The Keokuk Junction Railway’s LaHarpe Turn is arriving in Keokuk, Iowa on 09 February 1992. Conductor Steve Pratt passes the train’s paperwork to clerk Mike Mealey at the Main St. crossing. The train is coming off the Mississippi River bridge and entering the yard in front of the Keokuk Union Depot.

Here the KJRY’s crossed the Burlington Northern’s “K Line”, not on a diamond, but rather using two switches. Although yard limits were in effect on both railroads at this location, the KJRY would call the BN dispatcher in Ft. Worth to confirm that there were no road trains nearby.

The Laharpe Turn will leave the inbound cars in the yard, and then prepare to pick up outbound cars for the return back to LaHarpe. The Turn generally ran Monday-Saturday, with an occasional Sunday run if needs warranted.

The motive power is of particular interest. In the lead is Chicago & Illinois Midland RS-1325 #20. Only two examples of this locomotive were produced, both for the C&IM. At this time the KJRY was experiencing a motive power shortage due to mechanical problems, and #20 was on lease for several months.

The trailing locomotive, KJRY #253, is an HE-15. This locomotive was built as a GP-7 for the Chicago & North Western Railroad in July 1952 as #1596. In 1980, it was rebuilt with a Cummins diesel as an experiment, and renumbered as #4253. The experiment did not lead to a full-scale rebuilding program, and it was sold to the KJRY ca. 1989 and renumbered as #253.

At the time I worked the clerk’s job Tuesday–Saturday. This being a Sunday, I had a free day and was out railfanning!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Theme by HermesThemes

Copyright © 2024 Tecumseh Junction. All Rights Reserved