• NS Operations in Iowa

  • Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
  by Jmusolf
Noticed while looking some stuff up about NS that they had a line to Des Moines, IA. Can anyone tell me information about this line? Is this on trackage rights thru BNSF or another operator or is it their own track? Also how active is this line as far as NS trains go? Never knew NS went to this part of the midwest!

Also sorry if a thread similar to this exists, the search doesn't work for me currently..
  by riffian
The NS line to Des Moines is the remains of the Wabash Des Moines line. Actually, Wabash had quite a bit of trackage in Iowa, including a line to Omaha (Council Bluffs) entirely owned by Wabash, but since abandoned by NS. Wabash used the Union Stations in both Des Moines and Omaha and had through sleeping cars and coaches between those points and St Louis well in to the 60's. The Des Moines line was entirely owned by the Wabash, with the Minneapolis and St Louis as a tenant north of Albia. This trackage has been rationalized, and is also used by BNSF, but I don't have specific details.
  by Engineer Spike
We had a local to Des Moins out of Galesburg, when I was there, but I never worked it. I think some of the cars came from W. Quincy, via some connection down toward St. Louis. From there they went up the K Line to Burlington.

In Album, there was a short line which served to old Wabash south of our north track ( the south track went under the Wabash alignment). There was a combination of Burlington and Wabash track on the branch. The milepost series would switch between each road's series. While I was there, they renumbered the mileposts consecutively.
  by ericch1234
The Wabash and Burlington had parallel lines running from Albia to Des Moines. I believe I have the timeline correct: The sharing of track began back in the 1930's when the Wabash abandoned its track from Albia to Hamilton in 1934 and began using the Burlington. The next year the Burlington abandoned its line from Hamilton to Tracy. From Tracy to Des Moines the railroads maintained separate lines until 1964 when the Wabash abandoned its track from Tracy to Runnells, just outside of Des Moines.

At this point the arrangement was Albia to Hamilton = CB&Q; Hamilton to Tracy = Wabash; Tracy to Runnells = CB&Q; Runnells to Des Moines = unsure. In 1993, the Norfolk and Western abandoned its line from Moberly MO to Albia IA. They continued service to Des Moines from Missouri over the Burlington Northern via W. Quincy, Keokuk, Burlington, Ottumwa, and Albia. I am not sure if that arrangement has always been haulage rights or if it started out as trackage rights.

According to Iowa DOT maps the Norfolk Southern still owns the Hamilton to Tracy segment as well as track from near Runnells into Des Moines and the BNSF owns the rest.

I am a little less knowledgeable about the M&StL but I believe they acquired trackage rights from Des Moines to Oskaloosa to connect their 2 north-south lines. After that it was extended to Albia (due to a bridge problem?) and from Albia the M&StL took its own line up to Oskaloosa. Someone else can hopefully check my M&StL details.
  by Engineer Spike
The M&StL line came in at Maxon, which is a mile or two east of Albia. I was on the local which went to Albia, and we switcher cars at Mason, and also interchanged with the short line which has the Wabash line running south.