The Burlington & Northwestern/Burlington & Western

1882 Burlington & Northwestern Railway Pass

1888 Burlington & Northwestern/Burlington & Western Pass

1892 Burlington & Northwestern/Burlington & Western Pass

1892 Burlington & Northwestern/Burlington & Western Pass

1888 Burlington & Northwestern Stock Certificate


1898 Burlington & Northwestern Agent Slip



     The Burlington & Northwestern/Burlington & Western branches began life as three-foot-gauge lines and were converted to standard gauge in 1902. These interesting Iowa branches, ran north from Burlington over the Rock Island to Mediapolis, west to Winfield and then to Washington or Oskaloosa, respectively. I originally set out with the plan to model the B&NW/B&W, with the operations set during the summer of 1934, prior to the CB&Q selling the Burlington & Western portion of the line from Winfield to Oskaloosa to the M&StL. At that point, the timetable listed a Passenger Motor Car (gas-electric or doodlebug) train over the line each direction and a freight train each way. After the B&W was sold, the B&NW was operated with a single daily mixed train. The Burlington abandoned the Winfield to Oskaloosa B&W trackage in late 1934, selling portions of the right of way assets to the M&StL. Either branch would be a perfect modeling subject for a small layout or an experiment with Proto 87 (which I am still contemplating myself). Thanks to Frank Ellington, drawings exist of several of the depots, and Sanborn maps provide a lot information about track arrangements and on-line businesses/industries.

     For additional information about the B&NW, I highly recommend Burlington Bulletin #30, published by the Burlington Route Historical Society. It was authored by David Lotz, and is entirely devoted to the the two branches, including many photos from the steam and diesel eras. Charles Franzen, a long-time Washington resident faithfully documented this neat little branchline with his camera during the late steam and diesel years.

Burlington & Northwestern Facilities - Burlington to Washington, Iowa

Burlington, Iowa (Des Moines County)

Latty M.P. 8.9 (Des Moines County)

Sperry M.P. 11.8 (Des Moines County)

Mediapolis M.P. 15.4 (Des Moines County)

Roscoe M.P. 20.4 (Des Moines County)

Bridge 21.56

Yarmouth M.P. 23.9 (Des Moines County)

Mt. Union M.P. 28.3 (Henry County)


M&St.L Crossing M.P. 32.9

Bridge 33.15 6 span pile trestle

Winfield M.P. 34.0 (Henry County)

Bridge 36.05 (Crooked Creek)

Bridge 36.94 (Lemon Creek)

Wyman M.P. 38.7

Crawfordsville M.P. 42.4

Hwy 161 crossing

Havre M.P. 47.0

Washington M.P. 52.5 (Washington County)