There's now a ready source of information about each of the railroads that serve Iowa. It's "The Iowa Railfan Guide" by Dana Grefe. This book is more than just a where to go and what to see directory. It is an accurate picture of each railroad that serves the state.
Each Class I, Class II (regional railroad) and Class III (short line) is described in pictures and text. The history of each railroad is outlined, providing concise sketches of the origins of the companies currently serving the Iowa, along with data about the goods and materials which are brought into and out of the state. Even the paper railroads of Iowa, Iowa Transfer and Hubbell Terminal, are discussed.
For the active railfan, there are timetables for each railroad, radio frequency information (including the AAR radio channel assignments), rosters of locomotives and suggestions about locations for obtaining photographs. There are also 80 pages of maps and diagrams, showing track layouts, junction points, industries, and yards in Iowa communities from Albia to Waterloo.
For the arm chair railfan, or anyone who is interested in this vital segment of Iowa's transportation system, there are numerous statistics and information. Grefe describes the major commodities and industries served by each railroad in the state. He puts into perspective the vital role that rail service plays in moving the products of Iowa and the nation.
Grefe is currently president of the Chicago North Western Historical Society. This is his second major railfan work. The first was a guide to the Chicago North Western in Iowa. That book was published in conjunction with a C NWHS convention in Marshalltown in 1994.
"The Iowa Railfan Guide" is spiral bound, making it easy to read and to use. All the information needed to find trains in Iowa is in this one volume.
"The Iowa Railfan Guide" is also being offered for sale in hobby stores in Central and Eastern Iowa, or may be ordered directly from the author.