine.
Behind the Relco shops was a large variety of power. Initially I drove in to see if it was possible to photograph, but nobody was around. I thought it best not to galavant around the premises so I simply photographed the Relco switcher which was viewable from the parking lot and left.
I followed more of the tracks toward Centerville, Iowa where I discovered that all the tracks in town had been abandoned. I explored a bit but elected to move on. I followed the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks for a while and eventually heard a westbound obtain a track warrant. It was ahead of me but I managed to catch up to it just east of Creston, Iowa.
Today was the first day of my vacation. Well, actually it was my last work day but I left work early. This year my vacation takes me to Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota and Minnesota. I stopped off at home after work to pick up all my gear and I set off. I didn't intend to stop much this day as it was mostly a travel day. However, since it was really close to the interstate, I did decide to stop at Lapeer, Michigan to see the Lapeer Industrial Railroad engine.
After a couple photographs I set back off again for my only other rail related stop of the day. I wanted to drop by the Tuscola and Saginaw Bay Railway in Owosso, Michigan. As I arrived at the shops an eastbound freight was also arriving. Unfortunately I was unable to photograph it but was rewarded with a variety of power parked at the shops.