I&M Rail Link

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I&M Rail Link
Logo of the I and M Rail Link.png
Reporting mark IMRL
Locale Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin
Dates of operation 1997–2002
Successor Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The I&M Rail Link (reporting mark IMRL) was a railroad operating in the north central portion of the United States. The company commenced operations on April 5, 1997, acquiring lines from the Canadian Pacific Railway and Soo Line Railroad.[1]

On July 31, 2002, the Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad took over the IMRL's operations.


The I&M Rail Link, owned by the Washington Corporation, operated 1,385 miles of trackage in the states of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The lines were acquired in from the Canadian Pacific Railway, which were originally built by the Milwaukee Road and its predecessors. The railroad commenced operations at 12:01 p.m. April 5, 1997.

Canadian Pacific Railway retained a 33% ownership in the new company leaving the Washington Corp. with the remaining 67%. The new railroad was headquartered in Davenport, IA, with Nahant Yard becoming the base for most operations and locomotive maintenance. Heavy locomotive repairs were handled by National Railway Equipment in Silvis, IL. Train dispatching was first handled by the Canadian Pacific, but those duties were later performed by the Montana Rail Link in Missoula, MT, which is another Washington Corp. subsidiary. IMRL's principal commodities included steel, coal, agricultural and chemical products. The railroad operated with 2,284 freight cars and 118 locomotives. Train operations continued much as they did during Soo Line and CP Rail ownership.

In late 2001 the Washington Corp. looked to divest itself of the railroad, claiming it was unprofitable. On July 29, 2002 the assets of the I&M Rail Link, LLC were officially transferred to the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern, which is owned by the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern subsidiary, Cedar American Railroad Holdings. Operations were curtailed at 12:01 p.m. on that date.


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