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I recently heard about a triple track main in Boone, IA. I happened to be running errands today that got me in the area and saw some of the local yard engines delivering some ballast cars on the north side of the main lines. After a quick drive around, there seems to be new signals and the start of a third main on the north side of the yard in Boone.

I hope to get out an take some photos in the next couple of days if I can.

Anyone have any info on this?


Calling it a third main is being generous. It will be slightly over two miles long. I think the idea is to allow the long pool trains to get around any train that has to work the yard from the main tracks or is stopped to change crews. I also see it has a place to tie down and park a train (or two since there will be 3 tracks) when needed.

Along with the third track will be a new transfer track to the Boone & Scenic Valley. While the curves on the new transfer ROW still look sharp, probably a lot better than that curve on the present transfer.

Somewhat related, but I don't know when it will happen is an overpass over the tracks. This will allow them to close the hard road, aka Quartz Avenue. That will help since every now and then there will be an eastbound stopped at the hard road that is long enough that the back end hangs into the control point at Story Street.



Yes, Fremont is a good example.

Eventually, the UP wants a third main around the intermediate terminals at Marshalltown and Beverly (Cedar Rapids), too. This also to keep traffic moving on two tracks while the third is occupied by a train working the yard.

To go longer term there has been talk, although not so much recently, about a third track all the way across Iowa. IIRC, some past STB filings have made reference to the interim short triple tracks at the terminals and over a couple of the steeper grades, Arcadia on the west and Mt. Vernon on the east. No real time table for any of the projects.

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