Google maps street view shows tracks being removed in Marshalltown IA.

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  • Member since
    December 2019
  • 292 posts
Google maps street view shows tracks being removed in Marshalltown IA.
Posted by divebardave on Thursday, December 26, 2019 2:15 PM
  • Member since
    December 2019
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Posted by divebardave on Thursday, December 26, 2019 2:20 PM

Marshalltown to Ackley IA as far as i can trace the OOS line

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Central Iowa
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Posted by jeffhergert on Thursday, December 26, 2019 4:14 PM

Former Minneapolis and St Louis main line.  Last owner was Iowa River Railroad.  There is an ethanol plant north of Steamboat Rock.  The last I knew the IRR still provided service, as needed, between there and the CN connection at Ackley.

The line south of Steamboat Rock was abandoned a few years ago.  I think there was talk about converting the abandoned line into a bike trail, but I don't know if they have or not.


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  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, January 1, 2020 11:28 AM

Although abandoned, just a few years back I tried to follow the tracks south of that ethanol plant and it seemed reasonably intact although very overgrown to about Eldora and perhaps a bit south of Eldora, where I ran out of time to continue my search.  At that time the Iowa River RR was stll using an aged GP30 that leaked so much oil that the track from Ackley south looked a little like Lionel "Super O" track with the black center rail.  The ethanol plant has or had its own end-cab switcher by the way.  

The rail crossing at Ackley (CN, ex-IC east/west, ex-M&St L and C&NW north/soth) had been pulled out although the crossing tracks themselves were simply pulled over into the weeds.  Oddly enough dwarf signals "protecting" the crossing were still lit, which made me wonder if technical abandonment permission had not yet been granted.  Various bits of tracks and sidings were still in place north of the crossing (so ex- M&St L) but those tracks petered out a little north of Sherman Ave in Ackley.  The ex M&St L depot is gone although you could figure our where it had been.  The ex IC depot was the police station for Ackley when I was there and may yet be.  It was in excellent condition.

Google satellite view in Ackley suggests that things have changed a bit even since a few years ago however.  I stood on a rickety road bridge (closed to traffic) over the IC tracks that seems now to be pulled down, and a modern crossing for Sherman/Hardin was under construction and now seems to be complete.

Dave Nelson


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