Des Moines Northwestern Railway

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In this fictional scenario, the Milwaukee granger line from Des Moines to Spirit Lake survived and is now operated by the Iowa Interstate Railroad. The depot in my childhood home town of Rockwell City still stands where the line came used to come through, though the rails are long gone (circa 1980) . All that's left of the line today is a short stretch accessing Albert City (now owned by Union Pacific), and a spur serving two customers in Des Moines & Clive close to where I live today. The existing Des Moines/Clive/Grimes stretch is technically owned by Norfolk Southern, but Iowa Interstate operates the line. The name "Des Moines Northwestern" originates from the original builders of the line before it was acquired by the Wabash and eventually Milwaukee.

I'll start off by featuring the Tillotson grain elevator from my home town that was recently torn down, but is fully functional and modernized in my HO world:

IMG_1140.jpg

IMG_1141.jpg


And here's the prototype as it existed in 1972 & 1993:

Elevator 1.jpg


Elevator.jpg
 
A little more history:

Here's the Depot I used to cross every day on my way to school or on my way to the pool in the summertime as it existed circa 1900:

Depot3.JPG


And today:

28912308210_d92f66d496_b.jpg


And the line's original northern terminus in Okoboji:

Okoboji.JPG


& Spirit Lake:

Spirit Lake.JPG


There was a roundtable just north of the Spirit Lake depot where the locomotive (or doodlebug) would reverse course for its return trip to Des Moines.
 

ChinaHaun19

Active Member
Oh yes! Yay!

I lived in downtown Des Moines from 2016 to 2020. A railway, possibly the main line, went through my side of downtown just a couple blocks south of my apartment. Just this morning I was giving people ideas for layouts and I happened to suggest "How about Downtown Des Moines 2017"?

Downtown Des Moines 2018 would feature something I saw in early 2018: A really long train crawled through downtown one winter morning, carrying massively long Wind Turbine blades. These were definitely cutting edge blades, and as I recall, each blade took up TWO CARS! So someone might do a layout of southside downtown DSM, complete with the skywalk tunnels towards the middle of downtown, with flatbed cars and super large wind turbine blades rolling through town at 8 miles per hour.

So I realize this comment might be slightly off topic considering what this post is about, but downtown DSM has some really nifty urban features such as 9th St and (7th maybe?) St bridges that lift off from downtown, and cross over a river before spitting you out on the other side.
 

Bonita Grand Central

Well-Known Member
A little more history:

Here's the Depot I used to cross every day on my way to school or on my way to the pool in the summertime as it existed circa 1900:

View attachment 125567

And today:

View attachment 125568

And the line's original northern terminus in Okoboji:

View attachment 125569

& Spirit Lake:

View attachment 125570

There was a roundtable just north of the Spirit Lake depot where the locomotive (or doodlebug) would reverse course for its return trip to Des Moines.
You're a lucky man if you lived when the horses were still at work. I remember the horses in my small Massachusetts town like it was yesterday and now ,80 years later, I've seen a lot more since. Steam engines went through my back yard in the forties and I saw the very first diesel loco go there too. Lot of water over the dam hey?
 

Bonita Grand Central

Well-Known Member
In this fictional scenario, the Milwaukee granger line from Des Moines to Spirit Lake survived and is now operated by the Iowa Interstate Railroad. The depot in my childhood home town of Rockwell City still stands where the line came used to come through, though the rails are long gone (circa 1980) . All that's left of the line today is a short stretch accessing Albert City (now owned by Union Pacific), and a spur serving two customers in Des Moines & Clive close to where I live today. The existing Des Moines/Clive/Grimes stretch is technically owned by Norfolk Southern, but Iowa Interstate operates the line. The name "Des Moines Northwestern" originates from the original builders of the line before it was acquired by the Wabash and eventually Milwaukee.

I'll start off by featuring the Tillotson grain elevator from my home town that was recently torn down, but is fully functional and modernized in my HO world:

View attachment 125563
View attachment 125564

And here's the prototype as it existed in 1972 & 1993:

View attachment 125565

View attachment 125566
What is the yellow frame work for? Looks like a lift rail for something.
 

logandsawman

Well-Known Member
I can but in on that question, that is for the PPE harness (Persoanl Protective Equipment.) When working up there, OSHA kicks in and there must be fall protection they have to attach their harness to a point above them to maintain mobility while they are filling or operating the openings on top.

Dave LASM
 




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