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Old 09-24-2016, 04:49 PM   #11
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I don't have the numbers handy, but the DMVW repaints are an SD45 (presumably the one that was in MRL colors), GP40-2L, and three of the SD40-3s.

1. Iowa Interstate - best daylight action is between Newton and Iowa City. The eastbound Council Bluffs - Blue Island (CBBI) and BICB road trains typically traverse this segment in daylight. There should be a local working in CB. You may also have a local working from CB to Atlantic and back, but I don't know of any schedule for that. The shop is easily viewable public property, but to get on the south side for good sunny shots of the power, you'll need to seek permission. I'm not sure how they are with that these days.

2. RCPE, you'll want to focus on the line west of Huron for RCPE power. Many of the Huron-Tracy runs are a mixed bag of run-through Class 1 power, because they are handed straight to CP. I don't know a firm schedule (or if there is one, really) between Huron and Rapid City, but it seems something is pretty much always between those two points, trundling along working elevators and getting recrewed once a crew runs out of time. There has been a lot of chat on this road on Trainorders. If you're still a member there, search "RCPE" on the Western board. If you're not, go to Google, and enter "RCPE" and you can find posts that way. The roster is roughly half and half on G&W orange and the old DME blue and yellow, so there is still plenty of older paint around.

3. You can go to Grand Island or Columbus for the Nebraska Central. I don't really know a whole lot about their operations, but the Grand Island - Ord line seems like a pretty safe bet to find something moving. I would suggest the same method Trainorders search above, using NCRC and Nebraska Central.

4. RRVW is a very large, sparse system. The best thing you can do is go to Breckenridge, MN (just barely into MN from ND) and find a local to follow. The most reliable train is the weekday Hankinson Turn from Breck to Hank. Usually leaves Breck around 0800. The train gets on the CP main at Aberdeen Jct for the run west to Hank and back. Conversely, if you don't want to go that far east, waiting at Hank while CP rolls a few by and possibly the DMVW coming to town is certainly a viable option.

Nothing to add based on the Badlands/Rushmore area. Others may be able to offer something there.

Have a great trip!
Mike Derrick

Shortline and Regional RR forum moderator
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