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.
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
Iowa Northern Railway Company