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Railfan Trip Reports > 24 Hours on UPs Triple Track through NE

Date: 09/10/07 13:09
24 Hours on UPs Triple Track through NE
Author: tylerwinks

Hello fellow railfans,

On Sunday 8-26-07 I caught 143 trains in 24 hours around Kearney NE! Surprising eh? I didn't think it would be that busy, but I'm not complaining (though it was the cause for some very interupted sleep that night!). Included was an incredible 79 Coal trains (42 WB mt and 37 EB lds), 33 Freight/Grain/Potash etc (20 EB and 13 WB), 22 Intermodal (11 both ways), 6 Auto (1 EB, 5 WB) and 3 others (1 EB pass. special led by drgw heritage and 2 WB pipe trains)!

Is there a way to tell grain apart from potash/soda ash? There were some trains with solid reporting marks, like CGAX (cargill - probly grain eh?), TILX, CMO and some trains with a mixed bag of hopper cars.

Also, does anybody know the destination of loaded coal trains with UCEX, AEPX, COEH, OVEX or CAEG reporting marks? Thanks

I also stayed 24 on Wednesday 8-28-07 and caught 139 including 77 Coal, 41 Freight/Grain/Potash, 16 Intermodal, 4 Auto and 1 unknown (I forget why its unknown). Again, I didn't think it would be that busy, especially for a wednesday.

Traffic was moving pretty good across Nebraska but I'm still confused over why it moves so slowly across Iowa and Illinois. I travelled 30 all the way from Illinois. I paced a stack train out of Clinton and he was moving well - low to mid 60s - then all of a sudden around mechanicsville he stopped completely I guess because of congestion into Cedar Rapids (Why?). After a break from the tracks, I see more stopped WBs into Marshalltown (WHY?). I stayed the night in Carroll that evening and never saw my WB stack train. About 7am the next morning he finally arrives moving about 40-50mph with the next WB an hour ahead of him (WHYYY?). I then head towards Kearney and arrive at about 5pm. At 5:33 the same train shows up 15 minutes behind a WB JECX coal train. It's shocking to see how clogged this line is across IO and IL, but atleast NE is moving well (atleast this far from North Platte). Why were the trains just stopped going into every major city? Is there still a single track bridge at Cedar Rapids, because that would explain one thing. The edelstein connection was making more sense the farther I drove!

If you have any questions let me know. I'd be glad to answer!

Date: 09/11/07 06:46
Re: 24 Hours on UPs Triple Track through NE
Author: JasonCNW

No the Gauntlet as it was known has been double tracked for a couple of years now. As for the congestion I can't pin point an answer for ya but there has been tie work and CTC crossovers being installed. and the normal crew shortages and such. Also from Chicago to Mo-valley it's ATC former CNW cab signals unlike in Nebraska which is under CCS the UP cab signals.

Date: 09/11/07 11:16
Re: 24 Hours on UPs Triple Track through NE
Author: tylerwinks

I figured that single track would be doubled by now, but I'm pretty sure most of chi-mo valley is CTC. Definetely the western end of iowa and geneva sub outside of chicago. The only section that I have heard isn't CTC is in central iowa around marshalltown.

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