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CN - North Raccoon River Bridge



"Cedar Rapids Gazette - Thursday, March 5, 1953

Seventeen Cars Of Meat Spilled In Iowa Wreck

Newell (INS) Seventeen cars of an Illinois Central fast meat train were derailed near Newell early Thursday, but no one was seriously injured.

Sheriff Harry Dreyer said the accident happened shortly after midnight when the fourth or fifth car behind the engine apparently began dragging and broke loose, spilling the cars loaded with meat, hundreds of feet along the right of way.

Dreyer said a bridge across the Coon river was completely torn out and a long section of track ripped out.

Sides of meat were dumped into ditches along the tracks and Dreyer said before deputies could begin patrolling the scene many carcasses were stolen.

Two persons were slightly injured, John Callahan, 48, of Cherokee, a conductor, and Bernard St John, 57, of Sioux City, a trainman. Both were taken to a Storm Lake hospital, where they were in good condition.

Newell is about 10 miles east of Storm Lake.

Highway patrolmen, railroad detectives and county deputies patrolled the scene to prevent more meat from being stolen.

Another meat train that was following the ill-fated one was forced to return to Storm Lake."


Deck plate girder bridge over North Raccoon River on Canadian National Railway
Buena Vista County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1901; approaches destroyed by a derailment in 1953 and rebuilt
- Canadian National Railway (CN)
- Illinois Central Railroad (IC; ICG (1972-1988))
Deck plate girder
Also called
IC - North Raccoon River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.61379, -95.04229   (decimal degrees)
42°36'50" N, 95°02'32" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/332494/4719949 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Newell West
Inventory number
BH 65386 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


Beam (16,176)
Buena Vista County, Iowa (32)
Built 1901 (555)
Built during 1900s (7,421)
Canadian National Railway (553)
Deck girder (5,998)
Girder (10,658)
Illinois Central Railroad (601)
Iowa (6,602)
Open (40,222)
Owned by railroad (12,885)
Plate girder (8,287)
Raccoon River (90)
Railroad (16,030)
Timber stringer (4,139)

Update Log 

  • January 8, 2015: Added by Luke