The line was continued north by the Toledo & Northwestern Railway in late 1879, and was completed to Blue Earth, Minnesota by 1883. It was a standard guage line. The entire line came into the Chicago Northwestern Railway system by 1884. The C&NW owned a majority of track around Iowa at the time.
The line was a critical C&NW route to connect to the Twin Cities.
Starting from Des Moines, the line would start in downtown, and head north towards Ankeny.
The line would cross the east/west Milwaukee Road mainline at Slater, It would go through Kelley, crossing the Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern before arriving in Ames.
In Ames, it would cross Squaw Creek, and the busy C&NW east/west mainline.
Near Story City, it had to cross a high trestle over Keigly Creek, which was later filled and replaced with a stone bridge.
The line continued through Randall, crossed an east/west C&NW branch line in Jewell, and came into Webster City after crossing the Boone River.
In Webster City, it crossed the Illinois Central line again, and left town crossing the Boone River again.
It went through Woolstock, and in Eagle Grove crossed a Chicago Great Western Line, and had a CNW line towards Humboldt break off.
It crossed another CGW line in Goldfield, and continued through Renwick and Lu Verne.
At Algona, it crossed over another Milwaukee Road main, and continued through Burt and Bancroft before crossing a Rock Island line near Lakota.
It crossed into Minnesota at Elmore, and joined with another CNW line at Blue Earth.
Several sections were abandoned over time. This included:
Ledyard to Blue Earth in 1968, Ledyard to Bancroft in 1978, Burt to Bancroft in 1985, and Ankeny to Ames in 1985.
The C&NW merged into Union Pacific in 1995. UP continues to operate from Des Moines to Ankeny as the Ankeny Sub, a spur.
Also, from Ames to Burt is the Jewell Sub, and sees about 4 trains per day.
This bridge, which has the exact same truss design as the bridge over the Boone River, in Webster City about 10 miles south was very likley built 1901.
Sometimes called the Woolstock Bridge, it stands on the north side of Woolstock, Iowa at the intersection of 330th Street and the railroad.
It appears as if the north abutment was encased in cememt recently.
This is another one of those bridges where I swear there isn't a bad angle on.
This bridge features "M" Frame portal bracing, and laced endposts.
The photo above is looking off the 330th Street Bridge. Eagle Creek Railroad Bridges
|Upstream||UP Eagle Creek Bridge|
|Downstream||Confluence with Boone River|