Iowa's Railroads

English
502 Pages
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<P>At one point in time, no place in Iowa was more than a few miles from an active line of rail track. In this splendid companion volume to Steel Trails of Hawkeyeland (IUP, 2005), H. Roger Grant and Don L. Hofsommer explore the pivotal role that railroads played in the urban development of the state as well as the symbiotic relationship Iowa and its rails shared. With more than 400 black-and-white photographs, a solid inventory of depots and locations, and new information that is sure to impress even the most well-versed railfan, this detailed history of the state's railroads—including the Chicago & North Western, Cedar Rapids & Iowa City, and the Iowa Northern—will be an essential reference for railroad fans and historians, artists, and model railroad builders. </P>
<P>Chapter 1: Age of Steam<BR>Chapter 2: Under the Wire<BR>Chapter 3: Down at the Depot<BR>Chapter 4: Shipping by Rail<BR>Chapter 5: Working on the Railroad<BR>Chapter 6: Diesel Revolution<BR>Chapter 7: In Recent Times</P>

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Published 01 June 2009
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EAN13 9780253013767
Language English
Document size 79 MB

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IOWA’S RAILROADS
IOWA’S RAILROADS
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press 601 North Morton Street Bloomington, IN 47404-3797 USA
http://iupress.indiana.edu
Telephone orders 800-842-6796 Fax orders 812-855-7931 Orders by e-mail iuporder@indiana.edu
© 2009 by Donovan L. Hofsommer and H. Roger Grant All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The Association of American University Presses’ Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Grant, H. Roger, date Iowa’s railroads : an album / H. Roger Grant and Don L. Hofsommer. p. cm. — (Railroads past and present) Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-0-253-31425-3 (cloth : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-0-253-22073-8 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Railroads—Iowa—History. I. Hofsommer, Don L. II. Title. TF24.I8G73 2009 385.09777—dc22 2008037048
1 2 3 4 5 14 13 12 11 10 09
The maps reproduced on title pages, pages 118–119, and pages 252–253 are used courtesy of the Iowa Department of Transportation.
For
William F. Armstrong
William W. Kratville
William D. Middleton
Each one an intrepid, talented, and generous visual recorder of Iowa’s railroad experience
CONTENTS
~ INTRODUCTION
1 THE AGE OF STEAM
2 UNDER THE WIRE
3 DOWN AT THE DEPOT
4 SHIPPING BY RAIL
5 WORKING ON THE RAILROAD
6 THE DIESEL REVOLUTION
7 IN RECENT TIMES
~SELECTED READINGS
INTRODUCTION
This album of Iowa railroads offers a pictorial record of a variety of scenes that range from steam-powered passenger trains to small town depots. An effort has been made to capture the essence of the railroad experience in the Hawkeye State for more than a century. Iowa provides a wonderful opportunity to visually explore the impact of the iron horse on the Midwest and to a lesser degree on the nation. Although no American state is most representative of the Railway Age, with its assortment of big and small steam and electric interurbans or so-called juice roads, Iowa arguably comes as close as any state in achieving this distinction. Iowa possesses a rich railroad past. Not only did some of the initial railroad building west of the Mississippi River take place in the state, but the first transcontinental railroad, the legendary Union Pacific, had its starting point in Council Bluffs. Within a year after the “wedding of the rails,” that landmark event held on May 10, 1869, at Promontory, Utah Territory, three connecting roads funneled freight and passenger traffic to and from the combined Union Pacific–Central Pacific system. It did not take too many more years before three additional trunk roads linked Chicago, America’s railroad mecca, with Council Bluffs. Other east-west arteries crossed the state as did several strategic north-south roads. By the zenith of the Railway Age in 1916, when the nation boasted more than 254,000 miles of trackage, Iowa, with more than 10,000 miles, had a variety of other major and minor carriers that made the railroad map resemble a plate of wet spaghetti. The piercing sound of the locomotive whistle could be heard throughout the state. As part of the Railway Age an assortment of electric interurbans or juice roads appeared, with Cedar Rapids and Des Moines as the principal centers. Several of these interurbans were traditional passenger-carrying operations while others, in fact the majority, handled standard freight equipment in addition to often having a brisk passenger business. If the “Interurban Era” had lasted longer, likely more of these “under the wire” carriers would have been built. Several dozen lines were projected before the triumph of the automobile and truck, and the “good roads” movement ended interest in this formerly popular mode of intercity transportation. In the more recent past Iowans have experienced considerable change, feeling the impact of railroad consolidations and also becoming the epicenter of line abandonments. In the process “mega” roads and new “regional” and shortline carriers emerged that reshaped the railroad landscape. As a result of “merger madness,” regulatory reforms, shifting patterns of transport, replacement technologies, and other factors, more than half of the state’s considerable rail mileage disappeared. “Line rationalization” made for a radically different railroad map of the Hawkeye State. The altered nature of railroads in Iowa over time is illustrated in the more than four hundred images included in this book, augmented by their informational captions. Each of the seven sections of the album features an introduction that places the specific topic in historical perspective. The state’s railroad heritage provides a visual feast that should satisfy anyone interested in the saga of American railroading.
A project such as this one prospers only by way of marvelously generous people who are willing to share their visual collections or even rich treasures of their own photographic art. We
gratefully acknowledge fine contributions from Rex C. Beach, Richard Billings, Cecil F. Cook, James Davis, William L. Heitter, Dennis E. Holmes, John F. Humiston, Michael P. Joynt, William S. Kuba, Wilson B. Lemberger, Gordon Lloyd, Louis A. Marre, Roger B. Natte, George Niles, Henry Posner, III, Peter J. Rickershauser, Brian Root, James L. Rueber, Daniel R. Sabin, Arnold Schager, Lou Schmitz, Warren F. Scholl, Ronald D. Sims, and Edward F. Wilkommen. Three people—William F. Armstrong, William W. Kratville, and William D. Middleton—were especially tolerant of our incessant pleadings and inevitably responded in expansive fashion. To these and to all others who assisted us in various ways we offer our humble and cordial thanks.