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IAIS 1st Sub

     The Iowa Interstate runs a pair of road freights in and out of the QC everday and a switch engine in Rock Island. Thanks to a recent schedule change, the IAIS can be seen more often in the daytime. To make things simpler, lets follow the westbound BICB (Blue Island to Council Bluffs) roadfreight out of Rock Island. BICB usually departs Rock Island in the early morning hours, generally between 0300-0500. As it heads west, the plan is to meet the eastbound ICRI (Iowa City to Rock Island) turn at either North Star (Wilton, IA) or Walcott. After the meet BICB continues to Iowa City, arriving after sun-up. The crew does any work with the train and drops the engines off at the engine facility and waits for the eastbound CBBI (Council Bluffs to Blue Island) train to arrive. When CBBI gets in, the crews swap trains. The crew out of Newton that brought in CBBI takes BICB back to Newton and the Rock Island crew that brought in BICB returns to Rock Island with CBBI. The "plan" is to have CBBI departing by 0900, but it can be as late as noon. Once CBBI departs Iowa City, it will generally meet the westbound RIIC (Rock Island to Iowa City) turn at North Star or Walcott depending on how quickly RIIC gets out of Rock Island (generally before 0700). CBBI gets into Rock Island around noon and after making a pickout, a new crew departs with it in the mid-afternoon, leaving Rock Island by 1700. CBBI will head east and meet the next BICB at Atkinson or Bureau, depending on how quickly BICB gets through the CSXT/Metra trackage east of Utica, IL. On weekdays BICB has been getting into Rock Island after midnight, but on the weekends it can be found before sunset. BICB/CBBI run with any number of 700-series GP38-2s, while the ICRI/RIIC trains run with the 100-series SD38-2s and 700-series GP38-2s if needed. Generally the 400s and 600s don't come east of Iowa City, but if power is short they can be found in Rock Island.

     Rock Island hosts a switch engine, RISW. The RISW's go onduty at 1000, 1600 and 2359. With the new schedule change I haven't pinned down what each job does, but I have seen the 2359 crew going out to the Milan Branch in the morning, between 0600-0800, but that can change depending on what work needs to be done in the yard or in the area. Other tasks for the RISw include interchanging with the IC&E in Davenport west of Taylor Street (former Missouri Division Jct), the Milan Branch, Midland scrap/Paper on the Moline siding, National Railway Equipment and Anchor Lumber, both in Silvis.

     Rock Island also originates traffic for Peoria which can run at any given day throughout the week. It is general practice to have the RIPE trains out in the morning while the crew returns the next day on PERI. RIPE's are more common during and after the harvest season, as grain traffic is up. More often then not, the Bureau switch crew will cab out to Rock Island to pick up the train during the summer to help save a crew. The IAIS also handles coal traffic for ADM in Cedar Rapids. The coal trains are interchanged off the CN at Peoria and run through to Cedar Rapids as the PECR. The empty CRPE trains generally return 3 days later. For the past several months, the coal trains have been running about once a week with one trainset in the loop. The coal trains rate the largest consists on the IAIS, with loads receiving 6 units out of Peoria with another unit or two being added enroute. The Bureau switch crew is again utilized for the coal trains during the summer which puts their arrival in the QC in the evening hours. During the winter, though, these trains can show up at anytime!

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