This system also hauled coal running from Fraser to nearby Fraser Junction and a connection with the much larger Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway. In 1899, the owners of the BVC&R chartered the Marshalltown & Dakota Railway as an additional coal route with high aspirations of pushing this system from Newton (east of Des Moines) to Sibley, Iowa in the state's northwest corner. Along the way the line would pass through towns such as Fraser, Story City, Gowerie, and Rockwell City. In 1901 it was renamed as the Boone, Rockwell City & Northwestern Railway, and again in 1902 as the Newton & Northwestern. By 1905 the line was opened from Newton to Rockwell City and also had a branch to Colfax. While over 100 miles in length it never made it any further towards Sibley. New owners acquired the N&NW in 1905 and again renamed property, this time as the Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern Railroad.
Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad Locomotive Roster
Boone & Scenic Valley NW2 #1003 (Operational. Built by Electro-Motive in 1942 as Grand Trunk Western as #7914.)
Boone & Scenic Valley FP9 #6540 (Operational. Built by General Motors Diesel in 1958 as Canadian National #6540.)
Chicago & North Western TR2B #1103 (Operational. Built by Electro-Motive in 1949 as Chicago Great Western #65B.)
Iowa State University 45-Tonner #1858 (Operational. Built by General Electric in 1944.)
Minneapolis & St. Louis RS-1 #244 (Operational. Built by the American Locomotive Company in 1951 as Lake Superior & Ishpeming #1002.)
U.S. Air Force 80-Tonner #2254 (Operational. Built by General Electric in 1942 as U.S. Air Force #7858.)
Union Pacific S2 #1098 (Operational. Built by the American Locomotive Company in 1942 as Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis #575.)
Union Pacific SD40T-2 #2921 (Operational. Built by Electro-Motive in 1979 as Southern Pacific #8385.)
Roberval & Saquenay Mining 2-8-0 #17 (Display. Originally built by the Canadian Locomotive Company in 1940.)
Boone & Scenic Valley Class JS 2-8-2 #8419 (Operational. Originally built by the Tangshan Locomotive & Rolling Stock Works of China in 1989.)
The movement of freight was always important and explains whey the FDDM&S long-outlived the interurban industry, which largely declined and disappeared after World War I. Its transformation into an interurban began soon after new management had acquired the property; they proposed electrifying part of the system and purchased the Ames & College Street Railway to serve that town. In addition, in November of 1907 it opened service between Hope and Fort Dodge. Ultimately, without considerable freight tonnage along the entire route the company only electrified the main line between Hope and Midvale at 1,200-volt, DC.
While the Newton segment was abandoned in 1911 the railroad did go on to electrify many of its secondary lines as well. Things remained relatively unchanged until severe flooding across the Des Moines River Valley damaged the railroad's network and crippled its power plant in Fraser. Company officials elected to discontinue electrified operations and switch to diesels, acquiring predominantly General Electric switchers in the form of 70 and 44-ton models (it also purchased one 65-ton version manufactured by the Plymouth Locomotive Works). In 1955 the railroad was purchased by the Salzburg family, which owned a number of shortlines including the Louisiana & North West and Wellsville, Addison & Galeton
|An odd collection of tired Penn Central power rests at the small engine terminal in Mechanicville, New York on August 14, 1970. Pictured is F7A #1773 (ex-NYC), GP9B #3806 (ex-PRR), and FA-2 #1302 (ex-NYC).|
The now-family owned line only remained so for a little over a decade when it was sold to the Chicago & North Western in 1968. Had it not been for individuals stepping in and purchasing segments the entire FDDM&S would likely have been abandoned under the C&NW such as the Boone Railroad Historical Society acquiring its segment in 1983. Since then the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad has steadily grown in popularity and today hosts a wide variety of excursions. In 2002 Union Pacific sold its last remaining FDDM&S segment, consisting of about 1.7 miles, to the B&SV, allowing to also offer some freight service. To learn more about the railroad and planning a ride please visit their website.
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