This Souvenir Fridge Magnet Shows a Train Crossing Iowa's Kate Shelley High Bridge
The Kate Shelley High Bridge is a remarkable feat of railway engineering. Central Iowa is crossed by the valley of the Des Moines River, a region of particularly rich agricultural land. When the Chicago and North Western Railroad crossed this valley, the construction of some sort of bridge over the river was necessary. However, the railroad engineer George S. Morison designed America's highest double-track railway bridge to span the entire valley. It was completed in 1901 and was renamed in 1912 for Iowa's railway heroine, Kate Shelley, who saved a passenger train from derailing in 1881. The bridge is 185 feet high (about 56 meters) and runs for 2,685 feet (about 818 meters). The bridge served admirably for a century, but was damaged in high winds in 2001, a concrete and steel replacement bridge was constructed in 2009.
Railway Travel in the American Midwest is a Pleasurable Way to Cross the Country
Travel by rails is more often associated with vacations in Europe or great train journies like the Trans-Siberian Railroad or the Orient Express, but the United States does have an extensive network of trains which can provide a wonderful way of traveling through the countryside. Chicago was a city founded ont he railways and it remains a primary hub for passenger trains today. One popular route leaving the city is the Southwest Chief, which crossess the Mississippi and provides incredible views of the Midwest countryside of Iowa and Kansas from its glass-ceilinged observation cars. The train then winds through the Rocky Mountains before arriving at the Grand Canyon, where on-board guides (many of them mebers of local indigenous communities) narrate the landscape. Visitors can get busses here for Los Vegas or continue on to Los Angles and the California coastline. This is just one of many amazing train journies available through Norht America.