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NRHS Cedar Rapids to Newton Steam Westbound Trip 6/20/2012

by Chris Guenzler

After a very short night's sleep due to the night photo session, I arose at 5:00 AM and prepared myself for the day then posted yesterday's story on before walking over to Casey's for my doughnuts. There I met Randy Jackson and after I acquired ice for my cooler, we walked over to the Clarion Hotel for a 6:00 AM safety and briefing meeting. We took the crew bus out to the Smith-Dow Yard and I boarded the "Sky View" and took my now usual seat then worked on and finished the night photo session story as we waited for the passengers to board.

The Train Consist

Iowa Northern F40PH 461 and 678, NSRX coach 202 "Wenonah" PPCX 800261, NSRX coach 203 " Nokomis" PPCX 800898, NSRX coach 7616 "Lake Pepin" PPCX 800799, NRHX 142 "Franklin Inn" PPCX 800957, "Braddock Inn" PPCX 800854, New York Central tavern lounge 38 PPCX 800655, High Iron dome 60 "Scenic View" (former Santa Fe 551), NSRX "Super Dome" 53 PPCX 800862 and NRSX Skytop Lounge Observation 186 "Cedar Rapids" PPCX 800040.

The Trip

A picture after I arrived. The passengers were fed a light breakfast in First Class prior to our departure at 7:53 AM this morning, with Iowa Interstate GP38-2 714 pulling us to the Yocum Connection.

We headed south through Smith-Dow Yard.

The train ran by this Iowa Interstate freight us we exited the yard.

The train turned into Fairfax.

The railfans were out in force waiting for us there.

The interior of "Cedar Rapids".

More railfans in Walford.

This guy was driving and videotaping at the same time just west of East Amana.

Coming into Amana.

Crossing that creek in Amana.

Later we crossed the Iowa River.

The train has reached the Yocum Connection and we took the east leg of the wye where many railfans were waiting.

We pulled forward to the new Iowa Interstate shops, which were still under construction, and our steam engine was waiting on the mainline. I visited with Kathie Evingson of "Visit Anchorage" where next year's convention would be held September 18-22, 2013.

The field across from the shops.

Iowa Interstate 714 had cut off the train and Iowa Interstate QJ 2-10-2 6988 was placed on the now-westbound facing point of our train.

We soon left the new shop area for Marengo, our first photo runby location of the day and where my new rail mileage would begin.

More of those Iowa cornfields.

Sand and gravel operations were passed.

We ran by this lake before we arrived at Marengo and those who wanted to participate in the photo runby detrained. I suggested to Kathie that she join in so she could see her first photo runby. I would walk down the road to the point where I could get the grain silos behind our train.

Our engine in Marengo.

The photo line moved over again, but that was not going to stop me as I would crop my photos and be in excellent shape.

The photo runby at Marengo, which was excellent. Thank you, Bart Jennings.

The return move.

Iowa Northern F40PH 461, ex. Canadian American Railroad 461, nee Amtrak 266 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1977.

My dome car, Iowa Pacific 511 "Scenic View", ex. Holland America Westours "Nenana" PPCX 800124, exx. Holland America Westours 523 1986, exxx. Great Western Tours 523 "Redwood Coast", exxxx. Auto Train Corporation 523, nee Santa Fe full come 511 built by Budd Company in 1954.

We all reboarded for our trip to Newton, Iowa.

Views on the way to Ladora after which we made a quick servicing stop at Brooklyn, Iowa.

Views west of Brooklyn.

Malcom, Iowa.

A corn field west of Malcom.

A tree in a field.

Clouds of interest to our west. Iowa needs a few days of good rain.

Milepost 300.

More clouds heading slowly our way.

Rounding a curve as we neared Grinnell.

More corn fields on this hill.

We came to this yellow signal for the Union Pacific crossing in Grinnell.

Grinnell and the Milepost 302.

The joint Rock Island and Minneapolis and St. Louis station here, built in 1892.

A view looking north up the Union Pacific tracks.

The Railway Express building in Grinnell which houses the local model railroad club.

Downtown Grinnell.

The remaining portion of the Spaulding Manufacturing Company smoke stack; the top few feet of it fell years ago so it just reads "Aulding". The "Cedar Rapids" set off a hot box detector so we had to stop to inspect it.

We continud on as the train ran though Kellogg.

The train then moved on to the Newton Yard.

We pulled up to the east end of the yard and stopped.

The Iowa Interstate steam shops.

Iowa Interstate 712 then went to the end of our train for use later this afternoon.

From here we took the train on into Newton.

Here passengers could get lunch in Sunset Park, visit the Rock Island station, or both. After lunch there would be a pair of photo runbys at 1:30 PM.

Click here for Part 2 of this story