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Appanoose County Community Railroad Albia Limited August 16, 2008

A Southern Appalachia Railway Museum Rare Mileage Trip

by Chris Guenzler

8/15/2008 I woke up at the Depot Inn & Suites and following a continental breakfast I headed out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point for some train watching. This morning it was five westbounds: 4 BNSF and 1 UP and 1 eastbound BNSF plus Amtrak's Southwest Chief running a few minutes late. I then gave a tour of the Exhibition of Amtrak History to two of my Rare Mileage Friends who both had stayed at the hotel last night. I called Enterprise for a noon pick up and they arrived late.

Because of their lateness, I caught this Amish buggy going by the front of the hotel on the US Highway 64. They came and shuttled David and I up to Kirksville to get our rental cars. I got a PT Cruiser. I then went to find the depot Carl and I spotted in Kirksville.

This is the former CB&Q Kirksville Station last used in the mid 1970's when the line from here to West Quincy was taken up. I stopped at KFC for lunch which I took back to the Depot Inn & Suites. I did my wash and relaxed the afternoon away in the Pullman Suite before I went to the Red Rooster for dinner. Later I went back out to the Lookout Point to wait for the westbound Southwest Chief before I returned to the Inn for the night.

8/16/2008 I was up at 5:30 AM and after a quick breakfast, I loaded the PT Cruiser and off I went north up US Highway 63 north to Lancaster. I made a left on Missouri Highway 202 and in Glenwood went by were the Wabash had a bridge over the road. This road followed the old grade into Iowa as the road became Iowa Highway 202 which I took to Moulton. I turned left onto Iowa Highway 2 which took me to Centerville after I went under the old Wabash Line on the tracks we would be riding today. In Centerville I turned left on Iowa Highway 5 and made a left that took me to a line of motive power in storage.

A mix of UP, BN and FURX motive power. Looking down the tracks I saw where our train was. I drove over to it and parked.

I was met by Bart Jennings, trip organizer. I went to the train and put my stuff on the rear seat after I had checked in with Sarah Jennings. I was then off for some pictures.

Appanoose County Community Railroad Albia Limited August 16, 2008

It was a beautiful clear cool morning to start our trip.

Appanoose County Community Railroad 116, our power for this trip along with two unnumbered covered open cars.

The train posed ready for the trip. Now we would wait for the rest of the riders to appear.

A Brief History

The city of Centerville formed the Appanoose County Community Railroad in 1983 after the Burlington Northern {BN} had applied to abandon their line through town. Using local funds to match state and federal grants to purchase the line, they ran their first train on December 18, 1984 using ten miles of former BN and Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific {CRIP} to reach the Norfolk Southern {NS} interchange near Moulton. The former Wabash Line from Moberly to Des Moines, now NS, announced plans to abandon its line from Moberly to Albia again cutting off the rail connections to the outside world. More funds were raised and they acquired the Moulton to Albia trackage to interchange with the BN.

The Trip

With everyone aboard, we departed backwards heading to the end of track on this former CB&Q line portion on this railroad.

The train crossed this street.

Two views of the former crossing of the Rock Island before we crossed it.

The train entered the scrap yard and the end of track. We reversed direction and started the trip to Albia.

Our train ran by the Appanoose County Community Railroad Shops.

At the shops a grain car was being loaded.

The train went by all the stored motive power waiting to go to the Relco Shops in Albia.

A new grain elevator is being built in Centerville that will be using the railroad when done. There are two other large plants that ship cars by rail.

One of those industries can be seen in the left of this photo.

Except in the cities, most crossings are protected by cross bucks.

New rails and ties have been added to the railroad.

The line ran through the Iowa natural forests.

The train next ran across a bridge over a local road.

A line through the woods.

The train came to the CB&Q former signal for the former crossing of the former Rock Island Railroad.

Our route ran east through the trees.

There was a box car on a hill at a farm.

The train took a curve to take as near the former Rock Island crossing.

The connection to the former Rock Island we would soon be traveling.

This is where the Rock Island line went west and crossed the old CB&Q at the CB&Q Connection. We stopped here to do a pair of Photo Runbys.

The train did the back up move.

The train did Photo Runby 1.

The train did the Photo Runby 2. We all reboarded the train to continue the trip to Albia.

The train is now rolling east on the former Rock Island Railroad segment of this railroad.

Our train was rolling east on the old Rock Island.

The train was passing beneath a road bridge.

The view back at the bridge.

The train went by an old Rock Island signal control box.

We traveled a little further down the tracks and once we came to Church Road, we all unloaded for another Photo Runby.

The train did Photo Runby 3.

The view looking down Church Road. We all reboarded the train.

Straight and true through the woods our train went.

The train went by a set of Rock Island block signals.

The train crossed the Chariton River.

The train continued through the trees.

Our train ran through the Iowa countryside.

Two more views down the tree lined route.

The train went underneath another highway bridge.

Our train went by another set of Rock Island block signals.

Our passengers enjoying the fresh air and the views.

I found this part of the tracks very interesting. The tracks are on a fill and to hold the support for the tracks on the fill, steel cables run under the tracks holding both sides of the fill together.

The tracks cut through a small cut.

This is where the switch was that took the former Rock Island mainline into a cut that took it under Moulton Junction. This track was removed in 1993. We are now on the former Rock Island connecting track to the former Wabash Railroad.

This is where the former interchange connection to the Wabash was.

The train taking the new connection at Moulton Junction to get onto the former Wabash portion of this railroad.

Click here for Part 2 of this story