Contributors to started back in 1996, when Nathan Holmes of Walcott and Michael Petersen of Altoona met at Iowa State University. They quickly figured out that not only were they both railfans, but both with a particular interest in their respective home town regional - IAIS. From their photo collections, information passed along by Allan Hunt and Fred Cheney, and various other sources, the first incarnation of the site was put together. The site's undergone about five major overhauls over the years and one domain name change. In 2004, the site moved out from under Nathan's primary domain of to stand on its own at

This site wouldn't be possible without the legion of fans who have been following Iowa Interstate for years - photographing, making notes, and then spending the time to put those together to share with the world. If you'd like to become a contributor to the website, drop us a note at, let us know who you are and what you have to offer, and we'll get back to you.

Individual Contributors

Nathan Holmes

Nathan on 502 during the 2008 steam trips

Having grown up in Walcott, IA, Iowa Interstate is just in my blood. I can just barely remember the final days of the Rock, but I can remember watching IAIS grow from a ragtag collection of engines - half of which would die on the way up Davenport Hill - to the amazing success story of today.

Michael Petersen

Born and raised in Altoona, IA, I realized in the Spring of 1992 that it would be fun to watch and photograph those trains running through town. So began a hobby... That summer I met the crew who ran the nightly Des Moines / Pella turn out of Newton. Since I was around every night they came through, I eventually got to know them pretty well and was invited into the cab quite often. That experience hooked me on the Iowa Interstate.

Photo License: Creative Commons

Joe Atkinson

I grew up in Council Bluffs and graduated from high school in 1984, the year Iowa Interstate came into existence, but I rarely paid any attention to it back then, since I was a die-hard UP fan. However, the mergers of the mid-1990s left me increasingly dissatisfied with modeling that road, or any class 1. The summer of 2000 seemed to be a time for fresh starts, though, as it was then that my wife and I got divorced, then remarried again, and it was on our honeymoon that we spent the night in Atlantic, Iowa.

Wandering around the town together and admiring the ex-Rock Island depot and yard there, then later driving along the IAIS on our way to dinner in Anita, the idea of modeling what is now my favorite railroad was born. The next day, on our way back to Council Bluffs, we decided to take the "scenic route", so we got off I-80 and explored the back roads that took us along the IAIS main. The scenery was beautiful, and it wasn't long before I was developing a layout plan in my head. Within a week I made the decision to tear down my existing UP-based layout and move ahead with depicting the IAIS between Atlantic and Council Bluffs in HO scale.

Soon after, I discovered the IAIS e-mail list and Nathan and Michael's web site, and met a number of very friendly, helpful employees and fans. It's been the blessings of those friendships that have made modeling and chasing this railroad so fun and interesting.

Erik Rasmussen

I was born in August of 1984, mere months before the IAIS ran its first train, in Moline, Illinois. I went to school in the Rock Island school district and spent grades 2 through 6 at Earl Hanson Elementary which is adjacent to the Milan Branch. I spent many recesses on the swingset overlooking the Milan Branch and saw the 250 drag cars to Milan just about everyday. I fell in love with the 250 and eventually the entire IAIS when I obtained my drivers license.

I graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering in December of 2008 and am employed by MidAmerican Energy at the office in Rock Island, IL. I keep close tabs on the IAIS and enjoy overlooking their operations, especially between Bureau and Iowa City. I'm currently building an S-guage roster of the IAIS for my eventual recreation of IAIS's First Sub. With the combination of friendly folks on the IAIS and my overall joy of the entire railroad, I can't help but call the IAIS my favorite.

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  Last modified on January 28, 2013, at 09:53 PM
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