Friday, October 25, 2013

Today's Train of Thought- The Rockford Files, October 25, 2013

Today's Train of Thought takes us to the Hawkeye State right around harvest time, not to mention Hawkeyes football season.

While not an Iowa alumni himself, Iowa Northern President Dan Sabin has been operating the Hawkeye Express shuttle, taking fans from a station in Coralville, IA to Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City for Iowa Football home games since 2006.

Besides the seasonal Hawkeye Express shuttle, the 163-mile Iowa Northern earns its keep hauling ethanol, corn, RV parts, grain, fertilizer, windmill components and farming machinery. The ethanol boom of the last decade has been particularly good to the Iowa Northern, although management and most industry observers typically caution against a carrier being overly-dependent on a single commodity. Still, inbound trainloads of grain and outbound unit trains of ethanol keep the Cedar Rapids, IA-based line busy.

Here, contributor James House caught a freshly re-crewed Iowa Northern train powered by GP38-2s #3801 and #3805 accelerating as they leave the town of Rockford, IA on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon on October 5th, 2011.

Even in the heart of corn country, there's still some fall foliage to be seen.

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