Library to bring in another train historian

Fort Madison Library Director

FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison and Keokuk Public Libraries have received funding from Humanities Iowa, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, to host two presentations about trains and the railroad by Sioux-city based author Dr. Rudy Daniels.  “Trains Across Iowa” will be presented at the CB&Q Depot building in Fort Madison at 3:00 pm on October 1.  The CB& Q depot is located on the south side of the 900 block of Avenue H.  On Saturday, October 2, at 3:00 pm, he will give the presentation “The Great Railroad War” at the Historic Keokuk Union Depot, 100 S. Water Street Drive.  A cultural resource for Iowans since 1971, Humanities Iowa offers many cultural and historical programs and grants to Iowa’s communities.

Rudolph Daniels received his Ph.D. in Russian and Soviet Studies from the Pennsylvania State University in 1971. He has taught at colleges and universities in the United States and in Germany and written numerous articles and five books. His book, “Trains Across the Continent”, a complete history of U.S. and Canadian railroads, was written at the request of the railroad industry and is considered the official account of our nation’s railroads. He has also published “Sioux City Railroads”. He has just finished another book, “The Great Railroad War”. 

Join conductor Rudy Daniels on Friday and learn about “Trains Across Iowa” as he describes the past, present and future of the Hawkeye State’s railroads. The program explores Iowa’s unique position in the construction of the first transcontinental railroad and Iowa’s great contribution to railroad safety. The talk also describes the famous streamliners that rode Iowa’s rails. All aboard for an Iowa rail adventure!  Due to construction, you will need to follow a detour to get to the CB&Q depot building.  Traveling east on Avenue H/Business 61, turn right onto 11th street and then follow the signs toward the historical center.  The CB&Q Depot building is the one closest to the road, on the north side of the railroad tracks.  If you are coming from the west, take 11th street south, across Avenue H/Business 61.

On Saturday his presentation ‘The Great Railroad War’, will explore U.S. railroad history during World War I in both its civilian and military aspects. Domestically, the federal government took over the Class I railroads until 1921. Overseas, the United States Army operated its own trains with American equipment in France. The Army also sent soldiers to north Russia and to Siberia to operate and to protect American locomotives and freight cars. It is a little-known fact that the U.S. railroad operations in France brought the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918!

This program is free and open to the public, no registration is required.  For additional information or questions about anything related to the library, contact Sarah Clendineng, (319) 372-5721, at the Fort Madison Public Library.  If you are a person with a disability who requires special assistance, please contact Sarah Clendineng in advance.

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