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Nostalgia & History > CRANDIC Geeps in Iowa City June 15, 1994


Date: 01/24/23 10:15
CRANDIC Geeps in Iowa City June 15, 1994
Author: erielackawanna

Anyone familiar with CRANDIC ops in 1994? I would love to know what job I shot and what they were servicing.

I was attending a summer school workshop at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA back in June of 1994. As with many of my pre-internet trip, I arrived with zero knowledge of what the local rail ops were. I did look at my dad's CRANDIC photos from when he went through in 1951, but of course all those glorious interurbans were gone by the time I got there 43 years later. Eventually I figured out that an Iowa Interstate job seemed to leave going west in the early morning, but the thing was staged with the head end a couple miles away and Iowa City in June of 1994 was the worst humidity I had ever experienced. I literally never managed to walk to the head end of the train. The CRANDIC tracks that came onto campus were the most intriguing to me, but three or four days in, I hadn't seen or heard a thing. Then, one evening, walking from my hotel to campus for an evening lecture, I had four GEEPs run past me in screaming light. I ran back to the hotel and got my camera, hoping against hope they would still be there when I returned. By the time I got back, the screaming light was gone, but the job was still there. They were basically finishing up and I managed these three shots. I was late to the lecture, but it was worth it to get these images. I was, as I recall, a bit damp from head to toe after my hotel back and forth.








Date: 01/24/23 10:43
Re: CRANDIC Geeps in Iowa City June 15, 1994
Author: AndyBrown

You witnessed the normal evening trip to Iowa City (from Cedar Rapids) going the "old way" which was the original interurban route.  Crandic would run a daily train with interchange traffic for Iowa Interstate, mostly high tonnage stuff from ADM.  Prior to Crandic's arrival in Iowa City, Iowa Interstate's local crew would have shoved interchange traffic going to the Crandic, well down the Hills line past the point where the inbound Crandic job would  need to stop.  Crandic would arrive and pull their train past the interchange switch along Maiden Lane, IAIS power would tie on and drag the inbound train up the "hill track" to the IAIS yard on the upper level.  Sometimes if tonnage was really heavy they would make 2 pulls.

After IAIS pulled the inbound cars, the Crandic power would tie onto the Cedar Rapids bound cars that had been shoved down the branch and return north to Cedar Rapids.  

This was always a good evening show and especially so in the high summer months.  

Later on (early to mid 2000s) as interchange traffic increased and the city of Iowa City got more agitated due to lengthy crossing blockages during these interchange moves, the Crandic started operating to Iowa City the "long way" via their former Milw line through Amana, which connected to the Iowa Interstate west of Homestead.  The Crandic crews and power would operate into Iowa City over IAIS and perform the interchange work  in the IAIS yard before returning the same way.

Still later around 2004 Iowa Interstate took over all Cedar Rapids traffic and started operating with their crews and power from Iowa City to Cedar Rapids via Homestead and the Amana line, doing the interchange work at the "900 yard" on the far southwest side of Cedar Rapids.  Then sometime around 2010 Iowa Interstate's brand new South Amana yard and engine facility was built west of Homestead and all Crandic interchange is performed by short turns between SA yard and the 900 yard in Cedar Rapids.

The original Crandic interurban line between CR and IC that you witnessed the operation of, is still intact but used only for car storage and local customer service.

Andy



Date: 01/24/23 10:46
Re: CRANDIC Geeps in Iowa City June 15, 1994
Author: erielackawanna

Thank you so much.

AndyBrown Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You witnessed the normal evening trip to Iowa City
> (from Cedar Rapids) going the "old way" which was
> the original interurban route.  Crandic would run
> a daily train with interchange traffic for Iowa
> Interstate, mostly high tonnage stuff from ADM. 
> Prior to Crandic's arrival in Iowa City, Iowa
> Interstate's local crew would have shoved
> interchange traffic going to the Crandic, well
> down the Hills line past the point where the
> inbound Crandic job would  need to stop. 
> Crandic would arrive and pull their train past the
> interchange switch along Maiden Lane, IAIS power
> would tie on and drag the inbound train up the
> "hill track" to the IAIS yard on the upper
> level.  Sometimes if tonnage was really heavy
> they would make 2 pulls.
>
> After IAIS pulled the inbound cars, the Crandic
> power would tie onto the Cedar Rapids bound cars
> that had been shoved down the branch and return
> north to Cedar Rapids.  
>
> This was always a good evening show and especially
> so in the high summer months.  
>
> Later on (early to mid 2000s) as interchange
> traffic increased and the city of Iowa City got
> more agitated due to lengthy crossing blockages
> during these interchange moves, the Crandic
> started operating to Iowa City the "long way" via
> their former Milw line through Amana, which
> connected to the Iowa Interstate west of
> Homestead.  The Crandic crews and power would
> operate into Iowa City over IAIS and perform the
> interchange work  in the IAIS yard before
> returning the same way.
>
> Still later around 2004 Iowa Interstate took over
> all Cedar Rapids traffic and started operating
> with their crews and power from Iowa City to Cedar
> Rapids via Homestead and the Amana line, doing the
> interchange work at the "900 yard" on the far
> southwest side of Cedar Rapids.  Then sometime
> around 2010 Iowa Interstate's brand new South
> Amana yard and engine facility was built west of
> Homestead and all Crandic interchange is performed
> by short turns between SA yard and the 900 yard in
> Cedar Rapids.
>
> The original Crandic interurban line between CR
> and IC that you witnessed the operation of, is
> still intact but used only for car storage and
> local customer service.
>
> Andy



Date: 01/24/23 10:48
Re: CRANDIC Geeps in Iowa City June 15, 1994
Author: AndyBrown

Forgot to add, while Crandic was in Iowa City for the interchange work they would switch their local customers.  I think where you were standing is next to the University steam plant and the crew is making a runaround move to get around some of the cars in the background, or perhaps getting on the north end of some cars to shove over to Maiden Lane for additional interchange to IAIS.

Andy



Date: 01/24/23 11:41
Re: CRANDIC Geeps in Iowa City June 15, 1994
Author: refarkas

These are well worth getting sweaty.
Bob



Date: 01/25/23 08:23
Re: CRANDIC Geeps in Iowa City June 15, 1994
Author: cabman

Thanks, Andy, for the very thorough explanation of operations in the Iowa City and Amana areas. 



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