Storm Lake Rail Crossing

Through Plate Girder Bridge over Abandoned Milwaukee Road Railroad
Storm Lake, Buena Vista County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Storm Lake Rail Crossing
Built By Illinois Central Railroad
Contractor American Bridge Works of Chicago
Currently Owned By Canadian National Railway
Length 33 Feet Total
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 20 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Through Plate Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1900
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
CN Bridge Number 427.1
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date April 2018
In 1866, the Dubuque and Sioux City Railroad began expanding their existing mainline west, from Cedar Falls to Iowa Falls.
This route connected to Dubuque Chicago on the east, making it an important route. In 1867, Illinois Central began to lease the D&SC.

In 1869, the Iowa Falls and Sioux City Railroad continued construction west, reaching Sioux City by the end of 1870.
This new construction was in response to a fear by the directors of the D&SC that the Illinois Central would lose interest in the company. Reaching Sioux City promised a large volume of traffic into Chicago.
The route helped develop several major Iowa towns, including Iowa Falls, Fort Dodge and Cherokee.

In 1888, the IF&SC was merged into the D&SC. By 1900, new connections would be open to Omaha, Sioux Falls and Onawa.

Relatively uncommon in the modern world of railroading, the Illinois Central did not fully consume the D&SC until 1946. Despite this, virtually every project was Illinois Central funded until then.
Immediately after this, the IC went to work rebuilding numerous older truss bridges along the line. This route served as the western mainline for the Illinois Central, which had grown to be considerable in size.
In 1972, the IC merged with the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad to form the Illinois Central Gulf. The ICG dissolved back into the Illinois Central in 1988.

The entire western main line and associated branch lines of the IC were sold to a railroad known as the Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad in 1985.
Just 11 years later, the route would again be purchased by Illinois Central. By 1999, the Illinois Central was purchased by Canadian National.
In 2017, Canadian National operates the Cedar Falls-Fort Dodge segment of this line as the Waterloo Subdivision.

Located in Storm Lake, this small through girder bridge carries the Canadian National over a former railroad.
Built in 1900, this bridge features a single through girder, set onto concrete abutments. It was constructed to cross a former Milwaukee Road branch line, which was later abandoned.
This type of girder is standard on the Illinois Central lines in Iowa.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in fair condition. Some spalling on the substructures is becoming an issue.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.



Source Type


Build Date 1973 Illinois Central Track Profile
Builder Illinois Central Bridge Notes at the National Archives; College Park, Maryland
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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