M&StL Annual Reports
M&StL Annual Reports
Some interesting tidbits from M&StL Annual Reports
Thanks to Dennis Holmes for making this available through the
1920 | 1922 | 1923
| 1925 | 1926 | 1927
| 1929 | 1930 | 1931
| 1934 | 1935 | 1936
| 1938 | 1939 | 1940
| 1941 | 1943 | 1944
| 1945 | 1946 | 1948
| 1949 | 1950 | 1951
| 1952 | 1953 | 1954
| 1955 | 1956
From the 1920 Annual Report:
- Second stories were added to the freight houses in Fort Dodge and Des
Moines to provide office space.
- 250 gondola cars were received at a cost of $2,745 per car.
- Purchased also were 15 Mikado type freight locomotives, built by
Alco, with a tractive power of 46,400 pounds, similar in design to the
largest type of freight locomotive in use on the M&StL. The total
cost of these locomotives was $965,475.
- Also purchased were five Pacific type passenger locomotives at a cost
of $62,350 each. These locomotives were built by the American Locomotive
Co. and the cost thereof financed by the payment of $16,350 on the
delivery of each engine and the giving of notes to Alco for the balance.
- 33 miles of main track were relaid with 85# steel rail replacing 80#
between Eldora and Gifford.
- 70# second hand rail replaced 56# through Gilmore City and on the
Algona branch through Latimer, between Alexander and Belmond and between
Minerva and Zearing on the Story City branch.
- The line from Manly Jct. to Albert Lea 27.52 miles, is owned jointly
with the CRI&P Ry. Co.
The 1922 Annual Report for the M&StL includes
the following info:
- 85# steel was laid between Steamboat Rock and Abbott a distance of
5.73 miles replacing 80#,also 2.72 miles between Eldora and Steamboat
- The company owned or leased 14 - 6 wheel switch, 9 mogul switch, 10
superheater switch, 26 - 8 wheel passenger, 20 10 wheel passenger, 5
mikado passenger, 16 10 wheel freight, 35 mogul freight, 59
consolidation freight, 35 mikado freight, 13 baggage, 22 baggage and
mail, 2 baggage, mail and psgr. 10 baggage and passenger, 3 business, 2
cafe-chair, 9 chair, 59 passenger, 2 postal, 16 miners for a total of
138 passenger cars with a seating capacity of 5,244.
1923 Annual Report
- 21.62 miles of main line was relaid with new 85# steel.
- At the end of 1923 there were a total of 1380.98 miles of main line
and 164.86 miles of branch lines.
- There were 12.04 miles of 90#, 369.39 miles of 85#, 223.94 miles of
80#, 580. miles of 70#, 29.56 miles of 66#, 147.87 miles of 60#, and
18.18 miles of 565#. On branch lines 7.11 miles of 80#, 32.36 miles of
70#, 56.9 miles of 60# and 68.49 miles of 56#.
- The revenue from psgrs for the year 1925 was $1,251,268.16 a
decrease of $163,408.78 or 11.55%.
- The number of psgrs carried was 708,435, a decrease of 227,961 psgrs
or 24.34%. The decrease in psgr revenue is due to the large increase in
the number of automobiles, as well as commercial psgr busses operated in
competition with us in all of our territory where there is a substantial
volume of psgr traffic. This competition is having a progressively
destructive effect upon psgr earnings and is absorbing from month to
month the greater portion of short distance travel. This is evidenced by
the fact that the number of psgrs carried declined approximately 12.79%
more than the decline is psgr. revenue. Efforts were made during the
last half of the year to develop additional revenue from excursions,
week end rates, and other special business, that reduced the decreases
of the first half of the year by approximately $40,000.
- 20.47 miles of main line was relaid with 85# steel replacing 80#.
M&StL AR 1926.
- We have made good progress on a colonization project in southern
Minnesota on the Central Division between Albert Lea and Twin Lakes. The
Kansota Farms Corp. have erected a concrete warehouse on trackage and
will plant several hundred acres to potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
They expect to develop this to large proportions.
- Revenue from psgr traffic was #1,114,075.27 a decrease of $107,192.89
or 8.57%. 677,309 psgrs were carried, a decrease of 31,126 or 4.39%.
These figures indicate an increase of short hauls which was brought
about thru attractive week end rates that helped us bring the inevitable
decrease to a better basis comparitively. Trains between St. Paul and
St. Louis via Albia and the Wabash have done very well, as have trains
between Mpls. and Watertown. All other service is practically local,
with some trains showing good earnings betweeen certain stations and all
of them doing so during bad weather, but in the aggregate showing
decreases by reason of the increasing number of private automobiles.
- 13.48 miles of main track were relaid with 85# steel replacing .25
miles of 80# and 70# rail.
- Passenger train miles 1,726,165 and mixed train miles 238,754.
From the 1927 report:
- Passengers carried 605,275... in 1926 677,309. Average distance
carried 56.09 miles.
- The road paving projects in Iowa....$100,000,000 bond issue to cover
a 5 year period is proposed. This will mean at least six months of heavy
tonnage from the cement plants and in sand, gravel, and rock from the
quarries located at Gilmore City, Humboldt, Mason City, Marshalltown,
and Eddyville. We now have six contractor "set ups" at various
points and there are possibilities for others.
- The Quaker Oats plant in Fort Dodge is running at capacity. This has
been the heaviest year for this plant.
- The psgr traffic between St Louis and the Twin Cities was not as
great a volume as the previous year, due to lighter summer business from
the South to the Minnesota tourist resorts; less commercial men in the
territory, and also great improvement in the train schedules and
equipment of our competitors which operate via chicago. Business between
Twin Cities and Watertown just about held its own, but business from the
Twin Cities to Ft. Dodge and other Iowa territory showed some decreases
as a result of a greater number of privately owned automobiles, and also
the unhealthy business conditions that prevailed in Iowa.
- 1.13 miles of main track were relaid with 85# rail, replacing worn
85# rail between Jordan and Helena, MN.
- This report still shows three officer's cars and 124 psgr cars.
M&StL 1928 A.R.:
- Psgr. revenue for 1928, as compared with 1927, declined
$1,054.144.38 or 17.22%. This is due to the increase in the number of
private automobiles and the extension of bus service. The decrease is in
both short and long haul traffic but is more pronounced in the former. A
number of new bus lines were established during the year in our
teritory, and the highways were generally in better condition than
formerly. Our sleeping car business between the Twin Cities and
Watertown and Ft. Dodge declined somewhat, because of the extension of
the use of automobiles for longer trips, and in the case of Watertown to
the bus line between that point and Mpls. established during the year.
- The thru business on the North Star Limited, trains nos. 5&6,
between the Twin Cities and St. Louis, was about equal to 1927, and our
ability to break even with the previous year is due to the improved
schedule made effective and the improved equipment placed in service on
those trains during the year. Competition for this business is very keen
and we find it increasingly difficult to hold our own against
competitive service via Chicago.
- During the year 12.08 miles of main track were relaid with 100# (new)
rail, replacing 1.40 miles of worn 85# rail between New Sharon and
Moore, Iowa and 10.68 miles of worn 85# rail between Hopkins and
- Passenger revenue for 1929, as compared with 1928, decreased from
$872,628.17 to $805,854.3 0 or 7.65%. The continued decrease in
passenger revenue is due almost entirely to the popularity of other
transportation agencies---private automobiles and buses. Certain classes
of business, such as road shows, have practically disappeared.
- Sleeping car business between the Twin Cities and Watertown and Fort
Dodge, continues to decline with the increase in private cars and buses,
and the inclination of people toward their use for longer distances.
- The through business of the "North Star Limited", between
the Twin Cities and St. Louis showed a moderate increase during the year
particularly southbound, which is the result of a change in schedule of
No. 6, providing for morning arrival in St. Louis. Light business has
forced discontinuance of trains 19 and 20 between Keithsburg and Peoria.
- On Dec. 26, 1929, we put into operation gas-electric motor car
service on trains 19 and 20 between Oskaloosa and Peoria and in Jan 1930
on trains 9 and 10 between Mason City and Oskaloosa, and trains 28 and
29 between Winthrop and Storm Lake, to replace steam service.
- During the year 12.31 miles of main line track were relaid with new
100# rail replacing 4.53 miles of worn 85# between Lacy and New Sharon
and 7.78 miles of worn 85# between Eden Prairie and Chaska.
- There were relaid 8.55 miles on main track with second hand
85#--including 4.43 miles of 70# south of Albert Lea.
- There were relaid .58 miles of main track with second hand 70#,
replacing 66# at Corwith.
- Three officer's cars are shown and 123 passenger cars owned.
1930 Annual Report
- The entire main line from Mpls. to Peoria is now laid with 85#, 90#
and 100 # rail (39.13 of 100#, 28.21 of 90#).
- Rail conditions on the entire main lines are good. As rail has been
released from the main line, the ends have been sawed, and this re-sawed
rail used to replace lighter rail on the secondary main lines between
Albert Lea and Des Moines and Hopkins and Watertown. Some of the rail
released from these secondary main lines, which was fit for further use,
was used to replace still lighter rail on branch lines and in side
- The entire main line from Mpls to Peoria is well ballasted with
cinders and gravel, principally cinders.
- Secondary mains have been improved.
- A new deck girder bride was constructed over the Iowa River at
Steamboat Rock, replacing a bridge of much lighter weight which had
served its usefulness.
- In 1929 three, and in 1930 four gas-electric cars were purchased and
paid for out of earnings. These cars are being used to replace light
steam psgr. trains on our main lines, and the average saving in out of
pocket costs through their use is approximately $25,000 per car
annually. They have proved very satisfactory in service and we have now
contracted for four additional units of this class. These cars have
released 15 light locomotives from service as well as 22 psgr. train
cars. The engines were most of them very old and expensive to maintain.
- The passenger revenues for 1930, as compared to 1929, declined from
$805,854.30 to $578,492.09 or 28.21%. This is the greatest decrease we
have had in any one year, and is the result of the business depression
and the popularity of other modes of transportation.
- On March 10 trains Nos. 21 and 22 were discontinued between
Estherville and Spencer, and additional new gas electric cars were
placed in service on trains 1&2, 3&4 between the Twin Cities and
Des Moines; and on trains 1&2 between Albert Lea and Albia, which
supplanted steam service.
- The sleeping car service between the Twin Cities and Ft. Dodge
declined to such an extent as to make it advisable to discontinue
sleeping cars on that line on Nov. 1st.
- The sleeping car business between the Twin Cities and Watertown also
decreased very materially.
- Through business on the "North Star Limited", trains 5&6
between the Twin Cities and St. Louis was about the same northbound but
showed a marked increase southbound as a result of changing the schedule
of No. 6 providing for an afternoon departure from the Twin Cities and
an early morning arrival at St. Louis.
- Star routes have nearly destroyed mail service on the Van Cleve,
Ogden, Algona, and Story City branches.
- During the year 14.74 miles of main track were relaid with new 100 #
rail. .01 mile of 66# was replaced with 70# at Corwith.
- At the end of 1930 there were 39.13 miles of 100#; 12.08 miles of
90#; 435.91 miles of 85#; 202.48 miles of 80#; 541.06 miles of 70#;
19.22 miles of 66#; 117.8 miles of 60# and .92 miles of 56# rail on main
- On branch lines .01 miles of 85#; 7.17 miles of 80#; 32.91 miles of
70#; 85.91 miles of 60# and 28.48 miles of 56# rail.
- During the year there were purchased four additional gas electric
cars of 400 h.p. each which were paid for in cash out of earnings. Our
experience with the gas electric cars has been extremely satisfactory,
and the savings which we are effecting annually through the use of the
eleven which we now have, has much more than justified their purchase.
- The management has consumated a purchase from CB&Q for 45 miles
of railroad between Martinsburg and Brighton, Iowa, and between
Oskaloosa and Tracy, Iowa. The former Burlington line between
Martinsburg & Brighton paralleled our railroad, and its purchase
eliminated severe grades of 1.25%. Also this portion of the new line has
only three bridges compared with 37 on our old line. This new track
enables us to handle a very much heavier train at less cost and with
much greater safety.We are making application to the ICC for permission
to abandon the old line between Martinsburg and Brighton. Upon
acquisition of the Burlington line between Oskaloosa and Tracy, our
contract for joint use of the CRI&P RR line between Oskaloosa and
Des Moines was cancelled, and we are now operating over our new line
betweeen Oskaloosa and Tracy and jointly over the Burlington line
between Tracy and Des Moines which makes a more favorable arrangement.
- ICC granted permission to abandon the old line between Martinsburgt
- M&StL asked to abandon 125.7 miles of branch line in Iowa----7%
of total mileage.
- The following branch lines were discontinued: Spencer to Storm Lake
36.88 miles; Otho to Berkley 35.91 miles;G&M Jct to Montezuma 13.64
miles; St Benedict to Algona 8.08 miles--all mainline mileage. All the
above described branch lines were dismantled during the year, with the
exception of 2.6 miles of main track at Greenville, Iowa, on the
Spencer-Storm Lake lines operated by the CRI&P R.R. and the line
from St. Benedict to Algona 8.08 miles, for which authority to dismantle
has not yet been given by the ICC.
- During the year, the co-receivers acquired 65 new 55 ton hopper cars,
numbers 60001 to 60129 inclusive, odd numbers only, in trade for scrap
from obsolete and worn out equipment.
- 350,788 cross ties were installed in 1936.
- Rail size by mile: 59.29 miles of 100#, 19.54 miles of 90#, 418.00
miles of 85#, 207.16 miles of 70#, 26.64 miles of 66#, 162.65 miles of
60#, 11.87 miles of 56#. 48.57% of track is ballasted with gravel,
13.11% unballasted on soil, the remainder ballasted with cinders.
Tidbits from 1938
- More steam locomotives were modernized by adding mechanical stokers,
- Four diesel switching locomotives were purchased. Two 600 HP D438 and
D838 and two 900 HP D538 and D738 are seeing service at Peoria,
Oskaloosa, Albert Lea, and Mpls. replacing eight steam locomotives.
- Also added 60, 55 ton all steel hoppers #'s 61501 to 61619 inclusive,
odd #'s only. Payment for 16 cars in cash others in trade for scrap.
- The line from Angus to Berkeley was abandoned (3-18-38) and
dismantled in August 1938.
- Locomotive improvements started in 1937 continued.
- Operation of newly constructed station facilities at Peoria, Il.
commenced June 1, 1939, which replaced joint facilities with the CRI&P.
- Operation of branch line extending from Laurel to Van Cleve a
distance of 6.72 miles was discontinued 8/14/39 and the line dismantled
- Contracts were entered into covering the purchase of two 1000 H.P.
and one 600 HP diesel switching locomotives #'s D139,D539, and D939.
This make a total of seven diesels.
- One officer's car was added to replace one discontinued in 1938
bringing the total to two.
- Passenger revenue increased account of trooop movements in special
trains, and in special carload movements, and it is believed there will
be some increase in 1941 by reason of the movement of draftees and of
the transferring of units from one army post to another.
- There were constructed in the Marshalltown shops, 12 steel
underframed cabooses #'s 1109 to 1120 inclusive. (The 1112 is currently
in Lu Verne, Ia).
- Locomotive improvement was continued.
- ICC authorized the abandonment of the line from Conde to Akaska, S.D.
a total of 103.08 miles, 6/15/40. Operation of the line was discontinued
11/30/40 and it was dismantled shortly afterward.
- No defense plants are located on the M&StL but we are able to
serve the new Ordinance Plant at New Brighton, MN. equally with other
lines entering the Twin Cities, by reason of having a one-ninth
ownership in the Minnesota Transfer Railway Co. on whose line the plant
is located. There are other plants making defense material in the Twin
Cities area in whose traffic we are sharing.
- A new strip bituminous coal mine has been located on our line at
Rapatee, Il. operation of which commenced late this year. The operation
should last 45 years and production is estimated at 800,000 to 1,000,000
tons per annum. The M&StL serves this mine exclusively.
- One diesel switching locomotive D741 1000 HP was purchased.
- 26.59 miles of new 100# rail, 35.24 miles of 90# and 35.08 miles of
85# relay rail was laid in main tracks replacing lighter rail.
- At Des Moines a new freight and passenger station was contructed
replacing the old freight station which was remodeled and leased to
Hagen-Stone Brokerage Co.
- At Rapatee, Il., there was constructed a spur track approximately 4.5
miles in length to serve a new coal mine known as Fairview Collieries
- At Middle Grove, Il. additional trackage was constructed by Midland
Electric Coal Corp. to enlarge its facilities account increased
- Two 380 H.P. diesel switching locomotives D742 and D842 were
- A program of rehabilitating the roadbed and track on the main line
between Mpls and Peoria was commenced in 1937 and progressed each year
thereafter to the fullest extent possible.
- In 1942 there were 97.52 miles of main track ballasted with crushed
rock, and 218.12 miles of main track ballasted with washed and screened
- From 1937-42 ballast was applied to all of the main line from Mpls to
Peoria except approximately 34 miles which will be included in the 1943
- In 1942 there were 23.74 miles of main track relaid with 100# and 90#
rail principally new 100# rail. The 85# rail released from the main
track has been used to replace lighter rail elsewhere on the system.
26.17 miles were ballasted with gravel on the Hopkmins-Watertown line.
- Extensive improvements were made to the roundhouse and shop
structures at Cedar Lake in 1942 & 43.
- Diesel switching service was installed at Mason City and Ft. Dodge.
- At Peoria an automatic "Red Devil Coaler" of 40 ton
capacity per hour was installed for fueling locomotives.
- A total of two officer's cars were on hand 12-31-42. (It appears as
though one officer's car was acquired during 1942 and perhaps one office
care was transferred to another class)
The 742 was asigned to Mason City right away and the 842 went to work at
Ft. Dodge. Clark Propst
here to see the '43 annual report on the Sam Cook Website
- Several new industries were located on the lines of the Company
during the year, among them a large potato warehouse; a dried milk plant
representing an investment of $250,000; a Coca Cola distributing branch,
and a number of smaller activities. New industries at Belmond and
Oskaloosa, Ia, which were under construction in 1943, are now in
operation and producing substantial tonnage, with prospects for a
continuing growth. The Company serves one war industry directly, and
several others are served indirectly by it through the Minnesota
Transfer Railway which operates in the midway area between Mpls and St
Paul. The Company has a one-ninth ownership in the Minn Transfer. The
industry served directly by the Company will, no doubt, be converted
into the production of agricultural implements without much delay, when
need for war goods ceases, this being the business the industry was
engaged in previous to the War.
- Approximately 55 miles of main track were laid with new 100# rail
during the year replacing 85 # rail, much of which was relaid on
secondary lines and in yard tracks replacing lighter weight rail.
- Approximately 63 miles of main track were ballasted with gravel
during the year on the line extending from Hopkins, MN to Watertown, SD.
- Concrete runways and platforms were constructed at Marshalltown to
improve shop facilities and permit operation of labor saving machinery
such as power cranes.
- A new engine house was constructed at Peoria replacing the old engine
house which was totally destroyed by a tornado about a year ago. This
new house is designed to accommodate both steam and diesels.
- Three new steel bridges were installed near Jordan, Mn., replacing
old steel bridges of light construction.
- A new mile-long passing track was constructed at London Mills, Il,
and at the same point the main track for a distance of 1 1/2 miles was
raised a maximum of 6 feet to correct an adverse drainage situation that
had existed for many years.
- Several side tracks were constructed at various points on the line to
serve new industries.
- In Nov. 1944 a new diesel switching locomotive No. 145 was acquired
in exchange for diesel switching locomotive No. D 340 purchased in March
1940. The operation of diesel No D340 had not been entirely satisfactory
and the exchange was made without cost to the Company.
- 119 steel under-frame, 80,000 pound capacity box cars in series
numbered 52000 to 52266 inclusive, even numbers only, were constructed
at the Company shops.
- Two Russell all-steel snow plows Nos. X1002 and X1003 were purchased.
- One officer's car was acquired during the year.
- Also included are the number of different types of equipment owned
and the total miles, etc.
As of Dec. 31, 1944 the Minneapolis & St Louis owned the following:
Diesel road switching locomotives - 4
Diesel switching locomotives- 12
6 wheel switching-10
Mogul switching - 1
10 wheel psgr - 4
Pacific psgr. - 1
Mogul freight - 5
Consolidation freight - 31
Macarthur freight - 33
Gas Electric baggage & mail - 7
Gas electric -coach, baggage and mail - 4
Combination coach and lounge 1
Coach, baggage and mail 2
Baggage - 6
Baggage and mail - 3
Total psgr cars -31
Seating capy. 734
Box - 2,720
Flat - 104
Covered hopper - 21
Gondola and hopper -1,433
Stock (leased from private car companies - 90
Total freight cars - 4,451
Officers' cars -3
Jordan Spreaders -1
Wrecking cranes -2
Locomotive cranes - 1
Pile drivers -1
Snow plows , wedge - 3
Snow plows - Russell -4
Other company equipment -227
Misc equipment Automobiles -28 Trucks - 9
- The following equipment was received in 1945:
- 2 4050 H.P. Diesel electric freight locomotives with the total cost
- 7 1000 H.P. Diesel electric combination road and switching
locomotives at a cost of $1,801,140;
- 500 50-ton all steel double sheathed box cars at a cost of $44,051
- 10 50 ton all steel flat cars at a cost of $78,400
- 10 50-ton box cars with aluminum superstructure at a cost of $44,051
- 12 steel underframe caboose cars at a cost of $57,375
- By reason of placing Diesel electric locomotives in service, the
Company was enabled to effect savings in locomotive operation costs,
speed up the movement of freight, and scrap a number of fully
depreciated steam locomotives of ages 35 to 44 years.
- Two additional 1000 H.P. diesel road and switching locomotives,
ordered in 1945, were received and placed in service in January, 1946.
- An order was placed in 1945 for one additional 4050 H.P. Diesel
electric freight locomotive, delivery of which is expected by summer of
- The six stainless steel psgr coaches, purchase of which was
authorized by your Board late in 1944, have not yet been received.
- 45 miles of new 112# and new 100 # rail were laid in main tracks
replacing lighter weight rail.
- 36 miles of relay 100# and 85# rail were laid in main tracks
replacing lighter weight rail.
- Gravel ballasting of the line from Hopkins, MN to Watertown,SD, a
distance of 215 miles, which was commenced by the Receiver in 1942 was
completed this year.
- Cuts were widened at various points on the R.O.W. where snow drifts
have delayed trains and caused considerable snow removal expense.
- Spur tracks were constructed to serve industries at Monmouth, IL,
Watertown, SD, and Des Moines, Grinnell, and Belmond IA.
- Passing tracks at Abbott and Union, Ia, were lengthened to
accommodate longer freight trains hauled by Diesel locos.
- For the proper maintenance of Diesel locomotives, a new repair shop
was constructed at the Cedar Lake shops in Mpls.
- Diesel fueling stations were constructed at Albert Lea and Peoria.
- A new automatic interlocker with manual control was installed at the
crossing with the CRI&P at Grinnell, Ia, which eliminated train
stops at this crossing and consequent traffic delays.
- At Oskaloosa, Ia. a 10 pen stock yard was constructed to serve
shippers of live stock.
- Improvements were made to the enginehouse facilities in Peoria.
- A neat pix of the 502 was included along with pix of the 3 unit
diesel, a aluminum box car, a double sheathed box car, and an RS-1.
- A roster of equipment owned and a list of equipment obligations were
- 42 miles of main line track were relaid with new 100# rail replacing
- 39 miles of main line track were relaid with relay 100# and 85# rail
replacing lighter weight rail.
- 77 miles of main line roadbed were improved by application of
additional gravel ballast.
- Large steel and reinforced concrete culverts were installed
permitting filling of 5 bridges of 331 feet total length.
- A service building of brick and concrete construction was erected
adjacent to the Diesel locomotive repair shop building at Cedar Lake
shops in Mpls.
- A diesel fueling station was constructed at Des Moines.
- Purchase was made of two parcels of land and two three-story brick
buildings located on one parcel, adjacent to the tracks of the company
- By reason of the acquisition of eight 1000 H.P. Diesel locomotives
during the year, your Company's western line extending from Mpls to
Aberdeen SD and the southwestern line extending from Albert Lea to Des
Moines are now operated by Diesel locomotives. Changing from steam to
Diesel power enabled the Management to retire a number of
costly-to-repair old steam locomotives, retire water and coaling
stations on those lines, affect savings in maintenance and operation
costs, and materially improve transportation service.
- Equipment on order at the close of the year consisted of 50 covered
hopper cars, delivery of which was made early in 1947, 6 passenger
coaches, one 1000 H.P. Diesel locomotive, 250 gondola cars, 250 hopper
cars, and 600 box cars, delivery of which is expected in 1947.
- New equipment for 1946
- 1 4050 H.P. Diesel electric 3 unit freight loco at a cost of $431,281
- 8 1000 H.P. Diesel electric combination road and switching cost:
- 31 50 ton all-steel flat cars cost: $93,781
- [The 4050 H.P. Diesel and 5 of the 1000 H.P. Diesels were purchaed
under equipment contracts. The balance of equipment acquired during the
year was purchased outright.]
- Included were photographs of the 3 unit 147, a 50 ton flat, the 1046,
and a 70 ton covered hopper.
1948 annual report
- New equipment:
- 3 3000 H.P. Diesel electric freight locomotives at the cost of
- 3 1000 H.P. Diesel electric combination road and switching locos cost
- 1 380 H.P. Diesel switching loco at the cost of $52,211
- 6 Light weight all-steel psgr coaches at the cost of $596,399
- 14 50-ton all steel flat cars at the cost of $53,858
- 7 steel underfram caboose cars at the cost of $54,747
- 366 50 ton steel sheathed box cars at the cost of $1,764,230
- Orders were placed in 1948 for three 3000 H.P. and five 1000 H.P.
Diesel locomotives which will probably be delivered in 1949. Upon
delivery of the eight Diesel electric locos now on order your railroad
will be substantially 100% dieselized.
- The volume of freight traffic handled by your railroad in the year
1948 was approximately four percent less than in 1947. This was due
principally to low grain production during 1947 in the territory served
by the M&StL, which resulted from unfavorable growing conditions,
affecting corn in the State of Iowa to a considerable extent.
- The ICC on Feb. 24, 1948 issued a Certificate of Public Convenience
and Necessity in Finance Docket No. 15618, permitting abandonment by
your Company of the branch line extending from Corwith to St. Benedict,
Iowa, a distande of 7.37 miles. Dismantling operations were completed in
April 1948. Traffic handled on the line was relatively light for a
number of years, and until 1945 the revenues were slightly in excess of
expenses. Operation of the line in 1945 and 1946 was conducted at a
loss. Your Company early in 1947, apppled to the ICC for permission to
abandon the line.
- In June 1947, floods washed out the line between Fosterdale and
Tracy, Iowa, a distance of 5.25 miles. This line was used by our freight
trains operating between Oskaloosa and Des Moines, Iowa, via Tracy, from
which point the CB&Q line to Des Moines was used under contract
arrangement. A temporary arrangement with the Wabash and CB&Q
permits operation over their jointly owned lines from Albia, Iowa, to
Tracy. Application have been filed with the Interstate Commerce
Commission for authority to make the arrangement permanent and to
abandon the line from Fosterdale to Tracy.
- 27 miles of main line track were relaid with new 100 # rail replacing
90 and 85# rail.
- 19 miles of main line track were relaid with 90# and 85# relay rail
replacing lighter weight rail.
- 47 miles of main line roadbed were improved by application of
additional gravel ballast. Included in this project was the raising of
sags in one area from 12 to 15 inches.
- Automatic color-light block signals and spring switches with signal
protection were installed betweeen Peoria and Maxwell, Illinois, a
distance of about four miles.
- Electric locked gates and signals were installed at railroad
crossings with the C&NW at St. James, Minn., replacing mechanical
- Flasher light highway signals were installed at five locations.
- A wye track was constructed at Morton, Mn, to permit retirement of
worn out turntable.
- A passing track, 4,303 feet in length, was constructed at Nemo, Il.,
and the passing track at New Sharon, Ia., was extended 1,739 feet.
- Additional yard tracks, 4,230 feet in length, and reinforced concrete
platform and runways were constrcted at Peoria, Il.
- Purchase was made of a parcel of land adjacent to M&StL tracks at
Aberdeen, SD, on which four tracks, 3,738 feet in length, were
constructed to serve three new industries.
- Spur tracks were constructed at Hopkins, Mn, and Rogerton, Ia, to
serve new industries.
- Four yard tracks 7,195 feet in length were constrcted at Des Moines
in connection with the expansion of the Marquette Cement Company's
plant. These tracks are owned and used jointly by the M&Stl, CRI&P
- A concrete "Bric-Block" two-story yard office building was
constructed at Peoria replacing worn out one-story frame structure.
- Five bridges of wood construction were replaced with steel spans on
- 16 bridges of wood construction were filled in and culverts installed
to provide drainage.
- Three 3000 H.P. Diesel locomotives costing $976,153 were acquired
during the year under an equipment contract requiring a down-payment
equal to 20% of the purchase price. The balance is payable in equal
monthly installments over a period of eight years.
- 13 caboose cars were constructed in the company shops at a cost of
- Equipment on order at the close of the year consisted of five 1000
H.P. Diesel locomotives. They were received and placed in service in
Feb. and March of 1950.
- 28 miles of main line track were relaid with new 100# rail replacing
90 and 85 # rail.
- 17 miles of main line track were relaid with 85# relay rail replacing
lighter weight rail.
- Additional gravel ballast was placed on 24 miles of main line
- Five steel span bridges were constructed, replacing wooden trestles.
- 12 bridges of wood construction were filled in and culverts installed
to provide drainage.
- Spur tracks serving new industries were constructed at Chaska,
Clarkfield, and Excelsior, Mn. and at Britt and Pekin, Ia.
- Passing track at Montgomery, Mn.., was lengthened 3,373 feet, and the
passing track at Searsboro, Ia., was lengthened 1,591 feet.
- Yard tracks were rearranged and additional tracks 1,661 feet in
length were constructed to provide improved facilities for interchange
of traffic with the AT&SF at Nemo, Il.
- New "Bric-Block" depots, replacing worn out structures,
were constructed at New Sharon, Perry and Union, Ia, and at Arlington,
Clarkfield, Gaylord, and Madison Mn.
- Depots at Gowrie and Humboldt, Ia and at Boyd and Hopkins, Mn, were
remodeled and modernized and oil heating equipment installed.
- Erection of a brick and steel Diesel locomotive repair shop building
at Marshalltown was started in May 1949 and completed in March of 1950.
- A 61,000 gallon capacity Diesel fuel oil storage plant was
constructed at Marshalltown, Ia.
- Electric-locked gates and signals were installed at crossinmg with
the CB&Q at Winfield, Ia, replacing manual-type swing gate.
- Flasher light highway signals were installed at three locations.
- The freight and passenger depot at Aberdeen, SD, was remodeled to
provide housing of Diesel locomotive in the freight house, and a train
and engine crew's locker room in the passenger portion of the building.
- Purchase was made from the Western Union Telegraph Co of its entire
interest in the telegraph lines located on the property of your company.
- The following new equipment was received in 1950:
- Five 1000 H.P. Diesel electric combination road and switching
locomotives costing $540,850;
- four 1000 H.P. Diesel electric road and switching locomotives costing
- two baggage cars costing $32,589. The two baggage cars were
constructed in the Company shops.
- Equipment on order at the close of the year consisted of 700 box cars
and 100 flat cars scheduled for delivery in 1951.
- 21 miles of main line track were relaid with new 100# rail replacing
85 and 90 #.
- 18 miles of main line track were relaid with 85 and 90 # relay rail
replacing lighter rail.
- Spur tracks serving new industries were constructed at Merriam,
Hopkins, and Minnetonka Mills, MN and at Gilmore City and West Des
- Automatic type signal was installed at crossing with CRI&P at
Hawley, Ia., replacing mechanical interlocker. New "Bric-Block"
depots were constructed at Waterville and Jordan, Mn, and an Armco "Steelox"
depot was constructed at Spencer, Ia., replacing worn-out frame
- A new shop bldg for repair and servicing of Diesel Locos was
constructed at Marshalltown.
- New Fairbanks-Morse 150 ton track scale and a 228-foot scale track
were constructed at Oskaloosa, Ia, replacing worn-out facility.
- Three steel-span bridges were consructed at Gilman and Wayland, Ia,
and at Middle Grove, Il, replacing wooden trestles.
- New steel and concrete highway bridge over M&StL and GN tracks at
7th Street in Mpls was constructed by the State of Minn. and the Fed.
Gov't. replacing obsolete structure. The new bridge cost more than one
million of which the M&StL will pay $40,000.
- Included in this report were pictures of the new shop at M-town and a
feature on welding battered rail ends. " An important track
improvement job on the M&StL is rebuilding of rail ends, battered by
the imnpact of car and loco wheels. This is done by scientific welding,
which replaces steel that has been ground or chipped away, followed by
grinding that restores ends to their original shape and smoothness. It
adds 50% or more to the useful life or a rail and reduces wear on
engines and cars as well as on the track. The work is performed without
removing rails from tracks even temporarily. The M&STL has been
welding rail joints for 12 years. Before that, damaged ends were sawed
off. This was costly, since the sawed off steel was worthless except for
scrap and tracks with shortened rails had more joints to fasten rail
together and to be battered by pounding wheels. The picture shows crews
working on 100# rail near Hanley Falls, Mn.
- Annual Report There was photo to accompany this item. Typical of
track improvement work that continues on the M&StL was construction
of this modern-type culvert and fill replacing an all-steel bridge over
Henderson Creek near Brighton, Ia. The bridge built in 1919 was no
longer adequate for the heavier locos and trains of today. Following the
laying of two metal pipes, each 10 feet in diameter and 190 ft long,
more that 52,000 cubic yard of earth, sand and rock were dumped around
the uprights, permanently burying the old bridge and creating a solid
embankment of more that 60 ft high, on which new track was laid. More
than 70 bridges have similarly been replaced in the past 10 years.
- Three 1000 H.P. Diesel electric combination road and switching locos
costing $344,070 were received and placed in service in 1951.
- Equipment on order at the close of the year consisted of 700 box cars
and 100 flat cars.
- A new two-story general office building was constructed in Mpls at a
cost of $1,205,642, including land. One year was required for
construction of the building and the new offices were occupied Apr. 1,
- The loco tender shop at Mpls was converted into a Diesel shop and
equipped with tools and machinery to provide additional facilities for
the repair and servicing of Diesel locos.
- A concrete platform was constructed and equipped with a large derrick
at Mpls freight house to facilitate loading and unloading heavy freight
- New steel shop bldg for housing and servicing of Diesel locos was
constructed at Oskaloosa.
- At Marshalltown about one half of the old brick enginehouse was
retired, and the remainder extensively remodeled and converted into a
shop building for repairing work equipment, such as motor cars,
- A new "Steelox"type depot was constructed at Waconia, Mn.
replacing wornout wooden structure.
- 25 bridges of wood construction at various points on the r.r. were
filled in and culverts installed.
- 32 miles of main line track were relaid with new 100# rail replacing
85 and 90 # rail.
- 9 miles of main line track were relaid with 85 and 90# relay rail
replacing lighter wt. rail.
- Automatic signals were installed at CMStP&P crossing at Linby,
Ia, replacing mechanical interlocking plant.
- Automatic highway crossing signals were installed at Gilmore City,
- About 55 miles of telegraph line between Oskaloosa and Peoria were
rebuilt with fully treated poles and new crossarms.
- One old iron wire was replaced with copper.
- More than 12,000 ft. of additional yard tracks were constructed,
together with relocation and retirement of some existing tracks, at
Peoria and Montgomery, Mn. to provide better facilties for switching and
- Spur tracks were constructed to serve new industries at Hopkins, Mn.
and Eddyville, Ia.
1952 ANNUAL REPORT
- Expenditures for additions and improvements to fixed property
durimng the year amounted to $1,104,627.
- Additional gravel ballast was placed on the roadbed of 33 miles of
secondary main lines in Iowa and Minn., and on 7.7 miles of main line in
- New Armco "Steelox" type depots, replaceing worn-out
structures, were constructed at Excelsior, Mn, and at Kanawha, Ia.
- The "Bric-Block" type depot at Perry, Iowa was completed in
1949 and is typical of many of the new depots constructed in recent
- A new two-story Yard Office Bldg was constructed near 21st St. in the
Cedar Lake terminal district at Mpls, replacing an old worn-out
structure which was unfit for further use.
- The machine shop bldg at Cedar Lake shops, no longer required due to
dieselization of motive power, is being remodeled into a coach and forge
shop. These two projects are part of the program, now in progress, of
rehabilitating and improving the Cedar Lake yards and terminal
- Approx 100 miles of the telegraph line between Oskaloosa, and Peoria,
a distance of about 190 miles, were rebuilt with fully treated poles and
new crossarms; also one worn-out iron wire was replaced with copper
wire. 55 miles were rebuilt in 1951 and the remaining 35 miles will be
completed early in 1953.
- During the year your Company purchased 626 miles of iron and copper
telegraph wire line from the Western Union Telegraph Co. About 206 miles
of this wire was used in providing an additional circuit between Mpls
and Ft. Dodge, Ia.
- Three bridges of wood construction near Kilkenny, New Prague and
Waconia, Mn, were filled in and large size corrugated metal pipe
culverts installed to provide drainage.
- A new 40 foot steel span bridge on concrete abutments was constructed
near Albert Lea replacing a 65 foot pile trestle bridge.
- Flasher light highway signals were installed at 5th and 6th Streets
in Monmouth, Il replacing crossing gates.
- 7 miles of main line track were relaid with new 100# rail replacing
85 and 90# rail.
- 21 miles of track on secondary main lines were relaid with 85 and 90
# relay rail replacing lighter weight rail.
- 8 miles of track on two branch lines were relaid with 70 & 80#
relay rail replacing lighter weight rail.
- Spur tracks were constructed to serve new industries at Mason City
and Hampton Iowa and at Hopkins, Mn.
- Tracks serving industries at Albert Lea and Montgomery, Mn, were
extended to provide needed additional trackage due to industrial
- The ICC authorized the abandonment of a portion of the Corwith branch
line extending from Denhart to Corwith, Iowa, a distance of 4.27 miles.
- The ICC authorized abandonment of a portion of the Story City branch
extending from Roland to Story City, Ia a distance of 5.19 miles.
Traffic on these segments decreased steadily in the past few years to
the point where operations were unprofitable. Both segments have been
1953 Annual Report
- The program of enlarging and modernizing the train yard and
improving certain shop facilities at Cedar Lake terminal district in
Mpls, started in 1952, was accelerated during 1953 and nearly completed
when winter arrived. Some track work remains which will be completed by
mid-summer of 1954. The projects thus far completed are: construction of
modern two-story Yard Office Bldg replacing antiquated and worn-out
structure, convert Machine Shop Bldg into modern coach and forge shop,
raze roundhouse and power plant, no longer required, move 90 foot
turntabgle to new location and lengthen to 92 feet for Diesel operation,
install new track scale replacing worn-out scale, purchase from Great
Northern 413 feet of interchange track and construct additional 1,753
ft. of track to provide better interchange facilities with the GN,
construct part of planned additional yard tracks.
- 6 miles of main line track were relaid with new 115# rail replacing
- 7 miles of main line track were relaid with new 100# rail replacing
85 and 90# rail.
- 5 miles of track on secondary main lines were relaid with 85 and 90 #
relay rail replacing lighter weight rail.
- Additional gravel ballast was placed on the roadbed of 7 miles of
main line in Iowa, and on 17 miles of secondary main lines in Mn and Ia.
- Flasher light highway signals were installed at or near London Mills &
Seaton, Il, Wayland, Martinsburgh, Steamboat Rock and Mason City Ia,
Albert Lea, Hopkins, and Excelsior, Mn.
- Electrically-locked crossing gates and signals were installed at
crossing wih C&NW at Eldora, Ia, replacing mechanical dwarf signals.
- About 58 miles of telegraph line on the 105 mile section between Mpls
and Albert Lea were rebuilt using fully treated poles and new crossarms.
Also two lines of new copper wire were added to later provide for
telephone train dispatching.
- Purchase was made from the Des Moines and Central Iowa Railway Co. of
certain of its station ground property at Perry, Ia. with certain
buildings and appurtenances as well as seven side tracks including a wye
track, totaling about one and one-half miles of trackage. A 790 foot
track was constructed to connect with the M&StL main line.
- Most of the trackage in the switching yard at Albia, Ia., was relaid
with heavier weight relay rail.
- Two bridges of wood construction near Morning Sun and Woolson, Ia.,
were filled in and 72-inch metal pipe culverts installed.
- New depots were constructed at Gibbon,Mn, Gilman, Ia., and Middle
- Roadway and track maintenance equipment purchases included three weed
burners, one weed mower, two motor cars, two power cars, five push cars,
and two Nordberg adzing machines and bit-sharpening equipment.
- The Hocking Coal Co. whose entire issue of 400 shares of common stock
was owned by your Company, was dissolved formally in December 1953,
pursuant to approval by your Board of action taken by your Company in
voting for the dissolution of the Coal Co. at its stockholders' meeting
on Nov. 30, 1953. The Coal Co. , a corportation of the State of Iowa,
was organized July 11, 1898, and acquired on June 2 1902 by the Iowa
Central Ry Co which was acquired in 1912 by the M&StL. Its mines and
other property, such as land, houses and general store were situatied at
Hocking, Ia. and were served by a spur track from Albia, Ia. a few miles
distant and a station on your Railway. The entire output of coal was
purchased by the railway for locomotive and other purposes until Dec. 1,
1929, when operations ceased because better coal could then be purchased
elsewhere at less cost.
- The ICC authorized the transfer from your Company to Mills Truck Line
of M&StL truck line operating between Aberdeen and Akaska, SD. The
two tractors with trailers owned by your Co. and used in the truck line
operation were sold on May 25, 1953 to the Mills Truck Line for $4,500.
This truck line, handling lcl freight, mail and express, was started by
the M&StL in 1938 when train service on its branch line from Conde
to Akaska was curtailed to one trip a week for carload freight only. The
rail line was abandoned Dec. 1, 1940 and tracks removed. Opr. of the
truck line has been unprofitable in recent years and therefore decision
was made to dispose of our interests at earliest opportunity.
1954 Annual Report
- A letter to stockholders includes pictures of Ben Heineman and J.W.
- Even though business was down the M&StL faired better than most
- Eight new members were elected to the Board of Directors on May 12,
1954. Many new executive changes were made in the organization during
the year and a brief summary follows: President A.W. Schroeder, 39 years
old, formerly VP & GM of the C&EI. (He was also responsible for
the color change reflecting his heritage at Nebraska); V.P. or
Operations, W.P. Coliton, 36, formerly Supt. of the Cascade Divn of GN;
Chief Engr S.J. Owens 47 formerly Ass't to the Chief Engr of the CB&Q;
Chief Personnel Officer J.R. Sullivan, 40, formerly with IC; Director of
Public Relations L.I. Gelfand, 33 formerly with the St. Paul Pioneer
Press Sports Staff; Director of Industrial Development F.E. Elawson, 51,
formerly with the Mpls Chamber of Commerce; Ass't Comnptroller W.E.
Hanson, 30, formerly a senior accountant with Haskins & Sells; Ass't
Comptroller B.T. Rodgers, 27, a former senior accountant with Arthur
Andersen & Co. J.W. Devins retired as President on March 1, 1956
after 41 years of loyal and efficient service. We are hopeful that you
will see fit to increase the Board from 11 to 12 members so that Mr.
Devins can continue as a member and we may have the benefit of his
knowledge and experience. Richard Musebrock, formerly General Solicitor
for the M&StL was appointed General Counsel.
- Pictures included were Coop dry milk plant at Clarkfield, MN,
Reinhard Bros office and warehouse in St. Louis Park, Grain Elevator at
Dallas Center, Ia.
- 40 new cement hoppers.
1955 Annual Report
- Some interesting facts: Total tax bill increased from $2,349,743 in
1954 to $2,613,851 in 1955. Of this increase $171,825 was the result of
higher Federal income taxes.
- Forty covered hopper cars were added to the rolling stock in August
1955 and another 50 will be delivered in the spring of 1956. When cement
plants on the line do not require hoppers in winter months, the cars can
be converted to haul grain.
- During the year 40 new industries were located on our line and 62
industries expanded their operations.
- The new $700,000 office and warehouse of Reinhard Bros, a home
appliance and auto accesssory distributor and a $500,000 dry milk plant
erected at Clarkfield, MN, were among the major industries located on
- Grain elevators were either constructed or expanded on our line at a
cost to the elevator operators of more than $1,000,000.
- The largest new elevators were built at Badger and Dallas Center, Ia.
- A new 200,000 bushel elevator was constructed at Rockwell, Ia.
- New officers President A.,W. Schroder, 39 years old, ; VP Operations
W.P. Coliton 36 years old, SJ. Owens, 47 years old, J.R. Sullivan 40;
Public Relations -L.I. Gelfand, 33 years old.
- During the year we have installed a modern accounting and reporting
system under the supervision of Arthur Andersen & Co. our CPAs. The
primary objective of the system is to provide useful and timely
information for management at a minimum cost. The new system eliminated
almost all duplication of effort by the use of IBM tabulating cards
which are key-punched from source documents prepared in the field. The
punch cards are used to summarize all of the various accounting data
required for particular types of transactions. After the data is
key-punched into cards, the accounting functions are done mechanically.
We have new high speed IBM accounting machines and electronic
calculators to make this possible. (Better than Florida?) When this
system is completely installed, your company's accounting system will be
as useful and modern as any railroad accounting system in the country.
1956 Annual Report
- Included was a picture of the new station in Mason City. It was
dedicated in Novermeber and cost $35,000.
- INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT: Keithsburg keynoted industrial progress on
the railroad in 1956. The railroad celebrated opening of its rail-barge
port Nov. 9, by unloading a barge of super phosphate. The $300,000 port
will be outfitted with permanent facilities by March 1st. All bulk
commodities can be moved from barge to freight car and vice versa. A
slip, 110 by 400 feet, is dredged to a depth of 10 feet, enabling two
barges to be unloaded at a time with harbor for two more. On the main
line of the railroad, Keithsburg is within several hours of most Iowa
and Illinois points, and within 12 hours of the Twin Cities. In
proximity to the port area lies acreage suitable to industrial
- Industrial expansion of the Minnesota Western property began with
Standard Oil's announcement that it will build a warehouse in Golden
Valley. Construction will begin this spring. Carloadings are estimated
in excess of 1,000 cars a year. As 1956 ended plans were under way to
develop the Golden Valley area into the industrial district. Also on
Minnesota Western was the construction at Clara City of a warehouse by
Variety Foods, which serves more than 400 grocery and general
merchandise stores. Carloadings are anticipated to be 250 a year.
- At Hopkins, Mn. The Hopkins Terminal Warehouse opened its $1 million
warehouse. Served exclusively by two of our spur tracks, the warehouse
will augment Twin Cities wholesale grocery warehouses which surround it.
An estimated 400 carloadings a year are foreseen. Nearby Red Owl Stores
is building a $1.5 million structure to house its produce division. An
additional 450 cars a year will result.
- A $400,000 fertilizer plant built by International Minerals and
Chemicals at Fairfax opened in December. Carloadings during 1957 may
exceed 400, with expansion to 1,200 a possibility within five years.
- A huge expansion program got underway at all four cement plants on
the line. Penn-Dixie at Des Moines will complete its $4.5 million
expansion by mid-April, upping output by 900,000 barrels.
Marquette-Hawkeye at Des Moines is spending $2 million to increase
production by 500,000 barrels. Lehigh Portland at Mason City will hike
output by one million barrels by mid-summer and Northwestern States
Portland at Mason City will be producing an additional 500,000 barrels
by mid summer. Together the plants will be capable of nearly 11 million
barrels of cement a year. This expansion will bulwark the highway
development plan in the Northwest and help supply a number of ready-mix
plants which have leased land on the railroad during the past year.
- Streator Industries, manufacturers of display cases, purchased from
the railroad 13 acres at Albert Lea where it will build a one-story
100,000 sq. ft. building. The industry expects to have 300 cars of rr.
trafic a year.
- Other industrial highlights included leasing of land to Big Stone
Canning Co at Arlington for construction of a warehouse, building of a
dock and loading ramp at Watertown,SD which will ship 200 cars a year of
flax fibre to North Carolina, and laying of trackage for Hallett at
Geneva, Ia. where a gravel pit will yield 1,500 carloadings in 1957.
- There also was a noticeable expansion of liquid petroleum gasoline
facilites on the railroad, particularly at Albert Lea, Clarkfield and
- New grain elevator construction or expansion for the second year in a
row exceeded a million and a half bushels of storage. Elevators of
250,000 bushel capacity were built at Ackley, Forest City, Northwood and
- The railroad adopted new colors---red and white--in May and
the freshly painted box cars and locomotives immediately earned acclaim
from shippers, the industry and the public-at-large (esp. U of Nebraska
fans which Schroeder was). Not only was there advertising benefit, but
the changeover brought the number of paints in inventory from 54 down to
12. Company equipment formerly was painted in shades of yellow, green
and brown. The company abbreviation was made easier to read by
eliminating the ampersand and substituting a fattened dot. The box car
letters --six ft., 11 in. high --are the tallest in the industry.
Painting of locomovtives in the fire-engine red and white was half
completed by the end of the year, and the new colors were applied to
cabooses as they required painting. In addition, 30 insulated
compartmentizers ordered in June will be delivered in the box car
design. The two Budd RDC-4 cars, arriving in Feb. 1957, are to have
bright red name plates and the baggage cars they pull will have similar
letters. Experiments, conducted to test the paints' durability, indicate
a life span beyond the colors formerly used.
- Modernization of maintenance-of-way was begun in March and by
mid-summer all ballasting and rail-laying was being accomplished by a
fully mechanized gang. Arrival of the new equipment permitted us to
reduce the number of section gangs from 115 to 61. To implement the
remaining forces, five 10-man truck gangs and a system maintenance gang
were organized, resulting in a net force reduction of up to 250 men in
some months of the year. Ballasting operations that formerly required 50
men were handled with 16. The operator of a track liner himself replaced
10 men. A ballast regulator, used to dress a section of track after it
has been raised, eliminated all manual handling of ballast. Greater
efficiency resulted as in the case of the power tamper, assuring a more
uniformly tamped track. Addition of a Koehring crane saved time and
manpower in laying rail, building up shoulders and cleaning out bridge
openings. One bridge gang also was completely mechanized with a power
saw and drills, impact wrenches and a small crane for handling heavy
- The following m-o-w projects were completed: 6 1/2 miles of new 115 #
rail on the main line from Oskaloosa north; 8 1/2 miles of second-hand
rail were laid on secondary lines, five and half miles of 90# at
Fairfax, Mn. and three miles of 100# at Britt, Ia.
- Crushed rock ballast was applied on seven miles of main line and 11.8
miles of secondary lines.
- The power tamper reconditioned 13 miles of track by giving it a light
raise. At the same time ties were renewed so that no other tie renewals
will be needed for five years. This marked the beginning of a cycle tie
program on our main line.
- 6000 cubic yards of patch ballast were applied on the Belmond, Ia
branch line, and at various other locations.
- 22 bridges were rebuilt, including two with all treated timber, the
first such bridges ever built on the railroad.
- 29 bridges were filled over pipes and abutments were reconditioned on
three. 4 were painted.
- In the future we will use nothing but treated bridge timbers. This
will increase the life of our bridges from 5 to 40 years.
- No untreated ties were placed on the railroad for the first time.
There were 162,000 treated ties used for maintenance and additions, of
which 12,000 were additions.
- An important step in communications was the introduction of radio in
ten diesel units and nine cabooses. 20 walkie-talkie sets for use by
brakemen on trains and for yard checking rounded out a communications
program designed to cut train delays to a minimum. Three base radio
stations were installed, enabling the dispatcher or yardmaster at each
location to talk with train crews as far as 40 miles distant.
- 40 miles of communication lines were rebuilt, extending telephone
dispatching over 100 mile territory formerly dispatched by telegraph.
- OTHER EXPENSE REDUCTIONS: Consolidation of all train
dispatching to Minneapolis;
- Consolidation of operating officers in the General Office;
- Closing Marshalltown diesel shop and consolidating all heavy diesel
repair at Cedar Lake;
- Mechanization of procedures for handling freight and overcharge
- Realignment of LCL service which eliminated two truck routes;
- Realignment of freight house procedures at Mpls which resulted in
lower handling costs;
- Elimination of three local trains by realighment of schedules.
- Reduction in "extra" service by using more power and
running longer trains on scheduled runs;
- Installed train radio to eliminate delays on time freights.
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