Gladbrook to Gifford

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  • States: Iowa   
  • Railroads: C&NW   
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Here is evidence of the line in Conrad. This view is looking west. Photo by Jeremy Harris, May 2008.

This line, about 22 miles long, connected the C&NW line at Gladbrook with the Minneapolis & St. Louis (ex Iowa Central) mainline at Gifford. Not much of the line's history is known. According to the Iowa Office of Rail Transportation, the corridor was abandoned in segments: the line west of Conrad was abandoned between 1970 and 1979, while the line east of Conrad was abandoned between 1980 and 1989.

Towns along the line from Gladbrook are Beaman, Conrad, Whitten and Gifford.

Back in 1973 to 1975 I worked as a brakeman between Tama and Eldora. I also worked from Eagle Grove to Lawn Hill via Jewell. When I read your information I was confused by the comment about Gifford as we did not go through there between Whitten and Eldora. There was a Wye between Whitten and Eldora that came from Lawn Hill but the tracks were gone by the fall of 1973. If you go to http://www.iowadot.gov/iowarail/railroads/maps/Chronology.pdf you will see that the line between Lawn Hill and the junction that went through Gifford was abandoned in the 60's. There was a bridge that was structurally unsond between Whitten and Conrad. That happened in 1974 and the trains operated from Tama to Conrad and back Monday through Friday after that. I was told that the livestock trains would come out of Hawarden through Eagle Grove and Via Jewell to the junction and then to Tama onto Belle Plaine where there was a crew change.

Bradley Olson
Minneapolis, MN
7/21/2012

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IN PICTURE #4 JUST TO THE RIGHT OF THE TWO STEEL BINS IS A TELEPHONE POST ON THAT POST IS MP 26. 26 MILES FROM TAMA. I WORKED THIS LINE OFF THE MARSHALLTOWN EXTRA BOARD AFTER THE FLOODS IN 1974 WE WENT TO CONRAD AND TURNED BACK TO TAMA. THAT MP IS STILL THERE TODAY, 8-20-13

REX MCELROY
BEAMAN, IA
8/20/2013

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