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NRHS Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad Trip 6/21/2012



By Chris Guenzler



I was out in front of the Clarion Hotel and Stan Hunter pulled up to drive me out to Boone. I would work as a bus host on Bus 2 on the way back to Cedar Rapids. We picked up Tom Glover and Richard Tresteelli at their hotel and we were soon on our way out west to Boone, Iowa.





A look down US Highway 30 on the way to Boone.

Boone & Scenic Valley History

The Boone & Scenic Valley is operated by the Iowa Railroad Historical Society, a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization which is dedicated to the preservation of, and educating the public about, the history of Iowa's railroads. Besides the railroad, the operation includes the new James H. Andrew Railroad Museum and History Center. Today's B&SV got its start in 1893 with the discovery of coal west of Fraser. A railroad was built to haul the coal and extensions were soon made to connect to other area railroads. By 1907, the system had reached the cities of Fort Dodge and Des Moines. Soon a power plant at Fraser was finished and the line was electrified. In 1913, the current steel high bridge over Bass Point Creek opened, replacing the wooden trestle originally spanning the valley. After the power plant closed due to flooding, the last interurban cars operated in September of 1955. Diesels soon took over what freight still existed. In 1968 the Chicago & North Western purchased the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railroad for $50,000. By 1983, the freight business was over and the 11-mile line from Boone westward through Fraser and to near Wolf became the property of the Boone Railroad Historical Society. The first trip handling passengers was made in November 1983. The current depot opened in 1985, built to resemble the Rockwell City, Iowa, station. The electric operations to downtown Boone started back up in 1988.

Boone was established in 1865 as the new railroad town of Boone Station or Montana Station. It was located a mile and half east of Boonesboro, the county seat of Boone County. The name Boone came from Nathan Boone of Missouri, the tenth and final child born to Daniel and Rebecca Boone. About a mile east of Fraser, the railroad crosses the Bass Point Creek High Bridge, a series of deck plate girder spans measuring 754 feet long and 156 feet above the stream. Fraser itself was laid out in 1893 by the Fraser Coal Company. The line west of here has been damaged by repeated floods, providing a roundtrip of approximately fifteen miles. The train station at Boone is milepost 41.9 while Kale Road at Fraser is milepost 34.6. The electric route heads east from the Boone station for about 0.7 miles. The Iowa Railroad Historical Society has a large collection of equipment. Probably most famous is JS8419, a Chinese 2-8-2, built by Datong Locomotive Works in October 1988 and purchased new by the BSV in 1989. The railroad also features a number of diesel locomotives. Alco RS-1, built in 1951 as Lake Superior & Ishpeming 1002, has been restored as the 244, painted in Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad blue. The F9A 6540, started life being built in General Motor's London plant in 1953 for the Canadian National. After passing through a number of hands, the B&SV acquired it in 2002 and painted it to match the "Overland Route" cars of the Dinner Train. Also here are the BSVR NW-2 1003, South Shore Line 106, Fort Dodge & Des Moines 2254, Union Pacific S-4 1098 and the unique snowplow that I have ever seen, CNW XSC 28300 MWK. Finally, the most powerful diesel on hand is Union Pacific 2921, former Southern Pacific 8385 SD40T-2 "tunnel motor". The trolley operation features Charles City Western car 50. This 38-seat, 48-foot semi-steel combine 38-seat, 48-foot semi-steel combine was built by the McGuire-Cummings Company of Paris, Illinois in 1915.

Looking around Boone

We parked in the lot and I started photographing before the buses arrived.





"Kate Shelley" Museum and Lounge Car.





Rock Island Coach 2584.





Two Chicago South Shore and South Bend Cars.





Chicago South Shore and South Bend 38.





Chicago South Shore and South Bend 39.





A Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad Scene.





Crab Orchard and Egyptian 2-8-0 17.





Rock Island Caboose 17051.





CNW Transfer Caboose 12517.





BSVR Concession Car 9101.





BSRV Coach 3238.





Alco RS-1, built in 1951 as Lake Superior & Ishpeming 1002, has been restored as the 244, painted in Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad blue.





Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad RS-1 244 pulled out two other engines out of the Boone Engine House on to the display track.





Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad RS-1 244.





Union Pacific S-4 1098.





Fort Dodge & Des Moines 2254.





Union Pacific 2921, former Southern Pacific 8385 SD40T-2 "tunnel motor".





Boone & Scenic Valley NW-2 1003.





A CNW Bi-level Coach is being repainted.





Metra Electric 1506 and 1523.





Southern Pacific City of San Francisco SP 9044.





Union Pacific Diner City of Los Angeles.





BSVR FP9A CNW 6540 powers the Dinner Trains.

Our Train Set.



BSVR Chinese 2-8-2 JS8419.





CNW Caboose 11136.





BSVR Coach 3207.





BSVR Coach 3218.





BSVR Concession 8684.





BSVR Coach 3238.





BSVR Coach 9101





CNW Transfer Caboose 12517.





Rock Island Caboose 17051.

Now I would continue to look around.





The Timetable Board at the Boone Station. I then helped direct the buses to the parking lot.





The old open car now used as a display car. I walked down to set up for the steam engine arrival.





A view of the Boone Station area.





There is a NW Caboose out in the storage yard.





The steam engine pulled forward but then stopped.





The ash pan was cleaned out. I was driven over to the storage yard for some picture taking.





An EMD Switcher.





NW Caboose.





Chicago South Shore & South Bend 109.





Kennecott Copper Electric 703.





BSVR Chinese 2-8-2 JS8419 came into the Boone Station.





Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad RS-1 244 it then moved back to the display track.





Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad RS-1 244 is now on the display track.





Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad RS-1 244.





Union Pacific S-4 1098.





Fort Dodge & Des Moines 2254.





Our train is almost ready for boarding.





BSVR Chinese 2-8-2 JS8419.





The Chinese and America Emblems on the BSVR Chinese 2-8-2 JS8419.



Click here for Part 2 of this story