Interesting car movements

Clark Propst

I’ve had a chance to see an M&StL train list from Oct. 21, 1952. The train, 196, ran from Ft Dodge to Des Moines Ia. had 19 loads 3 empties.
First two cars ahead of the caboose were NP 61143, 61101 listed as empty flats headed for Peoria. My first thought was why are these empty cars heading the wrong way? Are they an articulated set? Then I remembered there were large heavy equipment builders in Peoria. Were those cars assigned there? Next, why are these cars off on a secondary mainline? To get to Peoria they’ll travel from Ft Dodge to Des Moines, then on the Q (via trackage rights) to Oskaloosa Ia. before being added to a Peoria bound train. They must have delivered some heavy equipment up that way? Maybe to the Gypsum mines around Ft Dodge? Was there implement plants there? Cars could have been assigned to one and delivered implements to rural Iowa?
Second interesting move is three PFE reefers 90703, 2381, 6689 and one MDT 10441. 90703 has a load of melons and the other three carried grapes. These cars are from Ft Dodge (where train originated) bound for the Wabash in Des Moines. To me not knowing, or caring, much about western produce movements I’d think the eastern gateway would be Omaha - Council Bluffs? The IC run from CB to Ft Dodge. Maybe that’s how the M&StL got the cars? The RI ran from CB straight to Des Moines. Why weren’t the cars routed that way? The Wabash had a line into CB. Why weren’t the cars delivered to them there?
Fun stuff to ponder...
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa

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