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Carlisle, Iowa Awarded Membership in Union Pacific's Train Town USA Registry

Carlisle, Iowa has been awarded a membership in Union Pacific's Train Town USA Registry as part of the railroad's year-long 150th anniversary celebration.

Carlisle received an official Train Town USA resolution signed by Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young, and Carlisle's historical connection with Union Pacific will be featured at

"We are proud to recognize Carlisle as we commemorate our railroad's sesquicentennial celebration and growing up together," said Brenda Mainwaring, Union Pacific director - Public Affairs for Iowa and Nebraska.   "Union Pacific has been part of the country's fabric throughout the railroad's 150-year history.  That bond between us and the nearly 7,300 communities we serve continues to strengthen.

"Our shared heritage with Carlisle is a source of pride as we remember our past while serving and connecting our nation for years to come."

During the 1860's the Iowa and Minnesota Railroad acquired right of way for a planned railroad line from Des Moines to the Missouri state line and eventually to Kansas City.  The right of way was transferred to the Des Moines, Indianola and Missouri Railroad Company which constructed a line from Des Moines through Carlisle to Indianola in 1871.  A branch to Winterset was added in 1872.  These lines were consolidated into the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company in 1880. 

In 1913, the Saint Paul and Kansas City Short Line Railroad Company established the short line junction at Dean Avenue and SE 18th St., in Des Moines and constructed another line south through Carlisle.  It extended through Hartford and Beech to Allerton, Iowa, and became known as the short line between Des Moines and Kansas City.  It was leased to the Rock Island and eventually consolidated into the Rock Island system in 1948.  From 1945 until the 1960s, it was the route of the Twin Star Rocket Streamliner passenger train between the Twin Cities and Houston.  When the Indianola branch was abandoned in 1998, it was successfully rail-banked and converted into the Summerset bicycle/pedestrian trail.  The Chicago & North Western acquired the line from the Rock Island in 1983. Union Pacific merged with the C&NW in 1995.