Railroad memorabilia show slated

Marshalltown was once a dynamic railroad hub with three major trunk lines intersecting at the yards currently owned by the Union Pacific Rail Road.

The Chicago & Great Western, Chicago & North Western, and Minneapolis & St. Louis trains rumbled day and night through Marshalltown years ago, and employed hundreds of workers in central Iowa.

Fittingly, Marshalltown will play host to a railroad memorabilia show for the serious or casual collector Saturday.

Railroad lanterns, signs, switch keys, watches and more will be available at the fourth annual railroad memorabilia collectors show sponsored by the National Association of Retired Veteran Railway Employees.

And event coordinator Gordon Lavender of Marshalltown isn’t shy about hiding his excitement for the event.

“We have planned to have 12 tables of railroad memorabilia available for our annual sale,” he said. Lavender is a former M&St.L employee and a serious collector too.

Of the 1,400 miles of M&St.L main line, more than half were in Iowa and 212 employees once worked and lived in the Marshalltown area, according to railroad historian and researcher Merrill Price of Marshalltown. The M&St.L and C&GW merged with the C&NW in 1960 and 1968, respectively.

The C&NW merged with the UPRR in 1995. For more information, contact Lavender at 641-753-7613.