Iowa Railroad Relic Still Kicking

I’m finally back from my wanderings west of here. Shown is one little gem that we spotted near Hartly, Iowa. It is ex-Waterloo Railroad SW900 No. 1.

This locomotive was built by EMD in 1957 the year after Illinois Central and Rock Island railroads acquired the former Waterloo and Cedar Falls Rapid Transit Company and renamed it the Waterloo Railroad.

The routes dates to 1896 as the Waterloo Street Railway. By 1913, the then named Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern Railway Company had completed its route between Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The company offered interurban railway service through the late 1950s.

The Rock Island sold its share of the Waterloo Railroad to the IC in 1968. The locomotive shown here is painted in the IC colors that were in use in the late 1960s and into the Illinois Central Gulf era. The Waterloo Railroad had at least four SW900 switchers, all built in June 1957.

Most of the original Waterloo Railroad was abandoned in the 1980s.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

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6 Responses to “Iowa Railroad Relic Still Kicking”

  1. Doug Shepard Says:

    I remember that locomotive well, when it was new. I am glad to see that number one is still working for its keep.

    The Waterloo Railroad, nee Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Norhern went down the middle of our road in Cedar Rapids. I lived there when the interurbans still ran and freight motors moved freight — and to witness the deminse of both, with wires coming down. The SW 900’s then took over, moving interurban equipment to Cedar Rapids after the carbarn fire in Waterloo.. Originally, they were painted Black like the IC GP 7’s and 9’s of the era. That line ran way back at the edge of our back yard (we had very large “lots” on Madison Street).

  2. J. Hargadon Says:

    I have a few photos of the Waterloo,RR back in 1957.Car #2,1174,1190,282,1182,1179,3501,3075,1531,285,128?,(can’t see last #) 1556,256,35?same thing.Some pictures from Fort Dodge,Iowa from May 20, 1957.Some just with the trains, others with men sitting around the station.

    • Robert C. Mapplebeck Says:

      Mr Hargadon, Wonder if you could contact me about the photos of the WLO you have.
      Thank You,
      Robert C Mapplebeck

      • Douglas Shepard Says:

        Everything I have has been placed onto my WCF&N – Waterloo Railroad Facebook page

        Sent from my iPad


  3. J. Hargadon Says:

    Would these photos be worth anything?

  4. Doug Shepard Says:

    I would think they would have very limited appeal so the value would not be a lot. I am guessing the car #’s are freight cars? Is car #2 a caboose or a SW 900 locomotive?

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