Chicago Great Western & Rock Island preservation in northeastern Iowa

The Hub City Heritage Corporation Railway Museum
Proudly preserving Oelwein, Iowa's railroad heritage!

November 1, 2013

To all our museum members;

As another museum year comes to an end it is also a time to reflect, evaluate and report to you, our members.

Between the cold, wet spring, some very serious health problems of some of our officers and members, and the lack of available local volunteers, the museum's season got off to a slow start.

Some of our projects did not get done.  The ceiling in the tower has been replaced, more of the proposed brick walk (made with brick from the shops that were torn down) in front of the yard office building has been installed.  Rearranging the two cabooses has opened up about 70 feet of track that we can use as a demonstration track for the handcar.

An HO scale model of the shops building and transfer table have been built.  Even though the shops building is gone, visitors can get an idea of how big it was.

We have had the second printing of the shops narrative that Union Pacific had commissioned.  For those of you who do not have a copy, it is 32 pages of pictures and information.  It is only available at the museum.  We also had the fourth order of the 2 DVD set of the closing of the shop that George Whalen made available on the last day of work.  One DVD is riding on an engine approaching Oelwein from all directions.  This is also only available from the museum.

On June 7th around 80 members of the Chicago & NorthWestern Historical Society spent the day in Oelwein touring the railroad museum and Transco Rail Products.

We continue to receive items of historical significance, such as all the paperwork on the last two trains to leave Oelwein, clearance papers, conductors wheel report, train orders and data cards.  We also now have a Rock Island caboose stove shovel.

The roof on the Rock Island caboose is leaking.  I could not find a contractor who had the time to re-roof it. Hopefully, I will have better luck in 2014.

Again this year we had a group from Ameri Corp to help us with sorting and cleaning of brick.  They sure can accomplish a great deal in one weekend.

Our attendance was down on Heritage Days, the third weekend in August.  Other organizations participating in Heritage Days had the same problem.

The outbound track, which is the first track located in back of the museum, has been replaced with all new rail, ties and roadbed out beyond Highway 3.  Iowa Northern expects to move 25 cars of grain per day over the new track (railroad business coming back to Oelwein).

In spite of the slow start this year, we had around 1400 visitors from 23 other states, 97 towns in Iowa, and 1 foreign country.

Thank you for your continued support in membership and donations.  We hope that it will continue for some time to come.

As the saying goes, "Keep them upright and between the rails."

Bill Mundt
President, Hub City Heritage RR Museum

P.S.  Oelwein is building a new police station, so maybe by August, the trailer housing the police chief's office will be moved off of our property and we will have more space.

The Chicago Great Western's Oelwein locomotive and car repair shops under construction in 1898.
From the collection of Jim Rueber


We would like to thank the following people for making this website possible:
Dustin D. Smith, Dana Smith, Ed Raye, William Mundt and Loren Karr

Hub City Heritage Corporation Railway Museum

  26 2nd Avenue SW    Oelwein, Iowa     319-283-1939

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