The Iowa Route

The Iowa Route : A History of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway

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The Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway was an important part of the commercial life of the upper Midwest during the age of railways. Don L. Hofsommer uses the BC&N as the vehicle for his investigation of the birth, evolution, and disappearance of an important regional carrier, offering an inside look at the struggles of a small railway to stay relevant while railroad empires were being built. More than a bit player, the BC&N might have become even more important had plans gone forward to utilize its rails in a campaign to reach the Pacific. The struggle of the Cedar Rapids road and its corporate ancestors to place Minneapolis-St. Paul and St. Louis in competition with Chicago via a north/south route forms a major part of the book's narrative, and the book also offers a history of the company's three-state service territory (Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota) from the dawn of the age of railways into the 20th century. The book includes more than 200 photographs selected from Hofsommer's extensive library of historic photographs documenting the history of the BC&N more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 210.82 x 281.94 x 30.48mm | 1,219.98g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 222 b&w illus., 8 tables
  • 0253014670
  • 9780253014672
  • 2,058,788

Review quote

[T]his elegantly written book places the history of the BCR&N in its larger context and serves as an admirable addition to the growing literature on Iowa's railroads. * The Annals of Iowa * [B]e thankful that Midwestern (and especially Iowa) railroading has an excellent chronicler in Don Hofsommer. * Lexington Quarterly * This book presents a thoroughly researched and complete history of this important Rock Island predecessor-no surprise for anyone who has read any of Hofsommer's earlier railroad history books. * Michigan Railfan *show more

About Don L. Hofsommer

Don L. Hofsommer is Professor of History at St. Cloud State University and president of the Lexington Group. He is author of Off the Main Lines (IUP, 2013), Iowa's Railroads: An Album (with H. Roger Grant) (IUP, 2009), and Steel Trails of Hawkeyeland (IUP, 2005).show more

Table of contents

1. A Grand Highway from St. Louis to St. Paul2. The Grandest Railroad Project of the Age 3. Providence Helps Those Who Help Themselves4. Dirt Began to Fly5. Panic6. A New Dawning7. Palpably Invigorating Ozone 8. Flux 9. The Albert Lea Route10. To the Pacific Coast by a Northwest Route?11. On to Bismarck12. The Favorite Albert Lea Route13. The Heavy Hand of Regulation14. Spirit Lake Country 15. Of Panic and Tramps 16. The Gay Nineties 17. Pulling and Hauling 18. To the Twin Cities19. A Most Satisfactory DispositionEpilogueNotesBibliography Indexshow more