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Home Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Depot

Chicago, Rock Island
and Pacific Depot


Fourth and Bluff Street

Three railroads had built into Waterloo by the 1880s. The Dubuque and Sioux City arrived first (1861), followed by the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern (1870) and the Chicago Great Western (1880). The original depots were located some distance from the business district and hotels. The Chicago Great Western, however, built depots on both sides of the river and closer to the commercial district. The other lines soon followed suit.

This depot was built around 1890 for the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific. It was later used by passengers of both the Rock Island Line and the Chicago Great Western.

Railroads played an important part in the early development of Black Hawk County. Industries were founded or relocated here because of the easy access to rail transportation. By 1915, an average of 75 trains moved in and out of Waterloo/Cedar Falls each day, carrying 70,000 cars of freight annually.

The Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern eventually became part of the now defunct Rock Island Line. The Dubuque and Sioux City became part of the Illinois Central, while the Chicago Great Western became part of Chicago Northwestern. The depot building now houses an accounting firm.

A fourth line, the electric Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Northern, provided passenger and freight service to Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids and Waverly.

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Last updated Wednesday, June 23, 2004

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