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The Des Moines Valley Railroad

In HO Scale



True Fun Fact: In 1866, the original Des Moines Valley Railroad was the first railroad to reach Des Moines!


Fictional History of the Line

Historically, the present Des Moines Valley Railroad was a subdivision of the former Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Co. (the Rock Island). The DV, a Class III carrier, purchased the line on October 10, 1984, from Chicago Pacific Corporation, the successor to the Trustee of the Rock Island. According to the DV, when purchased the line was constructed of 100-pound rail laid in 1910, and was generally in fair condition. The ties and ballast ranged from fair to poor condition. The DV underwent a campaign to immediately rehabilitate the line to Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Class 2 safety standards. The line was operated by the Iowa Interstate (IAIS) for the twelve years following until 1996, when the DV acquired their own motive power and operation personnel.

The railroad currently runs 84 miles between Des Moines, Iowa and Ottumwa, Iowa.  There is also a 3 mile branch line from Evans Junction to Oskaloosa, Iowa. Traffic is mixed, with some bridge traffic, as well as support of on-line industries. The largest industries currently serviced on the line are Cargill in Eddyville and Pella Corporation in Pella.  Other industries include local Co-Op elevators in most towns and various bulk and general merchandise customers and suppliers.

Towns serviced along the line are, from west to east: Des Moines, Altoona, Prairie City, Monroe, Otley, Pella, Leighton, Evans Jct., Oskaloosa, Beacon, Eddyville, and Ottumwa. The modeled portion of the line runs from Monroe to Evans Jct. (30 miles) with three off layout staging areas: Ottumwa, Oskaloosa, and Des Moines. Era of the modeled layout is 1997-1999.

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