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Friday, June 20, 2014

14-06-20 PHOTOS: Omaha! - Part 2

Time for Part two of my summer 2014 trip on the California Zephyr. This section covers the former CB&Q main line from Creston, IA through to Princeton, IL. Remember, one of our two P42DC engines has been shut down due to an air problem and combined with a large number of MoW possessions we are slowly losing time all across the route.

If you forgot you can find all of the photos here.

Like I said we begin a Creston, but instead of using the majestic old station we use the new BNSF station which also doubles as a crew base. At least it offers ice as an amenity.

A local short line is using Montana Rail Link SD9 #610.

Track 1 had a major tie replacement project going on. I was told this was due in part to the harsh 2013/14 winter.

East end of the Creston yard with BN painted SD70MAC #9438, SD70ACe #9232 and ES44AC #6179.

Remainder of the MoW gang with grain elevators in the background.

After crossing over to track #1 at CP-381 we forced a pair of unit coal trains to hold short of the Osceola Station to allow passengers to cross track 2. The first of these is headed by ES44AC #6430.

And the second by a pair of elephant style ES44AC's including #5948.

Amtrak Osceola station.

CSX AC4400 #663 was a bit far from home hauling an empty coal train near Woodburn.

ES44AC #5905 was pushing on the rear.

Another adorable ancient truss bridge.

Chariton, IA is an active BNSF station, but Amtrak no longer stops here.

Another east coast unit, NS C44-9W #9806, was on the head of a unit oil train.

The pointless arrow is alive and well at Ottumwa, IA.

For some reason the wooden roofs had been torn off the main line platform canopies.

Burlington Junction Railway GP7u #714 at Ottumwa. 

SC70ACe #9356 returning a train of empties to the Powder River basin, near Batavia, IA.

Another "freight" station in Fairfield, IA.

More NS power on an eastbound empty oil train. Second unit is ES44AC ambigramic palindrome #8118.

BN painted SD70MAC #9561 near Lockridge.

The next Amtrak station is this original CB&Q affair at Mt. Pleasant. As you can see by the hand crossover in the linked photograph, this part of the line still had sections of bi-directional double track ABS instead of CTC.

It was a good day for clouds.

Downtown Burlington, IA with the new signals now in service.

CB&Q Burlington station and offices with the covered main line platforms.

SD70ACe #9048 with the new Mississippi River road bridge in the background.

It doesn't get much rarer than this. ATSF warbonnet painted B40-8W #557 leading cabless GP60B #334. ATSF was one of the few railroads to purchase high horsepower 4 axle road freight and the only railroad to purchase cabless GP60 booster units. The GP60Bs were the last cabless boosters produced in North America. All the way in the back is a second B40-8W, #553.

Draw span of the recently rebuilt CB&Q Mississippi River Crossing. This bridge was brand new when I last too this train in 2012.

Video from the rear of the train as we cross the bridge. A car attendant is making announcements about what people need to do regarding connections due to the lateness of the train. close! BNSF SD70MAC #9996 with a loaded eastbound coal train. An SD70ACe was helping on the rear.

Dining car staff getting rid of the trash at Galesburg.

The Galesburg Amtrak station itself.

CB&Q 4-8-4 on display at the Galesburg station.

So by this point our late train was starting to have some issues. The lateness was threatening to have our crew go dead on hours and moreover, operating only a single P42 had almost completely run it out of diesel fuel. If that wasn't enough we had an unrelated HEP issue and that completely failed while waiting at Buda for the westbound Train 3 Southwest Chief to pass.

Fortunately am Amtrak road foreman was on board and he not only took charge of the train to avoid the hours of service problem, but also restarted the second unit since he knew that fixing the air problem did not require the engine to be off. Here we see our crew having a little conference with the crew of Train 3 to fix the HEP issue.

Well that's it. Next time I'll either show some twilight pics heading into Chicago or just cut to some CTA 'L' photos along with former MILW Tower B-12.

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