Unfortunately, the plan proved too expensive and with little online traffic from the branch it was scrapped in 1928. The road, however, continued to prosper and was still seeing decent passenger traffic after World War II and during the very early 1950s allowing it to dispatch up to 14 trains per day. However, this service began to plummet as early as 1952 and by May 30, 1953 it abandoned passenger operations altogether. Directly after this the "new" shortline railroad scrapped its overhead catenary for diesel locomotives mostly in the way of early EMD switchers. With freight volumes during the times allowing the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway to see revenues topping more than $1 million annually it is no surprise the company was quick to end its passenger business once it began to do more harm than good to its overall bottom line.
From the 1950s through the 1960s and into the 1970s the Crandic
continued to function in much the same fashion, providing service to
local customers and interchange operations with the Milwaukee, C&NW,
IC, and Rock Island. As the industry hit rock bottom in the 1970s,
however, things began to change with both the Rock and Milwaukee in
serious financial difficulty. With the bankruptcy
of the CMStP&P the Crandic picked up its line between Cedar Rapids
and just south of Amana, a distance of about 20 miles (this line once
connected to Ottumwa). Also, with the Rock being liquidated in 1980 the
railroad purchased 15 miles of its branch between Iowa City and
Montezuma to Hills. Today, the company still operates these lines along
with its original route; in total owning about 60 miles, which does not
include sidings, yards, and spurs.
In place of classic lines like those mentioned above today the
Crandic Route interchanges with Union Pacific, Iowa Interstate, Iowa
Northern, and Chicago Central & Pacific. The railroad's traffic
base is a mixture of interchange traffic along with agriculture, coal,
and paper products (this has
changed somewhat from its early years when traffic was a mix of coal,
milk, lumber, and agriculture). Interestingly, for a line just 60 miles
in length it employs almost 100 with carloads nearly reaching 100,0000
annually. The line's motive power continues to use a yellow livery
from its early years, although today with some equipment coming from
Union Pacific it has merely removed the Class I's markings in place of
its own (which includes its original logo, "The Crandic Route" with an
outline of the state of Iowa).
Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Railway Locomotive Roster
|EMD||MP15DC||115, 121-123, 130-133||1974-1976||9|
While trains on the line may no longer "Swing and Sway the Crandic Way"
(a popular song derived from the rocking motion of the fast "Red Devil"
interurban cars it purchased from the defunct Cincinnati & Lake Erie
in 1939) the railroad looks to remain a strong Class III, shortline for
years to come given its diverse traffic base and numerous interchange
partners; not bad for an interurban that survived that downfall of an
industry that collapsed between 1920 and World War II. Perhaps history on the Crandic will repeat itself. In July of 2015 it was announced a new study would be undertaken looking at the possibility of restoring passenger service between Iowa City and Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids to cut down on growing congestion along nearby Interstate 380. If you would like to learn more about the Cedar Rapids & Iowa City please click here to visit their official website.
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Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Railway