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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Railroad pass.
Railroad pass.
DUBUQUE AND DAKOTA RAILROAD. After the CIVIL WAR, hundreds of railroad lines started service. This was the age of steam locomotives and rail travel was still a luxury. The Dubuque and Dakota Railroad only operated in Iowa which is indicative of smaller lines, or in some cases lines in larger states. Many one state railroads were short line railroads that did not have large areas of coverage or large promotional budgets. (1)

The Dubuque and Dakota Railroad started operations in 1878. Interest in the railroad were strong. The New Hampton Leader spoke of petitions being circulated to set a 5% tax to aid in its construction. (2) Nicknamed the "Damned and Doubtful," the railroad purchased ninety-five miles of right-of-way of the Iowa Pacific and laid tracks from Sumner to Hampton in 1879 and 1880. (3) The line stopped service in 1887 for a total period of operations of nine years. The line from Sumner to Hampton was then purchased by the Minnesota and Northwestern, a predecessor of the Chicago Great Western. (4)



1. Donovan, Frank P. Jr. Iowa Railroads Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2000, p. 57

2. "The Dubuque and Dakota R.R.," Dubuque Herald, May 21, 1878, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18780521&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

3. "Railroad Collectibles," Online: http://www.railroadcollectibles.com/dubuque-and-dakota-railroad/

4. Donovan.