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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Pic of the Day

Steam locomotives of the Chicago & North Western Railway in the roundhouse at the Chicago rail yards (December 1942)
I haven't been reading much, mostly, I suspect, because I haven't been sleeping all that well. But when I sit down for lunch today I pick up a book that's been sitting on a pile that's due to be sold to Powell's and it pretty much captivated me.

The books is methland by Nick Reading and it is about the methamphetamine craze (epidemic) that swept the nation, especially the way it has affected small town America. The first town he focuses on is Oelwein, Iowa (I'm still reading the prologue.), which has a roundhouse. Cool! I like roundhouses, so I go looking for pictures, but I don't find much. The photo above is the best of the lot and it has a tenuous connection to Oelwein: The Chicago & North Western Railway extended to Oelwein Iowa.

Looking at Google Maps, it looks like there is still a big rail operation there. There is a big yard with 100's of cars. Looking at the Open Railway Map, you can see that the only active line goes to Des Moines, all the other tracks heading out of Oelwein have been abandoned. I suspect the only reason they are keeping the track to Des Moines open is that Oelwein has a big yard where they can store a large number of railroad cars.

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