Main.Subdivision4 History

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October 22, 2015, at 06:17 AM by ErikRasmussen -
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The third small branch on this segment, the Oakland Branch, has been scaled back and only exists in Hancock, but originally served Oakland. The line was originally built by the Avoca, Macedonia and South Western Railroad in 1879, and was absorbed by the Rock Island only a year later in late 1880. Originally stretching down to near Sidney, IA, and north to the original Rock mainline at Avoca, IA, the line was cut up into segments over the years. The line was cut south of Hancock in the 1950s, and everything north of Hancock was scrapped in the 1970s. Today the branch serves a large grain customer in Hancock, north of the mainline, that loads unit grain (shuttle) trains to the BNSF. What's left of the Oakland Branch ends on the south side of the mainline and was last used for car storage.

to:

The third small branch on this segment, the Oakland Branch, has been scaled back and only exists in Hancock. The line was originally built by the Avoca, Macedonia and South Western Railroad in 1879, and was absorbed by the Rock Island only a year later in late 1880. Originally stretching down to near Sidney, IA, and north to the original Rock mainline at Avoca, IA, the line was cut up into segments over the years. The line was cut south of Hancock in the 1950s, and everything north of Hancock was scrapped in the 1970s. Today the branch serves a large grain customer in Hancock, north of the mainline, that loads unit grain (shuttle) trains to the BNSF. What's left of the Oakland Branch ends on the south side of the mainline and was last used for car storage.

October 22, 2015, at 06:17 AM by ErikRasmussen -
Changed lines 18-19 from:

The third small branch on this segment - a tiny piece (4.5 miles) between Hancock Jct. and Oakland, IA - continues to this day, though I don't believe there are any revenue customers left on it. The line was originally built by the Avoca, Macedonia and South Western Railroad in 1879, and was absorbed by the Rock Island only a year later in late 1880. Originally stretching down to near Sidney, IA, and north to the original Rock mainline at Avoca, IA, the line was cut up into segments over the years. The line was cut south of Hancock in the 1950s, and everything north of Hancock was scrapped in the 1970s. The branch is in relatively bad shape, and every time I've visited it, it's been populated with cars in storage.

to:

The third small branch on this segment, the Oakland Branch, has been scaled back and only exists in Hancock, but originally served Oakland. The line was originally built by the Avoca, Macedonia and South Western Railroad in 1879, and was absorbed by the Rock Island only a year later in late 1880. Originally stretching down to near Sidney, IA, and north to the original Rock mainline at Avoca, IA, the line was cut up into segments over the years. The line was cut south of Hancock in the 1950s, and everything north of Hancock was scrapped in the 1970s. Today the branch serves a large grain customer in Hancock, north of the mainline, that loads unit grain (shuttle) trains to the BNSF. What's left of the Oakland Branch ends on the south side of the mainline and was last used for car storage.

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(:cellnr class="tt-legend-station":)    (:cell:)= Station (:cell class="tt-legend-info":)    (:cell:)= Points of Interest (:cell class="tt-legend-abdn":)    (:cell:)= Abandoned (:cell class="tt-legend-rights":) (:cell:)= Trackage Rights

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(:table:) (:cellnr:)TIMETABLE KEY (:cellnr class=tt-station:) Standard Station (:cellnr class=tt-info:) Interesting Points (unofficial) (:cellnr class=tt-abdn:) Abandoned (:cellnr class=tt-rights:) Trackage Rights (:tableend:)

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Subdivision 4B, also known as the Audubon Branch, was the other long branch originally connected with the IAIS system. Breaking off the mainline at Atlantic, IA, it went 25 miles north to Audubon, IA, and was abandoned in 1995 for lack of traffic. Originally this was to be the home of the Purple Martin steam-powered tourist train, which was based at Lorah (the station near the I-80 / US-71 interchange), but the owner of the equipment suffered a fatal heart attack in the late 1980s. Plans for the train fell apart from there, and the equipment sat in a small yard visible from the freeway for many years afterwards. The crown of the collection was CB&Q Hudson 3007, which is now safely stored at the Illinois Railroad Museum. As of September 1995, the equipment had all been sold, and shortly after moving it all out, the branch was abandoned and scrapped.

to:

Subdivision 4B, also known as the Audubon Branch, was the other long branch originally connected with the IAIS system. Breaking off the mainline at Atlantic, IA, it went 25 miles north to Audubon, IA, and was approved for abandonment on 8-Aug-1995 due to a complete lack of traffic. Originally this was to be the home of the Purple Martin steam-powered tourist train, which was based at Lorah (the station near the I-80 / US-71 interchange), but the owner of the equipment suffered a fatal heart attack in the late 1980s. Plans for the train fell apart from there, and the equipment sat in a small yard visible from the freeway for many years afterwards. The crown of the collection was CB&Q Hudson 3007, which is now safely stored at the Illinois Railroad Museum. As of September 1995, the equipment had all been sold. Shortly after moving it all out, the branch was abandoned and scrapped.

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The STB decision for the Audubon Branch abandonment be found here.

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The Pella Branch was abandoned in two sections - first from Otley to Pella in 1998, and then from Prairie City to Otley in 2000.

  • STB Decision for Abandonment, Otley to Pella, 7-Aug-1998 - PDF
  • STB Decision for Abandonment, Prairie City to Otley, 20-Oct-2000 - PDF
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(:menulocation Railfan Guide:Subdivision 4:)

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(:menulocation Operations:Subdivision 4:)

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(:galembed WalcottIowa:)

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IOWA INTERSTATE RAILROAD - FOURTH SUBDIVISION
NEWTON, IA, TO COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA
Maximum Speed: 40 MPH Length: 165.5 miles
Entire line Track Warrant Control
Radio: IAIS - 161.220 MHz and 160.305 MHz
Mile
Post
Station Sidings Other
Tracks
Notes
W
E
S
T
B
O
U
N
D
 
151.5  Altoona, IA Yes
 
E
A
S
T
B
O
U
N
D
Junction with Subdivision 4
322.5  Newton, IA 6100 YesJunction with Subdivision 3
334.7  Colfax 5980 Yes
340.6  Mitchellville Yes
346.9  Altoona YesJunction with Subdivision 4A?
Altoona photos
353.2  East Des Moines Yes
355.9  Des Moines 1330 YesUP Interchange (Shortline Yard Track 29)
BNSF/NS Interchange
Junction with Grimes Line
365.0  West Des Moines
372.7  Booneville 6030 Yes
379.8  DeSoto Yes
385.5  Winear 1100
387.4  Earlham 6005 Yes
393.0  Dexter Yes
398.2  Stuart 4175 Yes
401.5  East Menlo 4585
403.1  Menlo Yes
410.1  Casey 2220 Yes
416.8  Adair Yes
425.5  Anita 4980 Yes
432.5  Wiota Yes
439.9  Atlantic 6200 Yes
440.9  Audubon Jct. Junction with Subdivision 4B
455.6  Hillis 4190 Yes
459.3  Hancock Jct. YesJunction with 4.5 mile Oakland-Hancock spur
474.7  Peter Siding removed in 1999
476.6  McClelland Yes
488.0  Council Bluffs YesWestern terminus of IAIS
UP/BNSF interchange
IOWA INTERSTATE RAILROAD - SUBDIVISION 4A
ALTOONA, IA, TO PELLA, IA
Maximum Speed: 25 MPH Length: 14.8 miles active, 21.4 miles abandoned
Entire line Track Warrant Control
Radio: IAIS - 161.220 MHz and 160.305 MHz
Mile
Post
Station Sidings Other
Tracks
Notes
W
E
S
T
B
O
U
N
D
 
151.5  Altoona, IA Yes
 
E
A
S
T
B
O
U
N
D
Junction with Subdivision 4
138.3  Prairie City YesCurrent end of track at MP 137 as of 2001
129.1  Monroe YesPrairie City - Otley abandoned 2000, torn out 2001
123.6  Otley YesPrairie City - Otley abandoned 2000, torn out 2001
115.6  Pella, IA 1970 YesOtley-Pella abandoned 1998, torn out 99-00
IOWA INTERSTATE RAILROAD - SUBDIVISION 4B
ATLANTIC, IA, TO AUDUBON, IA
Maximum Speed: 10 MPH Length: ~2 miles active, 22.4 miles abandoned
Entire line Track Warrant Control
Radio: IAIS - 161.220 MHz and 160.305 MHz
Mile
Post
Station Sidings Other
Tracks
Notes
W
E
S
T
B
O
U
N
D
 
115.6  Pella, IA 1970 Yes
 
E
A
S
T
B
O
U
N
D
Otley-Pella abandoned 1998, torn out 99-00
440.7  Audubon Jct Junction with Subdivision 4
442.9  Moorman YesCurrent end of track as of 1995
446.7  Lorah Approximate MP, not official IAIS station
452.0  Brayton Abandoned late 1995
455.7  Exira Abandoned late 1995
463.0  Nishna Abandoned late 1995
465.1  Audubon, IA Abandoned late 1995
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(:galembed WalcottIowa:)

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The Fourth Subdivision was constructed originally by the Chicago & Rock Island, starting at the east end in mid-1867. As an extension of their line east from Chicago (which today is the First and Third Subs), it reached Des Moines in 1867, and was completed into Council Bluffs by 11-May-1869, a day after the Transcontinental was completed in Utah. The line became part of the core Rock Island system over time, providing a connection to the Union Pacific mainline at Omaha as well as providing the shortest connection to the Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado parts of the Rock system. A large portion of the line between Atlantic and Council Bluffs was realigned as the Atlantic Cutoff in 1953. The old line through Marne, Walnut, Avoca, Minden, Neola, and Underwood was subsequently abandoned due to its slow speeds and longer path. The Rock, however, fell into bankruptcy in 1980, between 1981 and 1984 was operated by the Iowa Railroad, and in 1984 was sold to Heartland Rail Partners, who subsequently created Iowa Interstate to operate it.

to:
The Fourth Subdivision was constructed originally by the Chicago & Rock Island, starting at the east end in mid-1867. As an extension of their line east from Chicago (which today is the First and Third Subs), it reached Des Moines in 1867, and was completed into Council Bluffs by 11-May-1869, a day after the Transcontinental was completed in Utah. The line became part of the core Rock Island system over time, providing a connection to the Union Pacific mainline at Omaha as well as providing the shortest connection to the Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado parts of the Rock system. A large portion of the line between Atlantic and Council Bluffs was realigned as the Atlantic Cutoff in 1953. The old line through Marne, Walnut, Avoca, Minden, Neola, and Underwood was subsequently abandoned due to its slow speeds and longer path. The Rock, however, fell into bankruptcy in 1980, between 1981 and 1984 was operated by the Iowa Railroad, and in 1984 was sold to Heartland Rail Partners, who subsequently created Iowa Interstate to operate it.
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Subdivision 4B, also known as the Audubon Branch, was the other long branch originally connected with the IAIS system. Breaking off the mainline at Atlantic, IA, it went 25 miles north to Audubon, IA, and was abandoned in 1995 for lack of traffic. Originally this was to be the home of the Purple Martin steam-powered tourist train, which was based at Lorah (the station near the I-80 / US-71 interchange), but the owner of the equipment suffered a fatal heart attack in the late 1980s. Plans for the train fell apart from there, and the equipment sat in a small yard visible from the freeway for many years afterwards. The crown of the collection was CB&Q Hudson 3007, which is now safely stored at the Illinois Railroad Museum. As of September 1995, the equipment had all been sold, and shortly after moving it all out, the branch was abandoned and scrapped.

The third small branch on this segment - a tiny piece (4.5 miles) between Hancock Jct. and Oakland, IA - continues to this day, though I don't believe there are any revenue customers left on it. The line was originally built by the Avoca, Macedonia and South Western Railroad in 1879, and was absorbed by the Rock Island only a year later in late 1880. Originally stretching down to near Sidney, IA, and north to the original Rock mainline at Avoca, IA, the line was cut up into segments over the years. The line was cut south of Hancock in the 1950s, and everything north of Hancock was scrapped in the 1970s. The branch is in relatively bad shape, and every time I've visited it, it's been populated with cars in storage.

A fourth, often forgotten, branch exists on the Fourth Sub, known as the Grimes Line. This 11-mile branch, breaking from the IAIS mainline in downtown Des Moines, travels northwest through Clive to the outlying suburb of Grimes, IA. It's actually owned by the Norfolk Southern (yes, the NS reached Des Moines, via the old Wabash at one point), but IAIS is the contracted operator, since it's isolated from the rest of the NS system by a long stretch of BNSF trackage rights. The original Wabash main is long since abandoned. Originally the line went through, but since the 1970s has ended at Grimes. The Des Moines switcher is responsible for servicing customers along this route, with the primary customers being Pitt Des Moines (a steel fabricator) in Clive and Beisser Lumber in Grimes.

Today's Fourth Subdivision operations largely occur at night. CBBI leaves Council Bluffs eastbound in the late evening. Its counterpart, the BICB from the previous day, rolls westbound over the sub in the wee morning hours, arriving at Council Bluffs in the early morning hours (0600h - 0800h). The Council Bluffs switcher, however, is out in the Council Bluffs yard during the day, and often runs up as far as Hancock to collect or deliver grain hoppers to the elevators. Also the yard is the site of IAIS's heavy locomotive maintenance facility, which is easily seen and photographed from South Avenue. Also, the Des Moines switcher is out during the day, servicing the Grimes branch, the Prairie City line, and local industries around Des Moines. Also, in addition to the IAIS traffic, Union Pacific detours across the Fourth are not uncommon, arriving at Council Bluffs and departing the IAIS at Shortline Junction in Des Moines, or vice versa.

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[*IAIS Subdivision 4*]

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IAIS Subdivision 4
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(:notitle:) (:menulocation Railfan Guide:Subdivision 4:) [*IAIS Subdivision 4*]

The Fourth Subdivision was constructed originally by the Chicago & Rock Island, starting at the east end in mid-1867. As an extension of their line east from Chicago (which today is the First and Third Subs), it reached Des Moines in 1867, and was completed into Council Bluffs by 11-May-1869, a day after the Transcontinental was completed in Utah. The line became part of the core Rock Island system over time, providing a connection to the Union Pacific mainline at Omaha as well as providing the shortest connection to the Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado parts of the Rock system. A large portion of the line between Atlantic and Council Bluffs was realigned as the Atlantic Cutoff in 1953. The old line through Marne, Walnut, Avoca, Minden, Neola, and Underwood was subsequently abandoned due to its slow speeds and longer path. The Rock, however, fell into bankruptcy in 1980, between 1981 and 1984 was operated by the Iowa Railroad, and in 1984 was sold to Heartland Rail Partners, who subsequently created Iowa Interstate to operate it.

The Fourth Sub also has the dubious honor of having some of the only large sections of trackage that were abandoned by Iowa Interstate. Subdivision 4A, otherwise known as the Pella Branch, connected onto the main Fourth Sub at Altoona, IA, and proceeded southeast to Pella, IA, home of one of IAIS's original backers - Pella Rolscreen Corp., maker of Pella windows and doors. The branch is now stubbed off near Prairie City, with the rails removed for the rest of the way to Pella. Officially, the line between Otley and Pella was embargoed 6-Oct-1996 due to poor track conditions, and formal abandonment permission was granted on 7-Aug-1998. The rails were pulled on the segment in early 2000. The next segment - Prairie City to Otley - was formally approved for abandonment on 21-Nov-2000, and rails were pulled on that segment shortly thereafter. Service, however, continues to the grain elevator at Prairie City.

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  Last modified on October 22, 2015, at 06:17 AM
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