Rails & Trails Pages

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad

On October 22, 2013, on my way to a Convention in Kansas City, I rode the Boone & Scenic Valley Tourist Railroad in Boone, Iowa.  I had asked for a cab ride which they couldn't allow because of insurance reasons.  This line was built as the Fort Dodge, Des Moines, and Southern Railroad in the 1890s.  It was electrified (trolley cars) in 1907 and closed in 1955.  Here is our engine for today, an NW2, number 1003.
And our train includes an open-air car--which NO ONE will use today, because it is 34 degrees and snowing--SIDEWAYS!
An unusual car is this coach as it has no windows, perfect for the summer but no one will use this car today either.
This is their first class train, used for charters, dinners, picnics, etc.
They have a lot of equipment, some running, some static.  Here's a sample:
And their beautifully restored Alco RS1, built in 1951 for the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad and now painted in Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad colors.
Normal operation for this train is run-around at Fraser, about 12 miles away.  However, because of a broken rail, they will be doing a push-pull operation today.  SO--I weaslled a ride on the caboose shove, "helping" brakeman Jim!!  Here we depart the station.
Note the white stuff???
It's getting "cool" on the platform so I duck inside for a couple of shots.
Back outside on the back platform, the colors would be pretty good (colors are later here than in Wisconsin) if the sun was out.
Just as we get to the feature attraction of their railroad--the 156 foot high trestle over the Des Moines Valley, the snow stops and the sun almost comes out!! 
Here's a shot from the 'net, not our train.

Looking down!!!
We head down the hill to the foot of the valley to cross the Des Moines River.
And here's the Des Moines River.
The sign says Stone Quarry but this siding is only used for the First Class Dinner Train to "duck into the hole" and allow the regular train to pass.
We follow the Des Moines River.  The bridge ahead is at Fraser, the endpoint of our trip.
The broken rail is on the highway crossing ahead, so we stop here.
I strongly recommend you take a ride on this beautiful tourist line.  A ticket costs $20 and includes the $8 admission to the Iowa Railroad Museum next door to the station.  I'll do it again, but I'll pick a warmer day!!!

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