The Iowa Divide:  Railroads of America 1
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The Iowa Divide: Railroads of America 1

August 13, 2019

Well, we have a bright sunny early April
morning here, starting out right at dawn so we can get a good start on the day here. Go out and do
a day of train chasing and photographing. We’re starting here in Omaha,
Nebraska. And our itinerary today should take
us across the river into Iowa to see some of the Chicago
Northwestern, as well as see some of the operation in the Omaha area with the
Union Pacific and Burlington Northern as well. First thing we’re going to do is go by and
pick up a copy of the train line up to see what trains are going to be
operating on the Union Pacific today, and interchanging with the Chicago Northwestern. That will give us a good idea of where to be and when to
see the action. We also have with us today our radio
scanner so we can listen to the radio chatter between the
dispatcher an the train crews, and that will also give us a good clue where to
be and when so we will maximize our photo
opportunities today. We’re spending the first part over
morning here down at the the old Burlington and Union Station here in Omaha where the
platform heel Burlington station which is used by the new Amtrak station that’s the first thing that we were able
to catch today was an OK number six the California Zephyr coming
into town that dream comes in spent more than a time here while they
we feel it and water in the car take up some male line of today we have to an unusual situation
that there’s a problem with one of the had
every card this particular car was wet and catcalls the and a material handling car contains a sealed carpool US Mail heading for
Chicago the speaker car had a mechanical problem
and we set out you can see it behind me here and the station track and wallet they were am paper setting
out that one card we saw Burlington Northern local heading west past protest the people
here heading out to do some work probably for their from the brass cap
with the west about the same time the Union Pacific
local came out with some card at the Bagram
pitches across the way here the Pacific you build me a station
platform cracks to set up their feedback operation they
load and unload truck trailers for rail cars as well as
international shipping containers from there double stack railcars wanting to see a lot of here at omaha RK line double stacked containers we have a special arrangement union
pacific the ship’s KY in containers for Nebraska be for the
west coast for export to Japan to Lodos a out of the rail cars use a special Peter
heavy equipment just nickname The Pink Panther with simply
dries up picks up the container of the top of the
stack and got guys over with the doctor casita to haul away to
over the next go to be shortly after those trains went by we
saw Burlington Northern coltrane heading on down the hill across the river toward iowa loader full call for over there those those Beatles
cars and they’re praying cares about a hundred times call a
put-together 110 card be about 14,000 train including the way the card pretty
Happy Tree next train we Sollers a Burlington Northern local
which is still off to my left over here it the way the Burlington Northern gets
to Council Bluffs interchange card union
pacific first step to back out of their yard down along the river in Omaha back out
there ya right up next to them Amtrak station and then wait for
clearance to cross the bridge over the Union Pacific yard Council
Bluffs Iowa about the time they were backing up to
Bro northern local the Union Pacific train came across the
river with the a long string of the won’t have a car grain heading south
this particular train it was called the Holiday Train contains
cars for the Kansas City southern which we deliver to them Kansas City and they will handle and
output to go hopefully from here will be able to
continue our trek across this season the action over an hour we’re standing now at the east and a
Missouri Valley Iowa this is the location the Chicago
Northwestern where the line from Chicago split into
two lines one line is down and I’ll to counsel us in Omaha the other line
heads on West interchange with the union pacific at Fremont
Nebraska heading out Easter here we hope to see a a lot of action on skyre northwestern
right now there’s one train which is working its way into town from the East
that we saw it before he set up our camera here
which is a a double stack train coming from Chicago
heading toward the Pacific Coast hope we will see it come through here a
little while we were just came from the other end it down there is a a mixed freight train on the east and
the West End it down rather that is a Billy switching in the yard
and looks like our double-deck trains almost here never mind is a killer train is switching that was on the other
end handed down here comes and okay looks like he’s backed up to pick
up there and restrain and continue on westward as soon as he
clears town like expect that our double stack train will be right behind him by by the well are manifest rain is the connected here and the brakeman put up
the road to they made their task we have a little
bit of a wait you gotta walk back to the phone and it rains they don’t have
computers anymore and as soon as he finishes the the hike
can know it will be ready to to move on out here and fancier are
stacker come through just karmic strain on the sky northwestern
that to mix manifest with alright everything
is finished watching their cars in Missouri Valley backed up got the
rest their train made their test they had to back up some
more to head south or dome towards Council
Bluffs the line along the river because the
switch is right in the middle the yard so once
he put his train together in the back all the way up in itself well you have an interesting situation
on the Chicago Northwestern today they’re doing so track or western
Missouri Valley here on the line to Fremont and that has everything kinda
bottled up all the trains are trying to figure out
where they’re gonna go and the dispatchers are pulling their hair out this particular train behind me right
here is double stack train which normally would energy into the universe
in a good pre-war and keep on going west to the west coast for these international containers which these
containers get loan on ships for the Far East for Japan taiwan et cetera at the moment to the dispatcher told them that they’re
going to have to wait a while because all the other trains are their
bottled up with the track work so they just got out their welcome or go
to Kentucky Fried Chicken & have some lunch so instead of waiting
for them to get back with with that with the birds were going to get our car and keep growing he says
he’ll be fine bomb but ball right after I left Missouri Valley the
the first rain that we saw was a westbound coltrane amply trainers heading back for Powder River Basin Wyoming another black
diamonds that was just a few miles east of town from there we went too long in Iowa they
were hoping to Kathy westbound train based on what we
saw on the singles but they changed the the lineup on a sin while we’re waiting for westbound
eastbound snuck up on us we would get a really good picture of it was a eastbound on the
stack train but more containers in the Far East End the heart ca from there we proceeded on past the town
dunlap iowan got a nice nice shot have a westbound merchandise
train wide writing to put on it getting in probably fourth Council Bluffs do switchover Argentina areas where are there in for standing now few miles west the town of Denison Iowa we’ve got about
40 miles east from Missouri Valley following the Chicago
Northwestern Railroad this airline which eventually makes it
all the way east chicago very heavily traveled mainline and as a
client eastern Missouri Valley its following the Boyer River which
across a several times including on this one read right behind us the
parents tend to follow rivers when they have to climb a grade
gonna give you a you have any easier grade them to follow
as they work their way over the ups and downs in the terrain a
few miles the other side of Denison we reach a point called the iowa divide at their point any rain that falls
Easter their drains into the Mississippi River Valley
quality range of old west to their dreams in the Missouri River Valley also
following the boy a river through this same area
is another rail line called the Chicago Central
Pacific it is basically a small regional where road
goes from Chicago to Omaha in Sioux City Iowa he attends a
parallel is going on at work to do this area but we don’t expect to see any
trains on it today since you doing some maintenance work while we’re waiting for some action in
the sky with Northwestern we have a good opportunity here to watch the maintenance crew do some work on the
Chicago Central Pacific this particular gang that we see behind
us here working is doing a process known as servicing
and whining they have a low spot the track on the approach to the bridge here they come through with %uh three-step
process first thing they do is come through the
ballot II new rock ballad track got a low spot the next part of the process is to come
through with the ballast regulator to distribute the ballast evenly a along
the track finally coaching call it amber is
brought in which lists the track to the right and drop small metal fingers down
between the tide to push balance underneath the ties to
support it the cracka wines no on on but but ok yeah we’re now standing on the grass today I
would divide just east of Arcadia Iowa we have not gone about sit little over
sixty miles east to Missouri Valley in the relative quiet about 300dpi from here we good drop east down towards the Ohio River Valley Canada Richard Boone Iowa go out there today yes same here now down great the train before it by the hot be back
train with truck trailers on placard and if you were tri-level %ah to react
to the front and hearing on mobile we follow that up from the town of
Denison Iowa just a few miles to the west here where it met coltrane was heading
westbound another MP heading back to Powder River Basin in by the way back to Omaha this afternoon we had some good luck in her saying
we’ve got done it then I’ll Plaza unusual operate quiet guy who was
an empty or crane and iron ore train on its way
back to you this is the longest that went viral in
the country we got the VM people Becky next year got fifty always eastern Missouri Valley down double Dec great K with that one internetworld shipping line with great
containers from the party to the United States this
taking the train started out go to Washington level the ship them out
on his way to Chicago now we find ourselves back where we
started the day behind me here union pacific CVS yard behind you Union Station and the other side it is
the old Burlington station and were impact stop this morning what’s going on right now is they’re
putting together the the victory was gonna hit Wes Brown for norplant away go with all the trailers containers are
here a lot today 102 long exciting and fun-filled day


  • Reply lcar4000 September 15, 2016 at 2:35 am

    Nice to see those CNW engines again

  • Reply HighIronofWisconsin October 17, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    LOL @ 9:25 when he's caught off guard by the local about to reverse past him.

  • Reply Steven Metzger October 25, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you, John!!!

  • Reply Larry R Wendell Jr April 24, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Nice video, but you need to correct your spelling, LOL :o)

  • Reply Scooby Carr August 1, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Does the loading of Nebraska beef in shipping containers to Japan on Union Pacific in Omaha still happen today?

  • Reply Martin Doyle August 25, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Great video. Good commentary ☺

  • Reply peter charles October 24, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    A very well paced, informative video with a narration for a change from watching 110 coal cars rumble by. An obviously older video since most of the freight cars are graffiti free. job well done

  • Reply King doughnut October 31, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Many of those CNW GEs are owned by Canadian National today, in CN paint. At 14:48.

  • Reply Noah S. November 16, 2017 at 5:16 am

    Great production 🙂

  • Reply Ms Alice December 31, 2017 at 5:13 am

    this must be before ditch lights were req'd

  • Reply Roosevelt McCarter January 20, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    What happened to the Caboose's? We're they retired or scrapped as well as transfer trains?

  • Reply Tommy Thomason April 5, 2018 at 12:17 am

    Those raked out SD40-2's with the six long axles and stretched porches, look intimidating and are the best looking freight locomotives built. Union Pacific had over 600 of them (including the straight, shorter SD40's) and Burlington Northern had over 800. It proved itself a tough and reliable locomotive.

  • Reply Vicki Gilbertson December 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Great railroading time machine. Love your video's. Great commentary.

  • Reply Nicky Gaming February 9, 2019 at 7:11 am

    11:18 what type of railroad crossing is that?

  • Reply dcwarr14 March 13, 2019 at 2:06 am

    The rail environment in the Omaha area was far more interesting then than it is today. I greatly enjoyed this look back.

  • Reply kitiowa March 26, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    I get a kick out of the auto scribe writing yeah for the train horn.

  • Reply captainmorgan757 May 5, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    At 13:33, "… a bottle neck trying to figure out where the trains are to go…". Twenty-six years later and still nothing has changed!

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