Rock Island Railroad Segment Photos
The entrance to the Rock Island section of the Loop Trail at 8th St and Gear Ave, looking East.
The Rock Island Railroad roadbed ran from left to right in front of us.
The original roadbed, built in 1871, is to the right behind the trees.
This roadbed was created in 1945 to straightened the tracks (now heading northeast).
Little work was required to turn the abandoned roadbed into a trail.
Fill raised the roadbed above the prairie in 1945.
Looking right (east) towards the MUM campus.
Looking out over the pastures to the west.
Another bench on the right. Next to it is a path down to the MUM campus.
The railroad removed their bridge over the highway in about 1986. It was about where the gate is now.
The Loop Trail must cross the highway. A grade crossing was used until the new bridge opened in Nov 2009.
Let's use the new bridge to cross Iowa State Hwy 1.
The bridge crosses the road, near where the Rock Island Railroad used to cross. (info here)
Volunteers built the approaches.
Bridge contractors built and installed the bridge, which is built from maintenance-free steel.
The east side curves left to the north for a short distance.
To screen Ferrellgas from the trail, trees were donated by Bob & Rebecca Hougher.
They were transplanted by Steve Miller of Cedar Valley Sod & Seeding, and water was supplied by Ferrellgas.
Now we are on the old Rock Island roadbed, which continues straight ahead.
The posts keep out motorized vehicles. To the left is a small parking lot.
We have turned left to see the parking lot.
Let's continue east on the railroad roadbed.
Cutting back the brush is a continuing project -- want to volunteer?
The sun is setting. Houses were recently built nearby.
It is 1.3 miles from the 8th and Gear Entrance to B Street.
Turn right and follow the B Street Trail 1/4-mile to the Lake-to-Lake Trail.
Photos by Jeff Fitz-Randolph, October 2007, Nov 2009, Mar 2010, Oct 2010.
Page updated 02/27/12, reformatted 03-09-18, 03-21-18.