Mar 6, 2004
Does anyone have a date for when the DM&CI was merged into the C&NW?
I want to say 1976, but that's just a hazy memory for me. (Most of my Iowa railroad files are packed away, sadly.) Still, I hope it helps...
I keep thinking that a few years ago, someone else had also given me a date during the 1970's. So, perhaps we are indeed "in the ballpark." I tried a Google search, but came up empty.
I know this is a really old thread, but the DM&CI (as well as the FDDM&S) were merged into the C&NW in 1968. I am from Des Moines, and I remember sadly watching most of the last DM&CI trackage being removed from there in 1983. The spur to the Firestone plant is still used by UP, though, and there is Des Moines & Central Iowa lettering still on the bridge over 6th Avenue.
^This man knows what he's talking about...
DM&CI into C&NW on July 30, 1968.
FDDM&S controlled by Chicago & North Western RR on March 1, 1931. Leased and operated as part of the C&NW on June 21, 1971. Assets absorbed into C&NW December, 1983.
Ah, I stand corrected on FDDM&S. Thank you for the detailed info, though. How did the Salzburg interests play in to the line? I seem to recall reading that they had control of both of the interurbans from 1954 or so...which would explain the later orange and cream paint scheme.
How far away was the nearest train track from your house in Iowa Des Moines Rocket?
From the house I grew up in, gatrhumpy, one mile east was the DM&CI line to Camp Dodge (formerly ran a lot further north), and 5 miles west was the Milwaukee Road branch to link to their main east west line in Madrid, IA. As someone posted in another thread about Iowa railroads, there was a time in that state where no matter where you were, you were no farther away than 7 miles from a railroad line. Some would say that was "overbuilt" (but not I, ha ha). A lot of the branches were very light density after the highways were improved. Most of my memories of hearing trains from home were at night, but they are good memories.
There was an issue of Trains Magazine, April 1986 I think, which is devoted to Iowa railroad history. I seriously recommend this back issue to anyone interested in such.
That's interesting. I used to live in a little town in Rochester, NY called Lima, and there was a branch line there that served some cement plant and an agriculture plant. That was before my time, but interesting nonetheless.
Y'all probably know of it, but the John Barriger Library photo collection has thousands of very rare rail photos taken during the 40s, 50s and 60s. If you go to the link below and look through albums of the MILW, C&NW, CGW, William Rapp Collection of Railroad Station Photographs and maybe others, there are Iowa photos there. Perhaps you can help the Library identify unknown locations as I have elsewhere in the nation. You'll need some patience to find the Iowa photos, but meanwhile you'll be in awe of everything else you see.
I don't believe the CNW had control after 1931. It remained independent until 1968 when CNW acquired it and the DM&CI. The Salzburg interests bought the line in the mid1950s. In 1954 there was a bad flood that took out the line's power plant at Fraser IA. The line abandoned electric operations and passenger service shortly after the flood. It was after this that Salzburg bought them.
The DM&CI and FDDM&S were acquired by CNW and operated on paper at least as separate entities. I have Official Guides from the early 1970s that have separate listings for both right after the C&NW entry. A 1970 CNW employee timetable includes the FDDM&S and listed as such.
I have the Hofsommer book on the FDDM&S, but I'm not home at the moment. I do recall that the corporate entities were eventually rolled into the CNW, and that 1983 date does sound right for that.
My favorite C&NW component is the C,St.P,M&O, or Omaha Road.
That 1931 date is when a bus subsidiary jointly owned by CNW and UP bought Ft Dodge Des Moines and Southern Transportation Co. That was a bus subsidiary that the railroad had set up in the 1920s. The railroad was in bankruptcy at the time and sold off their bus subsidiary.
The reason the two ex-interurbans remained as 'paper' companies and weren't merged until the 1980s was due to tax issues. There were tax credits for the years they had operated at a loss that didn't expire until the late 1970s and early 1980s. Once they were gone, they were incorporated into the CNW proper.
Ah. Thank you for the additional information, 57A26! I also have the Hofsommer FDDM&S book that you mention above, but I have not read it yet. I find the history of the Iowa interurbans fascinating, so new info is always welcome. Sad that most of the trackage is gone now. I recall seeing some of it removed in the early 80s...and I wonder whether this coincides with the tax credit expiration impact, or just the usual declining traffic?
One book I have found useful is Iowa Trolleys, published by the Central Electric Railfans' Association (bulletin 114). It includes foldout maps which give a lot of detail on early track layout and locations.
Sorry about the misinformation. As I can recall, from many years ago, my original source was brief information contained in a Moody's Transportation Manual.
Thanks for the link to Barriger Lib.