Railroad Tracks Across Iowa
In 1856 the United States Congress gave the railroads almost 4 million acres of Iowa land, about 1/9th of the states area. The race was on. It was felt the first line to hook up with the Union Pacific in Council Bluffs would capture a large share of the national freight and passenger service. The first line to reach Council Bluffs was the North Western road in 1867. Two years later the Rock Island line reached the Missouri River; shortly after the Burlington came in third; finally the Illinois Central.
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