The Railroad Came and Went

CB&Q - Central Iowa Railway - Iowa Central Railroad - M&StL - C&NW

1880 - New Sharon, Coal Valley & Eastern Railway incorporated

1882 - Name changed to Chicago, Burlington & Pacific Railroad, which constructs rail line through Winfield, from Oskaloosa to Mississippi River, opposite Keithsburg, Illinois; Mississippi River bridge built (1888) and line soon opened to Peoria

1882 - Central Iowa Railway (incorporated 1878) succeeds the Chicago, Burlington, and Pacific Railroad

1888 - Iowa Central Railroad purchases Central Iowa Railroad

1901 - Minneapolis & St Louis Railroad leases and operates Iowa Central Railroad

1914 - M&StL ("Misery & Short Life") purchases Iowa Central Railroad
During World War I - M&StL begins to market itself as "The Peoria Gateway" fast freight route between the Twin Cities and Peoria (via Winfield), avoiding Chicagoland rail yard congestion

1923 to 1942 - Financially-troubled M&StL in receivership

1929 - Self-propelled gas-electric motor car ("doodlebug") passenger trains - 1 each way each day - replace conventional steam-powered passenger trains through Winfield

1939 - M&StL Railway formed to take over restructured M&StL Railroad

1942 - Mixed trains (handling both freight and passenger cars) replace the gas-electric passenger trains through Winfield

1945 - New "hot" diesel-powered freight trains, Numbers 19 and 20, inaugurated between Minneapolis and Peoria via Winfield

1946 - Post Office Department ends use of M&StL trains through Winfield for mail handling

1950 - M&StL retires its last steam locomotives; becomes 100% dieselized

1951 - Handling of LCL (less-than-carload) freight discontinued by M&StL through Winfield

1956 - Passenger service, provided by mixed trains (now running tri-weekly each way), discontinued through Winfield

1957 - Olds depot agency discontinued; Olds freight accounts now also handled by M&StL's Winfield Agent. M&StL Winfield depot agency discontinued; Winfield (and Olds) freight accounts now handled by CB&Q Winfield Agent

1959 - Two more fast freight trains, Numbers 1 and 2, enter Minneapolis-Peoria service via Winfield; are diverted to another route (not via Winfield) two years later

1960 - Chicago & Northwestern Railway purchases and absorbs the M&StL, including service through Winfield

1965 - Ex-M&StL depot at Winfield razed

1966 - CB&Q/C&NW joint agency at Winfield discontinued; CB&Q dualized agent at Mt. Union/Yarmouth handles CB&Q Winfield freight accounts; C&NW (ex-M&StL) Morning Sun agent handles C&NW (ex-M&StL) Winfield, Olds and Wayland freight accounts

About 1967 - Fast Minneapolis-Peoria freight trains 19 and 20 diverted to another C&NW route (via Clinton, Iowa, and Nelson, Illinois); as needed freight service continues through Winfield

November 4, 1971 - C&NW abandons service through Winfield; trackage subsequently removed

Compiled by Rev. Phil Borleske, Olds, Iowa

Reminiscence of Railroad Days of Long Ago by Orin K. "Bub" Kepper