The I&M Rail
Link, owned by the Washington Corporation, operated 1,385 miles of trackage in the states of Illinois, Iowa,
Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The lines were acquired in from the
Canadian Pacific Railway, which were originally built by the Milwaukee Road and
its predecessors. The railroad commenced operations at 12:01 p.m. April
Railway retained a 33% ownership in the new company leaving the Washington Corp.
with the remaining 67%. The new railroad was headquartered in Davenport, IA,
with Nahant Yard becoming the base for most operations and locomotive maintenance.
Heavy locomotive repairs were handled by National Railway Equipment in Silvis,
IL. Train dispatching was
first handled by the Canadian Pacific, but those duties were later performed by the
Montana Rail Link in Missoula, MT, which is another Washington Corp. subsidiary. IMRL's principal commodities
included steel, coal,
agricultural and chemical products. The railroad operated with 2,284 freight
cars and 118 locomotives. Train operations continued much as they did during Soo Line
and CP Rail ownership.
In late 2001 the
Washington Corp. looked to divest itself of the railroad claiming it
unprofitable. On July 29, 2002 the
assets of the I&M Rail Link, LLC were officially transferred to the Iowa,
Chicago & Eastern, which is owned by the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern
subsidiary, Cedar American Railroad Holdings. Operations were curtailed at 12:01