Friday, July 22, 2011

Today's Train of Thought: Is this Heaven? No, It's Iowa- July 21, 2011

While no ghosts of baseball legends were able to appear for Today's Train of Thought, there's still plenty of rail traffic originating in Iowa thanks to the various ventures in ethanol in addition to the more traditional application of corn.

In the northwestern corner of the state, the Dakota & Iowa has earned its keep hauling gravel, ballast and aggregates from the LG Everist quarry in Dell Rapids, SD to interchange with the BNSF in Sioux Falls, SD and Canadian National and the Union Pacific in Sioux City, IA while operating on ex-Milwaukee Road tracks owned by the state of South Dakota and tracakge rights on BNSF south of Sioux Falls. The D&I has gotten by with chopnose GP9s and GP7s until fairly recently, when the ethanol boom and longer trains from the Dell Rapids quarry called for bigger power. Unlike many other railroads, the D&I retained many of their 1st generation Geeps, using them for switching the yards in Dell Rapids or Sioux Falls. With that in mind, though, the newer power seems to be the norm out on the road.

Here, contributor John Leopard caught D&I SD39 #4028 leading GP50 #2512 northbound through Westfield, IA with a load of tank cars bound the the ethanol plat at Hawarden, IA at the end of June 2009.

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