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QJ Rocket to Des Moines 11/13/2010

by Chris Guenzler

I was up at 5:30 AM and after I posted the last two stories on I went and had breakfast. I checked with the front desk about my ride back to the Railswest Museum but they didn't have a record of me after I had checked for sure over the last two days with them. They decided to take me with a guy going to the airport so after I gave directions to the driver they got me there. Karla had the station open and we all had a nice visit while we waited for the train to back in. I decided to get some pictures on this cold windy morning.

The CB&Q steam engine rests on this very cold morning.

The Council Bluffs Rock Island Station this morning.

Inside the depot the old dispatcher board from Council Bluffs to Atlantic. After enjoying good conversation and a Coca-Cola I saw steam moving in the yard from the bay window of the depot and went outside to get a picture as the train backed into the Council Bluffs Rock Island Station.

The Council Bluffs Rock Island Station.

The train stopped for the stop sign at the BNSF crossing east of the Rock Island Station.

On the move again towards the Rock Island Station. I will now show you our train.

The Hawkeye.

The Abraham Lincoln, the car I would be riding in again.

Tool Car IAIS 9201.

Water Car IAIS 8000.


Iowa Interstate QJ 7081.

QJ 7081 backing the train into the Council Bluffs Rock Island Station.

The QJ 7081 has the train at the Council Bluffs Rock Island Station. I then boarded the train and took the forward table again in the Abraham Lincoln. After all the passengers had boarded and had a safety briefing, the train left Council Bluffs at 8:18 AM. The train headed out through the yard before we left Council Bluffs for good. About ten miles east of town we got stopped by something blocking the tracks.

The view off the observation platform. Once on the move again, it happened a second time this morning.

I walked back for another view.

The crew finishing up removing the debris on the tracks. During the storm last night it was really windy.

The train ran to Hillis Siding and we took the siding for an 86 car westbound freight that was holding the mainline.

Our QJ 7081 took the train into Hillis Siding.

The freight crew had aligned the switch for their westbound movement. We were allowed to get off the train to photograph the freight and our reverse move out of the siding.

Iowa Interstate 508 West with 86 cars.

Iowa Interstate 508.

Iowa Interstate 507.

The rear end of the Iowa Interstate 508 West.

QJ 7081 blows down before it started its back up move.

The QJ 7081 made its back up move to get out of the Hillis Siding.

Pulling forward to pick us back up and we all reboarded.

The drumhead of our train as I reboarded. Next stop will be Atlantic, our servicing stop for this train this morning.

QJ 7081 and train at Atlantic.

Me and QJ 7081. We all reboarded and the train headed towards Des Moines. I just relaxed the rest of the way back watching the chasers on the highways and just enjoying the view on this cold windy morning. I called Lets Talk Trains and told them about my stories and our QJ Trip today.

The bar in the Abraham Lincoln with the Iowa Interstate emblem on it. We arrived into Des Moines ending a great trip behind the Iowa Interstate QJ 7081.

The rear of the train back at Des Moines.

The front of the train at Des Moines. I got the car out of the parking structure for $25 before I left Des Moines. I got out of town on Interstate 235 which I took east to Interstate 80. I gassed up my rental car #1 at Colfax at Caseys and then drove east to Newton for KFC for dinner. From there I continued east on Interstate 80 to Grinnell where I exited and went into town to find the station and got a bonus.

The Iowa Interstate crosses the Union Pacific at Grinnell with the ex M&StL Station at the northwest corner of the diamond. The station is now the Depot Crossing Restaurant.

The Grinnell, Iowa Station. Across the street was a surprise.

The Grinnell Railway Express. From here I checked into the Best Western Pioneer Inn for the night. I listen to Lets Talk Trains while I wrote the end of the story. After that I relaxed the night away.

Click here for Part 2 of this story