Amtrak Detour - Flood of 1993


During the summer of 1993, flooding in the midwest forced a number of railroad detours. Eastbound Amtrak California Zephyr, #6, had already abandoned its regular BN route through Iowa and was detouring over the Chicago and North Western when their tracks closed in the eastern part of the state. CNW brought the train south along the Spine Line to Des Moines and stopped near Hull Avenue. The train pulled south and then backed up onto the old Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern track where its passengers were transferred to buses.

The CNW engines were taken off the point of the empty train, it was taken south, then west at Short Line Junction, crossing the swollen Des Moines river and arriving in downtown Des Moines. There, the consist paused briefly in front of the remains of the old Rock Island depot while an Iowa Interstate pilot boarded to take it back west to Council Bluffs.