At the same time, the Cedar Rapids and Missouri River Railroad charted a line continuing from Cedar Rapids to Council Bluffs, on the Missouri River.
The entire line across Iowa was complete by 1867. It connected to the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad. This was a critical link in the very famous Transcontinental Railroad.
By 1884, the railroads east of the Missouri became part of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad system.
This line was double tracked at the turn of the 20th century. 1899 for Council Bluffs, 1901 in Ames, and 1908 for Clinton.
The city of Ames exists because of this railroad.
Perhaps some famous bridges are the Kate Shelley High Bridge in Boone (15 miles west of Ames), the Cedar River Bridge in Cedar Rapids and the Clinton Swing Bridge. All 3 will have been bypassed by 2015.
The Chicago Northwestern became part of the Union Pacific in 1995, who favors this route, calling it the Overland Route. It sees a max of 120+ trains per day.
The Clinton Swing Bridge is the heaviest used bridge across the Mississippi. The swing span is the largest ever erected, and it was the first electrified swing bridge.
This bridge contains four spans. A deck girder span, a Swing Span, a Parker Through Truss span and a Quadrangular Through Truss Span.
The bridge is planned to be replaced in 2018 by a high bridge further downstream. Currently, the bridge opens and closes almost 150 times a day.
The bridge is on all masonry substructures. The abutments are extra wide for a third track, which was the old bridge.
The C&NW engineered some of their own trusses. The main span was one of them.
The photos above are overview photos. The photo above is from the west bank.
Mississippi River Railroad Bridges
|Upstream||Sabula Rail Bridge|
|East||UP Sunfish Slough Bridge|
|East||Willow Island Rail Bridge|
|Downstream||Government (Arsenal) Bridge|
These Pictures Start at varying points in the Series, for the Iowa Side and Detail Photos