Following the OMAX

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Following the OMAX

I was shooting an update photo of a local Condo Project when I see a Caboose come rolling by. I was kind of taken back because since the 80's Cabooses are not really used much anymore. However this Caboose was on the back of the OMAX train. The OMAX is Omaha Public Power Districts (OPPD) train that brings Coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming to Omaha. Delivering coal to the North Omaha OPPD power plant is not a straight forward operation.

Delivering anything to North Omaha by train is not a straight forward Operation. The lines in North Omaha are owned by Canadian National (CN) and Union Pacific (UP), however neither companies lines connect to their own main line. The CN does own a turn of the century swing bridge, that is normally open to allow barge traffic on the river but would swing close when a train was coming. For the the CN to get to North Omaha they have to move on to UP Tracks in Council Bluffs (CB), IA. Then cross the UP Missouri River Bridge in to Omaha. At that point they move on to the BNSF tracks, come to a stop, then put it in reverse back down in to the BNSF Gibson Yard, then stop and move forward on to UP tracks through Downtown Omaha up to their own tracks in Carter Lake. The UP also backs down in to Gibson Yard before proceeding north to North Omaha.

While I was out today, I came across 2 OMAX - UP trains, which I thought was interesting. Both Had UP locomotives on the lead, and a caboose on the rear. Normally when the train is making its journey across Nebraska It would have two locomotives on the lead and one on the rear, and no caboose. The first train that came through "backed" down to the yard caboose first, however minuets later the second train came through and was running locomotives first, so all theories I had are totally out the window. My first theory was that the locomotives turned around at the wye at summit (the old stockyards area of Omaha) My second theory was that the train went from Fremont to Blair then down to CB and back in to Omaha. Both made sence until I saw that second OMAX train today with the locomotives on the other end? Also I don't know why there were two trains on a line that can only support one at a time?

However it all works, I am not 100% sure anymore, but on with the Photos:

1. Train one backing down Caboose first:


2. & 3. Train 1 still backing towards Gibson Yard:



4. Downtown Omaha in the background while backing down:


5. The typical OMAX care is blue with the OMAX lettering, however newer aluminum cars are showing up more and more:


6. The locomotives on train 1 backing down:


7, 8, 9, & 10. Gibson Yard:



10. An Aerial of Gibson Yard I took about 2 months ago:


11. Train one has made its stop in Gibson and is now pulling forward out of the yard and on the way towards Downtown Omaha:


12 thru 20. Train two backing in to Omaha on the BNSF Tracks:










21. Train One heading north almost to the UP Bridge:


22. A non-OMAX train heading East to CB on the UP bridge:


23. Above the main lines looking east, non-OMAX coal train on the left UP Main, the empty UP main on the right. Then the OMAX train is on the BNSF main:


24. Same Trains, just looking west:


25. OMAX starting it journey out of Downtown Omaha towards the power plant:


26. & 27. The "Riverfront" - Qwest Center Omaha on the left, Riverfront Place, Missouri River Pedestrian Bridge, Gallup, and National Parks Service on the right:



28 thru 32 - A small yard in North Downtown Omaha:






33 thru 38 - Carter Lake:







39 thru 43 - Just south of the power plant:






44. & 45. Finally Home. There is no good access to see what goes on at the OPPD plant, so we have to end it here:

 

Zephyr

Rocket Red
Very nice photos, Brad! I really like the documentation of that. I will need to work on how the Rock Island delivers coal to OPPD.
 
Very nice photos, Brad! I really like the documentation of that. I will need to work on how the Rock Island delivers coal to OPPD.
Thanks Eric. Don't you have some model pictures of the train to show?


Sunday Update.

The cabooses from both trains and the locomotives from train 2 are in the North Downtown Yard today:





 

Zephyr

Rocket Red
Thanks for the update, Brad. Those cabooses are very interesting. I do have a few model railroad photos, although they are from when I was modeling the Southern Pacific Santa Fe:







I need to put some more work into the hoppers, add some Rock Island hoppers, and then take new photos.
 




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