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Don's Rail Photos
Mason City & Clear Lake RR
Iowa Terminal RR
Iowa Traction RR
This railroad began service in 1897 and was one of the two first electric railroads in Iowa. It is the only one left. It has had an interesting history beginning with the opening day when they had their first pile-up. Fortunately no one was hurt.
Freight service was the major source of income right from the beginning. Pasenger service was continued until August 30, 1936. New owners took over in 1950 and changed the name from Ry to RR. In 1961, new owners took over and changed the name to the Iowa Terminal RR. They later acquired the Charles City Western on December 31, 1963. The Charles City Division was dieselized after a tornado destroyed much overhead on May 15, 1968. Several years later the remaining trackage at Charles City was abandoned. Meanwhile the Mason City Division continued to operate as usual. The Charles City equipment was transferred to Mason City to replace equipment burned in the shop fire. The large Canadian locomotives were scrapped since they were too heavy. In April 1987, the line changed hands again and became the Iowa Traction RR.
Here are a selection of photos of this fascinating line.
3 was built by the Iowa & Illinois Ry in 1912 from parts of their locomotive 1 which was originally built in 1904. It was numbered 83 and then became Clinton Davenport & Muscatine 83 when the I&I and the D&M merged in 1916. In 1919 it went to the MC&CL as 3. In 1945, the cab burned and it was rebuilt as 51 and went to the Iowa Terminal 51 who used it for a short line only.
4 was a locomotive built by Pullman in 1897, #883. It was known as "The Pig" and scrapped in the 1920s.
5 was rebuilt by the Tri-City Railway from a local city car in 1923. It was scrapped in 1941.
11 was an open trailer built by Pullman in 1897, order 879. In the 1930s it was retired and converted to a shed as shown.
15 was a closed trailer built by Pullman in 1897, order 878. It was later motorized and retired in the 1920s.
19 was built by Pullman as New York & Brooklyn Bridge 97. It was purchased in April, 1909, as a trailer. It was later motorized and converted to a freight motor. It was retired in the late 1930s, but it was not scrapped until 1963.
20 was a 23 ton General Electric diesel, April 1941, #13089, as Charles City Western 200. In December 1964 it became Iowa Terminal 20. It was told to Fairfax Farmers Elevator, no number, and the company was taken over as South Central Co-op.
21 and 22 were built by American Car in 1909 under order 818. They were retired in 1924, but were stored until 1947, when the bodies were sold for non rail use.
1st 30 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1915 as Charles City Western 300. After the merger, it was renumbered IAT 30 in December, 1964. In 1970 it was sold to the Illinois Railway Museum.
2nd 30 was apparently a main line flat car.
1st 31 was built by Cincinnati Car in 1922 under order 2605 as Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee 216. In 1948 it was converted from an express motor to a tool car. It was acquired by Iowa Terminal RR in 1963. On November 24, 1967, it burned.
2nd 31 was apparently a former Milwaukee Road caboose.
33 was built by Cincinnati Car in 1924 under order 2720 as CNS&M 234. In 1948 it was converted from an express motor to a tool car. It was acquired by Iowa Terminal RR in 1965 and given a quick paint job. It was stored at Charles City on the former Charles City Western until 1968 when it was brought to Mason City and converted to a line car.
34 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1912. It was retired in the 1950s, and the body was used for storage at Mason City until 1963, when it was moved to Emery. It later burned.
35 was one of two cars, 35 and 36, which were built by Cincinnati Car Co. and acquired from the Tri-City Railways in December, 1916. They were rebuilt to one man in 1918. 36 was retired in 1938 and 35 was scrapped in 1964.
40 was apparently formerly a main line gon.
45 was a 45 ton General Electric diesel, March 1939, #12502, as Charles City Western 201. It was formerly Port Everglades Belt Line Ry 300 until purchased by CCW in 1944. In December 1964 it became IaT 45. It was sold to Whisler Equipment in April, 1968, and later became Mound City Terminal #1.
1st 50 was built by Oklahoma Rys 600 in 1910 and rebuilt in 1929. In 1946 it became MC&CL 50. After a short time on the Iowa Terminal, it was scrapped in April, 1963.
2nd 50 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in October, 1920, #53784, as Washington & Old Dominion 50. It was acquired by the Cedar Rapids & Iowa City in 1947 was rebuilt as 58. In 1955, it was sold to the Kansas City Kaw Valley RR as 507. In 1962, it became IAT 53, and it was renumbered 50 in 1963. It is now Iowa Traction RR 50.
51 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in May,1921, #54748, as Northeastern Oklahoma Ry 2. It was purchased in 1940 by Crandic as 57, and then sold to the KCKV as 505 in 1954. In 1963 it became IAT 51.
52 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in December, 1919, #52669, as NEO 1. It was purchased in 1940 by Crandic as 56, and then sold to the Kansas City Kaw Valley RR as 506 in 1954. In 1963 it became Iowa Terminal RR 52. It burned November 24, 1967.
53 was built by St. Louis Car Co. in 1913, order 990, as Southern Traction Co. 314. In 1917 it became Texas Electric Ry. 314. In 1928 it was rebuilt as locomotive 801, Class A. In January, 1949 it was sold to the Charles City Western as 303. In December, 1964 it became Iowa Terminal RR 53. After the wires came down at Charles City in 1968, it was transferred to Mason City. It is now stored off-line.
(53) was built in Crandic company shops in 1923 using the trucks from car 107. In 1954 it went to Iowa Electric Light & Power Co. as 53. In 1968 it was sold to the Iowa Terminal RR for parts.
54 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in May, 1923, #56538, as Southern Iowa Ry (Iowa Southern Utilities) 400. When that road took down its wires in 1967, it was sold to IAT as 52 in May, 1968). When it was shipped, it was renumbered 54 in June, 1969.
60 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in May, 1917, #41054, as Youngstown & Ohio River RR 5. In April, 1932, it became Union Electric Ry 80 in Kansas. In 1948 it was sold to the MC&CL as 52. In 1961 IAT renumbered it 2 and then 60.
62 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in December, 1913, #41054, as Y&OR 3, In April, 1932, it became UER 82. In 1948 it was sold to the MC&CL as 53. In 1961 IAT renumbered it 61. It was scrapped in 1970.
66 was built by General Electric in August 1948, #29312, as Kansas City Public Service Co 2. It was sold as Hutchinson & Northern Ry 3 in March 1959 and sold as IAT 66 in 1972. It was resold as Middletown & Hummelstown RR 3 in an unknown date.
80 was built by Preston Car & Coach Co in 1921 as Grand River RR 226. It was rebuilt in 1955 and sold as IAT 80 in 1963. It was scrapped in 1973.
76, 70 Ton, was built by General Electric in June 1953, #31726, as Tidewater Southern RR 753, Class S-41. It was sold to Preston W Duffy in June 1967 and resold to George R Silcott Co. It was sold as IAT 76 in January 1969 and sold as Sisseton Southern RR 76 in 1987. It became Dakota Southern RR 76 in 1989.
100 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1914 as Waterloo Cedar Falls & Northern 100. It was built as a second motor to operate behind the 140s as a two car train. The baggage compartment was a kitchen, and the rear end was an open platform observation. The buffet section was replaced with coach seats in 1918. The car was then rebuilt with a control station and baggage compartment in 1928 and the rear platform was enclosed at that time. It was the last interurban left on the WF&N when it became diesel freight, and it was donated to the Iowa Chapter of the NRHS in 1956. It was moved to Centerville and operated on the Southern Iowa Ry. When the SI cut back its operation and dieselized, the Iowa Chapter transferred the car to the IAT in 1966. Shortly after it was repainted and put into charter service, it was destroyed in the carbarn fire early November 24, 1967. It had been the only car saved from the WCF&N roundhouse fire on October 31, 1954, when the other two cars of its class burned.
101 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1915 as Charles City Western 50. After the merger it became Iowa Terminal 101 in December, 1964. It is now at Boone & Scenic Valley RR and restored as CCW 50.
1st 102 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1911. In 1961 it became IAT 3. It was sold to the Midwest Central at Mount Pleasant in 1973.
2nd 102 was built by Cincinnati Car in 1926 under order 2890 as Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee 727. In 1963, the Iowa Chapter NRHS purchased it and operated it on the Southern Iowa. After the 101 burned, NRHS sold the car to the IAT in 1968 and it was repainted and renumbered 102. It was acquired to Iowa Trolley Museum in 1987. It was restored to some extent as CNS&M 727 and apparently returned to Iowa Terminal RR.
104 was built by the Pennsylvania RR in 1917. In 1961 it became IAT 2. In 1969 it was rebuilt with plows from Des Moines & Central Iowa X-3 and the line tower from the Charles City line car. It was renumbered 30.
105 started out as single truck passenger car 8 built by Pullman in 1897, order #881. In the 1920s it was rebuilt as a line car. In 1961 the IAT renumbered it as1. It was lost in the Thanksgiving 1967 barn fire.
106 was built by Pullman in 1897, order 880, as MC&CL express milk trailer 3. It went to the CD&M who rebuilt it as a motor car and lengthened it by ten feet. It came back to the MC&CL as 1 in 1919. Shortly afterwards it was rebuilt as 106. It was retired about 1947 and scrapped in 1963.
9353 was built at Centralia in 1972. as Illinois Central 9353. It was renumbered as Illinois Central Gulf 199353 and sold as IUT 9353.
There was a Brownhoist electric crane which does not appear in any roster I have seen.
Here are several pictures of the shop and barn area taken over 60 years ago. The shop building was probably the building which burned on Thanksgiving, 1967. The carpenter and paint shop building lost about one third after a tornado in 1961. It was then made single track. The car storage building was torn down about 1940. It doesn't look as if that was much of a project from the photo.
Mason City Brick & Tile Co.
While it was a separate company, I felt this was a good place to include this operation. A steam locomotive was used beginning in 1931 to bring clay from the pits to the brick plant in the southwest part of Mason City. In 1940 the line was electrified with two Differential dump motors purchased from the Clinton Davenport & Muscatine where they 55 and 56. They later acquired at least an additional motor and one or more trailers. As the pits moved farther away from the factory, the rails were not extended. This meant that the clay had to be double handled with trucks from the pit to rail head. By 1956, the operation became all truck. The rails came out and the equipment was scrapped.
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