IC Service on the Iowa Division


Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

The fascinating information about the blurring of craft distinctions in the operation of IC hot trains was totally interesting. How common would this have been on other railroads?

Although the IC and banana traffic has always seemed to be a "natural", one does not naturally put the two together when referring to the Iowa Division. Am I mistaken that Jim Singer presented clinics in Naperville and Cocoa Beach a year ago pointing out that Dubuque, Iowa (a major point on the Iowa Division) was a major banana terminal?

When thinking of "hot" trains on the Iowa Division, we have traditionally thought of the eastbound meat trains out of Omaha and Sioux City. If there were now "hot" banana trains as well, these would seem to have been all westbound.

Denny
--
Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento


Andy Sperandeo <asperandeo@...>
 

Denny Anspach wrote:

"The fascinating information about the blurring of craft distinctions in the operation of IC hot trains was totally interesting. How common would this have been on other railroads?"

See Jack Elwood's story about firing the "Chief" on the Santa Fe's Los
Angeles Division in the "Steam Glory" special edition from "Classic Trains"
Magazine. The firemen of the road and helper engines pulled the pin and
lined the switch to quickly cut off the helper at Summit, Calif., rather
than waiting for the brakeman to come forward from the train. I've heard
Jack tell this story in person and he said the Santa Fe enginemen were more
concerned about staying on schedule than respecting craft distinctions.

So long,

Andy

Andy Sperandeo
Executive Editor
MODEL RAILROADER Magazine
262-796-8776, ext. 461
Fax 262-796-1142
asperandeo@...


Chet French <cfrench@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Denny Anspach <danspach@m...> wrote:
The fascinating information about the blurring of craft
distinctions
in the operation of IC hot trains was totally interesting. How
common
would this have been on other railroads?

Although the IC and banana traffic has always seemed to be a
"natural", one does not naturally put the two together when
referring
to the Iowa Division. Am I mistaken that Jim Singer presented
clinics in Naperville and Cocoa Beach a year ago pointing out that
Dubuque, Iowa (a major point on the Iowa Division) was a major
banana
terminal?

When thinking of "hot" trains on the Iowa Division, we have
traditionally thought of the eastbound meat trains out of Omaha and
Sioux City. If there were now "hot" banana trains as well, these
would seem to have been all westbound.

Denny,

The IC, in the steam and early diesel period, did a good banana
interchange business with the CB&Q at East Dubuque. Cars were set-
out on the "banana" track at that location by the westbound IC trains
for the Q to pick up and forward to the Twin Cities and beyond. I
believe the track and its name still survives today. The business
lasted about ten years beyond the period that this group deals with.
I hired out as a brakeman at Freeport in 1960 and recall coming out
of Chicago on a westward trip a year or two later with 17 cars of E
Dubq bananas behind the engines.

In talking to the old heads over the years, everyone did work
together in the steam days with the head brakeman helping the fireman
take water and coal and sometimes helping clean the fire. The
fireman often lined switches when the brakeman was out of position.
Even after I went to work, when I had to drop off and make a cut
behind a set-out, the fireman would line switches ahead of the engine
if needed. The brakemen also assisted in set-out and picking up
diesel units enroute coupling the MU hoses and cables. I also spent
more time in the engineers seat than I would ever want an offical to
hear about. Several times running the engines for the entire run for
a sick engineer.

Chet French
Dixon, IL


Steven Delibert <STEVDEL@...>
 

Judging by old (1930's) Railroad Magazine stories, it was certainly
common for engineers and head brakemen to give firemen a break on
"hand-bombers", especially on demanding jobs with big engines, heavy grades,
and/or high speed. In terms of "doctrine", just as a measure of humanity,
and as a bit of "labor solidarity" for a "brother" that was at least as
important as "labor solidarity" in terms of protecting job titles and
crafts.
It also seems to have been almost a part of the job description --
though I haven't seen it written down -- that a head brakeman would go into
the back end of the coal compartment and shove coal forward where the
fireman could reach it, unless they picked up a couple of hobos who earned
their transportation that way.
And in modern times, I know of some CURRENT engineers on big eastern
roads (names and affiliations omitted to protect the innocent) who care
enough about getting the job over the road that they will get down out of
their engine to touch a switch, let a (qualified) conductor touch the
throttle, and actually have been seen on good authority to RUN to get a
switch and make a move and save some time . . . ! Some people are still
proud of the craft and the profession.
[On-topic Steam Era Freight Car Modeling Corollary: At least one of
your engines has to have a fat guy who obviously spends most of his life on
the right-hand side, down in the deck shovelling, and a skinny guy who earns
his living shovelling 20 tons of coal a day at the throttle; and one of your
tanks needs a couple of guys in need of a shave perched on the back of the
coal pile with shovels . . ]
Steve Delibert

----- Original Message ----- >


Ted Schnepf <railsunl@...>
 

Hi Denny and List,

The IC banana trains into Dubuque were hot. These trains typically were broken up between the CBQ, Milw, CGW and some cars continuing into Iowa on the IC. The Milw would run a special train for as few as 7 cars. It had a steamer, caboose and crew waiting for the IC to make the interchange so as to expedite the movement northward.

ted


At 10:48 AM 12/4/2003, you wrote:
The fascinating information about the blurring of craft distinctions
in the operation of IC hot trains was totally interesting. How common
would this have been on other railroads?

Although the IC and banana traffic has always seemed to be a
"natural", one does not naturally put the two together when referring
to the Iowa Division. Am I mistaken that Jim Singer presented
clinics in Naperville and Cocoa Beach a year ago pointing out that
Dubuque, Iowa (a major point on the Iowa Division) was a major banana
terminal?

When thinking of "hot" trains on the Iowa Division, we have
traditionally thought of the eastbound meat trains out of Omaha and
Sioux City. If there were now "hot" banana trains as well, these
would seem to have been all westbound.

Denny
--
Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento


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ljack70117@...
 

On Thursday, December 4, 2003, at 10:05 PM, Ted Schnepf wrote:

Hi Denny and List,

The IC banana trains into Dubuque were hot. These trains typically were
broken up between the CBQ, Milw, CGW and some cars continuing into Iowa on
the IC. The Milw would run a special train for as few as 7 cars. It had a
steamer, caboose and crew waiting for the IC to make the interchange so as
to expedite the movement northward.

ted
A question: What was the hurry on moving a car of Bananas? If you kept them at 45 degrees, they would not ripen.
We got a car load in once before we had room to unload it. So we kept it well iced with salt on the ice and held for a day and a half before unloading. We held it in the cold room at 45 degrees for an other 3 days and they were still green.
Thank you
Larry Jackman
I don't care who you are fat man. Get that sleigh and reindeer of my roof.


Ted Schnepf <railsunl@...>
 

Hi Larry,

The Dubuque Division engineer who told me about banana trains said, the longest haul the reefers could reach from New Orleans, with expedited handling, was Winnipeg, Canada. These reefers normally traveled under the supervision of a banana messenger, who rode the train and determined the icing, ventilation and /or heating needed for each load.

I believe even today bananas are very perishable.

ted

At 09:39 PM 12/4/2003, you wrote:

On Thursday, December 4, 2003, at 10:05 PM, Ted Schnepf wrote:

Hi Denny and List,

The IC banana trains into Dubuque were hot.
A question: What was the hurry on moving a car of Bananas? If you kept
them at 45 degrees, they would not ripen.
We got a car load in once before we had room to unload it. So we kept
it well iced with salt on the ice and held for a day and a half before
unloading. We held it in the cold room at 45 degrees for an other 3
days and they were still green.
Thank you
Larry Jackman
Rails Unlimited
Ted Schnepf
126 Will Scarlet
Elgin, Ill 60120
847-697-5353 or 847-697-5366
railsunl@...
http://users.foxvalley.net/~railsunl/
Model railroad sales, DCC supplies, Books new and used
O scale urethane cars, Photos and darkroom services
Checks, cash or credit (secure server at web site-3% added)


thompson@...
 

Ted Schnepf said:
I believe even today bananas are very perishable.
Basically true, Ted, though as Richard Hendrickson found out publicly,
the eating banana of today is a Cavendish variety, introduced around 1960
or so and visibly different from the bananas of previous years. I know
their ripening characteristics are "better" but am sure they are still
perishable.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history