This line between Des Moines, IA and Leavenworth, MO, started out as the Chicago, St. Paul and Kansas City Railroad, who built the line south from their connection in Des Moines to Saint Joseph, MO, by 1890. In 1892, the railroad was merged with others to form the Chicago Great Western Railroad, who completed the line into Leavenworth in 1895. From Leavenworth, trackage rights over the Missouri Pacific Railroad were utilized to gain access to Kansas City proper. The CGW crossed the Missouri River at Leavenworth over a swing bridge.
Here is a timetable of the route:
|(via MP RR)|
In 1968 the CGW merged with the Chicago & North Western Railroad, which was only interested in this line as their connection to Kansas City; most of the remaining CGW lines were promptly abandoned.
After the bankruptcy of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad in 1980, the C&NW acquired in 1983 the "Spine Line" running between Kansas City and the Twin Cities in Minnesota via Des Moines. The line was in poor condition due to deferred maintenance, and major rehabilitation was completed in 1984. This route was abandoned soon after in 1985.