News From August 2004


Posted Saturday, August 28, 2004
LLPX 2805 and LLPX 2807, the last of the quartet of SD38-2s to be delivered, were trailing (but providing power) on Saturday, 28-Aug-2004's BICB. Also on the train were the other two SD38-2s and four other 4 axle motors. IAIS 706, the first of the new 700s placed in service, is at Iowa City and expected to be on tonight's (28-Aug) ICRI/RIIC trains. - NDH


Posted Thursday, August 19, 2004
As as been somewhat unofficial now for several months, the Ski Train, along with two of its F40s, will be leased to Iowa Interstate for operating a shuttle between parking in Coralville and Kinnick Stadium. This will allow University of Iowa football fans to park for free in Coralville and be shuttled to the game itself, alleviating traffic congestion around the main UofI campus.

Trains should start running this job on 4-Sep-2004 (the first home game) and end on 11-Nov-2004 (the last home game). For a full Hawkeyes schedule, see this page. Trains should start running two hours before the game and run through the first quarter, and then pick up again at the beginning of the fourth and continue until 90 minutes after the game. Fare will supposedly be $5 round trip.

The train will be 11 cars and two of the refurbished Ski Train F40s, operated one at each end to eliminate any need to back or turn the train. Delivery is expected via BNSF the Sunday before the first game (so 29-Aug-2004). Inside, the train will be staffed by local volunteers.

For those not familiar with the Ski Train, it operates during the winter and for a few weeks each summer from Denver, CO, to Winter Park, just on the other side of the Continental Divide. It's a long-standing Rio Grande tradition, carried on by Phillip Anschutz after he helped sell/merge the Rio Grande into SP and then UP. Jim Griffin has an excellent Ski Train page detailing the modern equipment. The F40s (all three, all ex-Amtrak) can be seen in this photo, taken by Dave Sis on 11-Jul-2004 and used with permission (from DRGW.Net's Photo of the Day).

Like I've always said - my favorite two teams are Iowa State and whoever's playing against the University of Iowa. - NDH


Posted Monday, August 16, 2004
The second leased SD38 for the ICCR/CRIC jobs is now on the railroad. It's apparently on NTBI today (16-Aug-2004) to be set out at the Iowa City shops. Also, the 700s will apparently be sent out to the various crew terminals for training on the new hot start feature they're equipped with, and after that be placed into regular service. Update (16-Aug-2004): The word is that LLPX 2809 has the full Northshore Mining light package intact - meaning Gyralights on both ends! No word yet if they work, or if the crews will turn them on, but it's still a possibility. - NDH


Posted Friday, August 13, 2004
After five days back home, there's so much updating to do... LLPX 2802, the first of the four SD38s, is now on the property and regularly working the ICCR/CRIC trains. 706 and 718, the first two new GP38s, have also arrived, delivered by the IC&E on 10-Aug-2004 and then promptly carried west (dead-in-tow) to Council Bluffs on IAIS. David Colstrom has sent more pictures, so I'll get those posted shortly. Also, Joe Atkinson has provided a preliminary list of LLPX to IAIS 700s mapping, so I'm starting to work on unit histories and roster updates. He also reports that the units have several creature-comfort improvements, like higher-backed seats and refrigerators.

As far as existing power... The word is that 801's main generator will be used to repair 800, and then 801 will be scrapped. 802 is still up and healthy, apparently working the Bluffs switcher by itself on Thursday. 466's generator is also back from repair, so the other orange/white ex-IC motor will be back on the road shortly as well. (Thanks to Joe for this info...)

I'm also working on a five day look at the IAIS on the days immediately ahead of the arrival of the 700s. Included are a great number of trains powered by Paducah rebuilds, and one headed up by none other than 303 itself. Also will be a look at the new ICCR/CRIC trains. It should be posted soon (ie, this weekend) in's main trip reports section. I'm also headed back in a week, so there will be a second report looking at, hopefully, the first two 700s in action. - NDH


Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2004
There was just a report on the IAIS list that LLPX 2806 is headed north to WSOR's Horicon, WI, shops to be repainted... supposedly to IAIS colors! This would be an incredible turn of events of it pans out as true. The only question is why 2802, now on IAIS and definitely not in IAIS colors, made it without a visit to the paint shop. Update (12-Aug-2004): 2806 is not one of the units bound for IAIS. The units will be 2802, 2805, 2807, and 2809. Sorry, folks, no SD38s in IAIS colors... yet. - NDH


Posted Monday, August 2, 2004
Thanks to David Colstrom, we have pictures of the first of the new 700s to emerge from Mid-American Car in KC - GP38 706. They're all 1024x768 and about 125kb, just as a warning for those of you on slow lines. Photo #1, Photo #2, Photo #3, Photo #4.

I'd like to start building an album of the 700s being delivered, so if anybody sees them in transit, photos would be greatly appreciated. It's not that far from KC to Council Bluffs, but who knows what adventures UP will take the units on in transit... *grin*

Also, to handle the new ICCR/CRIC trains that replace the CRANDIC road job, IAIS is receiving four leased LLPX SD38-2s of Northshore Mining heritage. Update (7/2 - 0911h): Andy Brown just posted to the IAIS list that the first SD38, LLPX 2802, is the fourth unit on what we think was BICB, through Wilton, IA, at 0913h. The unit is ex-GATX 1238, ex-Reserve Mining 1238, and should have a frame number of 786142-2. - NDH

IAIS engine iconAll images on this site are copyrighted by their respective creators, and used with permission.
All Iowa Interstate logos and trademarks are property of Iowa Interstate Railroad, Ltd. and Railroad Development Corporation.
Questions? Comments? Please email us at
  Last modified on November 28, 2010, at 09:24 PM