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Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern Railroad

The other striking feature [of the FDDM] is that it is one of the first actual instances of the actual electrification of an existing steam railroad in the country. A great deal has been said on this subject and many arguments have been advanced as to the comparative merits of alternation the direct current for electrified steam railroads but little or nothing in the way of actual transformation from the use of steam to the use of electricity as a motive however has been accomplished.

Ames Times, August 1906 edition

Iowa shortline

Incorporated in 1906, the Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern Railway grew in length to become the longest interurban in Iowa.  Its 85-mile long electrified north-south mainline from Des Moines to Fort Dodge linked the coal and agricultural regions of western Iowa.  Several branches increased the total mileage of electrified railroad to 147. A segment of the line survives today as the Boone & Scenic Valley tourist line.

FDDM route map

Company route map

Links / Sources