A Midwest Regional Interurban Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Des Moines & Central Iowa Railroad


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The Des Moines & Central Iowa Railroad (DM&CI) was a steam and electric interurban railroad that operated in Iowa. It was developed by and affiliated with the Des Moines Street Railways which ran it for a time. It had two main lines, one east from Des Moines to Colfax, a resort area; 24 miles, and one west from Des Moines, up the valley of the Beaver River, to Perry; 35 miles, with a branch to Woodward 3 miles. It also operated belt line freight traffic in the Des Moines area for a total mileage of 72. The DM&CI interchanged with the Milwaukee road, the M&St.L and the Rock Island, and operated electric and steam locomotives, and later, diesels. It was not too successful in it's freight operations due to steam road competition, or in it's passenger operations due to sparsely populated towns on its routes. During the 20's it did run 9 trains a day between Des Moines and Perry and from Des Moines to Colfax, a resort area. Colfax service was eliminated in 1941 and the line abandoned in 1946. Service on the Perry line was cut back in segments until ended in 1949. In 1949 all freight operations were dieselized. By 1954 the only freight lines remaining were the line from Des Moines to Granger; 17 miles and the belt line at Des Moines. In 1950-51 the city street railways, used by the DN&CI in earlier years, had converted to buses.
Des Moines &
Central Iowa
August 1941

Short history of the Des Moines & Central Iowa Railroad
1899 - The Inter-Urban Railway was incorporated.
1902 - Line from Des Moines to Colfax, a resort area, is completed; 23 miles. City streets used for passenger service but freight service uses belt line around Des Moines,
1906 - The 35 mile line, up the Beaver River valley, from Des Moines to Perry with a short branch to Woodward is completed.
1917 - Ancient wooden cars dating from 1906 are supplemented by two air line cars from Gary and Interurban to support increased Fort Dodge traffic during WW1.
1922 - The IUR is reorganized as the Des Moines & Central Iowa (DM&CI).
1920's - DM&CI is barely sustained by steam road freight interchange. Passenger service to Perry and Colfax is about 9 cars per day each way, with a few cars to Woodward.
1931 - 8 cars to Perry, 7 to Woodward and 4 to Colfax.
early 30"s Colfax service down to 3 cars per day.
1939 - Three large steel cars built in 1918 are utilized.
1941 - Passenger service to Colfax and Woodward discontinued. Service to Perry is now only 3 cars per day.
1946 - Line to Colfax abandoned, and branch to Woodward is torn uip.
1948 - Service on Beaver River (west) line cut back to Granger; 18 miles.
1949 - All passenger service is discontinued. All freight service is dieselized.
1949 - DM&CI sold to Salzburg.
1950-51 - The last of the City system's local interurban lines from Des Moines to Urbandale and Fort Des Moines are replaced by buses.
1954. Granger to Perry track torn up. Remaining freight operations are from Des Moines to Granger and the belt around Des Moines
DM&CI
Des Moines & Central Iowa - 1931

Des Moines & Central Iowa - August 1941



Des Moines & Central Iowa - 1931

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guides- Various editions
The Electric Interurban Railways in America-Hilton & Due- pp 364-5
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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 27, 2009, revised May 14, 2011