Iowa Railroad Infrastructure Continues to Succumb to Flooding


By Becky Ogann

AMES, Iowa – June 12, 2008 – The Iowa Department of Transportation is still receiving reports from the railroad companies operating in Iowa regarding additional damage to their tracks and bridges, and impacts to their services.

• The Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Co. (CRANDIC/CIC) bridge downstream from the Eighth Avenue bridge in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, collapsed into the river at 9:43 a.m., Thursday, June 12. The railway had placed rail hopper cars loaded with rock on the span in hopes of weighing the bridge deck down and keeping it in place. That effort was unsuccessful and the bridge collapsed, tossing the hopper cars into the Cedar River. CRANDIC’s main line runs from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City, Iowa.

• Amtrak’s California Zephyr west- and eastbound service is being affected by flooding in Iowa. The BNSF Railway route used by Amtrak will be temporarily closed effective Friday, June 13, due to flooding at Ottumwa. No detour routes are available due to flooding elsewhere in the state. Starting with the westbound California Zephyr, Train 5, from Chicago on June 13 and the eastbound California Zephyr, Train 6, which left Wednesday, June 11, from Emeryville, Calif., trains will originate and terminate in Omaha, instead of Chicago. Alternate transportation will be provided by chartered motor coaches on June 13, 14 and 15 between Chicago and Omaha. For questions about Amtrak services, contact Marc Magliari, Media Relations Manager, Amtrak Government Affairs and Communications, 312-880-5390.

• Keokuk Junction Railway (KJRY) reports that the flood walls have shut down their mainline operations. They are unable to provide normal switching for customers. KJRY operates a common carrier railroad line within the city of Keokuk; from Keokuk to LaHarpe, Ill.; and a branch line from Hamilton to Warsaw, Ill., a total of approximately 38 miles.

• Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad (IC&E Railroad) has had significant washouts between Mason City and Nora Springs, and Charles City and Ossian, Iowa, and the lines will remain closed for seven to 14 days. Customers between Mason City and Marquette, Iowa, are being rerouted. Traffic is moving on alternate routes, but delays can be expected. Mississippi River flood levels were expected to impact Davenport and Columbus Junction area operations today. IC&E Railroad began operations is 2002. IC&E's main lines extend from Chicago to Kansas City, Mo.; and from Sabula, Iowa, on the Mississippi River northwesterly to Minneapolis-St. Paul. Their branch lines extend from Marquette west to Mason City and Sheldon, Iowa; and from Austin to Jackson and to Rosemount, Minn.

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