Manly Jct Railroad Museum Update []

I know you will be getting together as a board next week, so I wanted to communicate with you and as many members as possible.  I want to let you folks know that there is certainly a welcome mat out for RITS involvement in the Manly Jct. Museum project.  I have not been involved much with your group, so I am unsure of the status of your current home for the archives, but I hope that there may be room in your planning for an eventual consideration of merging our efforts.  As you may remember from the May meeting in Manly, even the C&NWHS would be interested in combining efforts with us, which would certainly make the separate efforts more viable.


One important reason that I decided to go forward with the project was the presence of the casino in Worth County that supports the Worth County Development Corporation which receives a considerable amount annually from the casino profits.  Worth County non-profits can apply for funds every six months.  We were able to get $50,000 toward the purchase of our 20 acres for the museum, and they are encouraging us to continue with applications twice each year.  We also have the opportunity to use the Hawkeye Express as a means of raising funds, as well as the attraction of our GP-7 and E units when they arrive.  We are getting quite a bit of interest in donations of time, money and material for the museum.


I plan on building an equipment restoration shop on site and also house the Hawkeye Express on the museum tracks.


I have also been advised that the Iowa DOT would provide funding for this project and we may have other support from the county and other third parties, including some Manly Terminal and Manly Logistics Park customers.  We have some aggressive plans for Manly from an Iowa Northern standpoint, so the inclusion of the museum is making more and more sense.


As you know, we have a lease purchase arrangement for the former grocery store near the tracks for the interim facility.   We will be arranging for a new furnace/air conditioning system soon and get the building cleaned and prepared for the first phase.  I believe the building is 80 x 100'.  I will be covering the balance required to get the heating and air conditioning done beyond current balances.


I need to get going on an advisory board together for the design of the interim and subsequent buildings, track, etc.  I would encourage you to discuss this with your board and share my thoughts with them.  We could certainly include members of RITS in our planning and long-term management of this exciting project.


I am also adding the meeting notes from Don Vaughn and Dave Kroeger, which are mostly accurate, although a few additional clarifications would be in order.  You may recall that the attendants at the meeting came from 5 states to be there for the review.  We want to include CGW-M&StL-C&NW-MILW-IC and other north Iowa-southern Minnesota railroads in the exhibits.  Certainly highlighting Rock Island will be a good plan, and I'm sure we can maintain the integrity of ownership of materials.


Please let me know if you have any questions.  I will be on the Hawkeye Express next Saturday of course, but can be reached by cell phone if your team needs to talk.  The following week I am in Denver and Phoenix, but available for discussion through my cell phone.


Please let me know if there is any interest on your end.


Best wishes.


Dan Sabin


Recap of the Manly, Iowa Jct. Museum meeting ~ Don Vaughn

For those that were not in attendance and for the edification and use 

by all at Manly, Iowa here is a recap of Dan Sabin's plans:

The Manly Junction museum has acquired through donation 17 acres of 

land for the proposed museum.  The IANR purchased one acre from the UPRR to 

bring the property into the museum entity for a hiking trail that will begin at

Hiway 9 and the current locomotive/caboose display, follow the tracks on 

the east side and go into the planned museum property.  There will be a fence

erected along the UPRR mainline for safety purposes.  Future plans may

include extending the trail south from Manly along the IANR right of way.

The museum is only part of the master plan.  The IANR has secured more

land to enlarge the windmill staging area to include a loop track that 

will bring more jobs to the area to build and maintain the windfarm industry. 

Up to 2000 jobs could be seen from this, along with other associated needs 

and possibilities at the Manly Terminal.  These jobs will be more than rail 

and windmill, as people would move to and reside in the Manly area, creating 

new jobs, stores and necessities.  The museum will be a destination, not just

another railroad museum according to Mr. Sabin, with the community and the

museum both reaping the rewards in terms of jobs and entertain.

The 2 E units still at Baldwin City, MO are to rescued from the museum

there once a new bridge is placed in service.  The locomotives, E6A 630 

and E8A 652 are to move to KC for evaluation as to returning them to service.

Given the 630 is in need of more work than the 652, estimates in the range

of $1 million to restore it to operating status is the official word. 

Until the exact nature of the locomotive is known this is a ball park figure. 

The 630 may just be cosmetically restored for the time being.  The 652 should

cost less to return it to working order.

The 3 Geeps located at Oelwein, IA at the former CGW Shops (discovered

by Transco Corporation freight car rebuilder at the former car shops in

Oelwein) were slated to be sold to a scrapper in St. Louis, MO.  The 

Transco people did not have title to the locomotives, all former Rock Island GP-7

models with high short hoods, nor did the UPRR when the shops were sold to

Transco.  After much discussion and letters between the IANR, Transco and

UPRR, it was deemed permissible to sell the locomotives to the IANR for a

token sum ($1.00) and the locomotives have been given waivers from the FRA

to be moved out of the Oelwein area.  Possibly one of the locomotives will

be restored to service in the future.  The Es, however, will be based at

Manly for display and possible operation on special trains.  Nothing

conclusive at this time as these are all ideas for consideration for the future museum.

A three story building, based on the Fairbury, NE Dispatchers building

and depot is planned.  The ground floor will be open and available to the

public for banquets.  One unique feature will be two tracks inside the

building where equipment can be displayed.  The entire wall space will 

have large windows with the interiors lit at night to showcase the equipment.

The second floor will consist of archive storage, offices and display 

along with areas for academic study.  It is thought that all of the rail

historical societies of north Iowa and south Minnesota will be encouraged 

to loan photographs, maps and other items for display.  These groups include

the CNWHS, RITS, Milwaukee Road, IC/CC&P, Soo Line, but all railroads,

regardless of having a special interest group or not will be showcased. 

The history of railroads in this area will be shown and not just the railroad 

of Manly, Iowa (Rock Island, M&StL, CGW).  Photos loaned, either by groups or

individuals, would then be scanned for interactive digital display and

research with the originals returned to the owner(s).  The third story 

will consist of a mini hotel for those individuals involved in research of the

planned repository of information.  This will obviously be contingent and

support by individuals and the multiple organizations.

While the scope of the museum is railroad, the facility is planned for

use by all.  Wedding banquets, meetings, conventions and presentations of

historic nature is hoped for, with the Manly community and north Iowa

and southern Minnesota beneficiaries.  As Mr. Sabin succintly put it, "as

Iowans, we are taught not to think large, but to go along" -- dreams can

come true, if one only looks at LaPlata, Missouri and the hotel and 

tourist complex coming to fruition there.  Other plans are for location and

restoration of railroad equipment, with some pieces already on the 

property and others having the possibility of donation or loan.  One idea to excite

and garner participation is an area where the GP-7s may be placed and the

ongoing restoration of the machines witnessed by visitors, from a safe

area.  The proposed trail will be based on depot platforms of old, with

large walkways and turn of the century (20th) lamps that once graced most

platforms.  These lights are to be powered by wind, a nod to the new

technology that has already brought traffic to the IANR.

The Manly Junction Museum is to be a non-profit with the papers already

in place.  An Advisory Committee will soon be drawn up and charged with

preparing and implementing a mission statement.  This committee will then 

be replaced with a formal Board of Directors that will oversee the museum and facility.

In railroad news for Manly, the former Rock Island yard is being 

rebuilt with new tracks being installed.  The Manly Terminal can see with this new

traffic source (windmills) more jobs for the railroad itself.  The 

suffering blow of the Waterloo bridge, now back in operation, allows the IANR to 

look again at the Manly Terminal and Manly Junction museum.

In closing, people from 4 states attended the meeting, where Mr. Sabin

asked all to consider themselves partners in the project, and not that 

while this is his dream, he cannot do it alone.  It will take time, hard work,

patience and money.  The initial phase is estimated to cost $6 million 

with the eventual project to top $10 million dollars.  There are going to be 

work parties to begin a temporary museum in the downtown Manly area until the

main building is erected and in use.  Clearing of an area in the museum

grounds will entail lots of sweat, of which a number have volunteered.

Eventually, a website is to be built where one can track progress and

make donations of monetary or labor.


Dave Kroeger addendum to the Manly, IA Jct. museum report

Thanks Don for the well written report. Just to follow up on some minor

things: Phase 1 is to use the old grocery store as a temporary location for 

the time being. I guess a couple of people looked into it, and just some work

inside will need to be done. I have told Dan that I will donate the CTC

Machine out of Clear Lake Jct. I won at a CNWHS auction. Its part of the

area history, and knowing Dan, it will be in good hands. I have other

material that I will go through and donate as well, not just RI, maybe MILW and CNW too.

Dan also has many items from the Don Newgard collection. Don was an

operator at Manly back in the day. I wouldn't be surprised if he obtained

anything from the C.J. Stoffer collection. Stoffer was a op at Manly as

well, also was the IANR's first president til the Sabin's came in and took over the line in 1994.

I know Dan has expressed interest (sic) in housing some of the RITS

archives. I cant speak for Lee or any of the RITS board, but as for CNWHS,

this may not be a bad idea to look into the future, considering the many 

CNW & predecessor lines in Iowa, instead of buying or building a site in WI or IL like the current board wants.

I enjoyed the meeting and the fellowship. Even got to see DME, UP, and

IANR trains up there...well the IANR in Manly, the other roads in Mason

City. Speaking of IANR, if they get more business in Manly, sounds like

there will be a yard engine working round the clock 24/7.


Daniel R. Sabin, President

Iowa Northern Railway Company

Iowa Northern Railway Company

Paramount Theatre Building

305 Second Street Southeast, Suite 400

Cedar Rapids, IA 52401


319-325-4119 (Cell)

319-297-6005 (Fax)

Iowa Northern Railway Company

Zephyr-Rocket LLC

Hawkeye Express