Train Station: The train station for the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad is in Boone, Iowa. The building was built in the 1980s after the Boone Railroad Historical Society purchased 11 miles of the old track and began offering rides to the public. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
Boone & Scenic Valley: A water tank stands beside the tracks at the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad depot in Boone, Iowa. Rides are offered to the public daily May-October. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
List of Crew Members: Conductor Bill Dolezal lists crew members on the upcoming train from Boone to Frasier. The crew members volunteer for the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
By GARY WARREN
Formerly of Los Alamos
The Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad & Museum is a non-profit which strives to preserve a slice of railroad history which otherwise may have been lost and forgotten.
The Railroad & Museum is in Boone, Iowa and is a division of the Iowa Railroad Historical Society. The Chicago and North Western Railroad owned the rail lines but was in the process of abandoning sections of the line. The Boone Railroad Historical Society was formed in the 1980s and purchased 11 miles of the line running from Boone to the former coal mining town of Frasier, Iowa and began offering rides to the public.
The line to Frasier is a very scenic stretch which crosses over the Des Moines River Valley. In crossing the valley and the river, passengers ride across the Bass Point Creek High Bridge allowing them to gaze far below at the Des Moines River and the valley. The high bridge is located just outside of Boone and is 754 feet long and156 feet high.
The Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad operates the classic Fraser Line which we rode, but on weekends during summer months, the railroad offers dinner rides which go beyond Frasier to Wolf, Iowa before returning to the station. On the dinner ride, passengers enjoy the views from old dining cars as they move about the route. Other special rides are available at other times of the year such as the Santa Express at Christmas and others.
The James H. Andrews Museum is in a 9,000 square foot facility next to the Railroad Station. It contains a wide variety of train and railroad related equipment and supplies from years past. Andrews was an avid collector of railroad artifacts and donated many of the items in the museum.
Our day was filled with interesting facts and the history of the railroad in Iowa as well as walking around the grounds and seeing several of the trains that are used by the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad. For anyone interested in railroad history or loves riding the train, this stop in Boone, Iowa is a must.
Editor’s note: Longtime Los Alamos photographer Gary Warren and his wife Marilyn are traveling around the country and he shares his photographs, which appear in the ‘Posts from the Road’ series published in the Sunday edition of the Los Alamos Daily Post.
Bass Point Creek High Bridge: Shown is a view looking down from the Bass Point Creek High Bridge as the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad crosses. The bridge is 754 feet long and156 feet high. Passengers enjoys excellent views of the Des Moines River and the surrounding valley from the train. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
Conductor: Conductor Bill Dolezal chats with passengers during the ride from Boone to Frasier, Iowa. The train goes and returns on the same track on the out and back excursion. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
Museum: The James H. Andrews Museum is a newer addition to the Depot and Train Station for the Boone Scenic Valley Railroad. The museum facility opened in 2012 next to the Depot building for the train. The museum offers visitors a chance to see train and railroad artifacts from railroad history. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com