The same year, the line was extended north to Ackley, where it connected to the Illinois Central Mainline.
Two years later, in 1870; the Iowa Central Railroad would absorb the ER&CC and build their own connection, running from Ackley to Albert Lea, Minnesota.
At Albert Lea, the line would connect to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, via the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway.
At Marshalltown, the line would eventually be extended south towards Peoria, Illinois.
With the Iowa Central operating a critical line between Marshalltown and Albert Lea, via Mason City, the Minneapolis & St. Louis first proposed a merger in 1901, which went through finally in 1912.
When the M&StL operated this line, it was used as their second subdivision, a critical line.
The first downfall came in 1913, when the Rock Island opened a parallel line from Mason City to Des Moines.
Although this line was profitable for the Minneapolis & St. Louis; the Chicago & Northwestern purchased the M&StL in 1960.
The first abandonment for this line came in 1970, when it was abandoned from Manly to a junction just south of Mason City.
The second was in 1988 and from Hampton to Ackley.
The next two came in 1990 and 2001, which was from Rockwell to Sheffield, and from Sheffield to Hampton.
One important note was the Chicago & Northwestern was purchased by the Union Pacific in 1995.
In 2006, the Iowa River Railroad rehabilitated the line from Ackley to Marshalltown and used it.
Although it soon fell through, the line would be abandoned in 2011.
Today, the Steamboat Rock to Marshalltown section will become the Iowa River Rail Trail in the near future.
This unique truss bridge crosses the Iowa River just south of Albion in a very scenic location.
Built in 1902, the main span is a 136 foot long, riveted modified warren through truss with all verticals and an A-Frame Portal.
It rests on stone piers, which are mainly encased by concrete. On the south end, it is approached by a long trestle.
The truss has many other unique features, which include lightweight lacing on diagonals and odd plates on sway bracing.
Diagram of this style bridge
The north abutment is a basically an encased stone pier abutted against a concrete pad.
It is a nearly identical match to the Bridge near Union
The author has ranked the bridge as being moderately significant, due to the unique design.
The photo above is an overview on a warm spring 2014 evening.
|Upstream||Iowa River Trail Bridge (Union)|
|Downstream||UP Iowa River Bridge (Montour)|