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Edition #24, February 15, 2006

Roots

Photographer: Garland McKee

                                                                       Photo © 2005 by Garland McKee

Roots

The trip to Iowa was to shoot "real" railroads. Mostly IC&E and Iowa Northern and some Iowa Interstate. If I had time we'd work in the Iowa Traction. The weather didn't cooperate much but one of the bright spots was the Iowa Traction Company at Mason City. What an interesting little railroad it turned out to be.

While October 13th wasn't a very nice day weather-wise, we did find Iowa Traction making the once or twice a week trip out to Emery, west of Mason City. Now, normally 95% of Iowa Traction's business in over the same one mile of trackage in Mason City. But a scrap dealer and a fertilizer company are located at Emory, next to the Traction's shop and provide some business and a chance for the little motors to stretch their legs. A trip to Emory shows off the traction's roots as a classic interurban line. Thus a trip to Emery is a trip to the past.

Here is motor 50 on a wet, dreary October day humming alongside state route 106, approaching the compact model-like yard at Emery with a good size train. Itís a scene that has seen remarkably little change over the last 50 years.

Garland McKee

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