The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on May 9, 1967 · Page 23
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 23

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 9, 1967
Page 23
Start Free Trial

ington, and negotiations with the CB&Q, an agreement was reached whereby the Illinois Midland was to receive a small portion of the freight charges for hauling grain from the Newark elevator to Chicago. This arrangement gives the tiny railroad about $8,000 yearly, and takes the red ink off the ledger. As a result of this arrangement, the Illinois Midland was able to junk its old engine. A newer model diesel locomotive was located in a factory at Galesburg. It was purchased, painted a vivid yellow. It's a very informal railroad. When a car of grain is loaded at the Newark Grain Company, one of the company em- ployes, Lawrence Akre, goes out to the locomotive shed, runs out the diesel and hooks it to the loaded grain ear. Then he starts for Millington, two miles distant. He's his own brakeman, gate-opener, track maintenance man, oiler. Each time the little train approaches a highway crossing, engineer Akre gives a warning blast on the whistle, and creeps across. If cattle are grazing in a pasture through which the road runs, he stops the train to open and close gates. Sometimes a limb falls across the track, another delay. But usually the daily run is made without mishap. There are no train orders, no switching to let another train pass. Sometimes the yellow locomotive pulls but a single loaded grain car. But even that is a profitable operation. The tiny railroad might be too insignificant to even rate listing in railroad journals, but to the farm community of Newark it is very important, literally their bread and butter. less than 2 miles long! ILLINOIS FARMERS CLAIM SHORTEST RAILROAD by Graver Brinkman The small farm community of Newark, Illinois boasts the nation's shortest standard gauge railroad, strictly a freight operation, in constant operation since 1917. The Illinois Midland Railroad Company has exactly 1.9 miles of trackage. It starts at Newark, rolls through a cow pasture, a wooded tract, crosses several secondary farm roads, and winds up at the town of Millington. Although the trackage is less than 2 miles, and the road has but a single locomotive — a second-hand orange-colcVed diesel — it operates on a fairly tight schedule—at a profit. The railroad itself, once a community enterprise, was. later purchased by the Newark Farmers Grain Company. It hauls grain from Newark to Millington, and saves area farmers a sizeable amount in freight bills. The railroad has a contract with the CB&Q to put its grain cars on their siding at Millington, where the cars join larger trains on this major road, headed for Chicago markets. If the little orange locomotive of the Midland didn't make its daily run, it would be necessary to truck all area grain to the town of Morris, 25 miles distant, then move it via river barge to the Chicago market, rather an expensive process, freight-wise. Originally, the railroad was meant to be a much longer line. Newark oldsters still remember back in 1913 when a promote/ came to town with a grandiose scheme to give the isolated inland town a railroad connection. He built the short road, collected a lot of money from area farmers and business men on the promise to extend the road to the town of Seneca. But one night the man slipped out of town, dollars and all. Since the two-mile railroad had no one to manage it, the farmers who had their money in the trackage and right-of-way leased it to the local grain company in 1922. Twenty years later the grain company purchased it entirely. The little railroad began hauling corn, oats and soybeans to Millington, pulling back loaded cars of coal, lumber and fertilizer. But as the years passed, the engines wore out, the trackage needed repairing and replacement. The operation found itself very much in the red. About ready to throw in the towel, officials of the Illinois Agricultural Association heard the woes of the farm railroad and decided to lend a hand. After considerable effort in Wash- Have you counted the bales you tie? '" *'\ ) '"' ; ^StBKL. '. Farmer Glenn Fritz, of Lennox, South Dakota, is one of many farmers who report tying extra bales of hay per bale of Eastman Baler Twine. That's "Scoops" going along for the ride. He's Eastman's expert on twine. Look for him at farm shows. With EASTMAN Baler Twine, farmers report tying many extra bales of hay after switching from natural fiber twines. There's no doubt—you always get more than 9,000 feet of uniform twine, bale after bale. And there are no thick or thin sections to break or foul baler knotters. Means every foot of Eastman twine is usable. Added advantages: ideal for outdoor hay storage; resistant to rot, insects, and weather; tough yet soft and flexible; has outstanding knot strength. Eastman Baler Twine is produced in the U. S. A., always available. Look for the twine with the FARM JOURNAL Family Test Group Seal on the distinctive yellow- wt-nnEi ut tmmt FAMILY -rmmr OROUP and-black label-EASTMAN Baler Twine. It's the original and best-selling black plastic twine. If your dealer doesn't have it in stock, write: Eastman Baler Twine EASTMAN CHEMICAL PRODUCTS. INC. Kingsport, Tennessee 37662 Subsidiary of Eastman Kodak Co. Eastman

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 11,200+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Try it free