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History: The Beginning

Construction of the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway - originally known as the "Interurban" - began in 1903.

Formally established under the name Iowa Railway & Light Company, the little railroad eventually became known and nationally recognized as CRANDIC, representing the communities it served: Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

The CRANDIC's original design was to be a high-speed 27-mile-long interurban rail system connecting the "metropolitan" areas of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

Rules and Regulations book

On August 10, 1903, a special election was held to determine if a franchise should be given to the CRANDIC for passenger train service. In total, 38 votes were cast: 35 for and three against.

Area farmers were in favor of the action, as it would provide a means to haul produce, freight and milk, as well as passengers.

Photo gallery:

Isaac Smith and Stephen Dows

The Iowa Railway and Light Company was the brainchild of Isaac Smith (left) and
Stephen Dows (right). The entrepreneurs soon changed the name of the company
to the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway to recognize the communities it served.
(Photos courtesy of The History Center – Cedar Rapids)

CRANDIC Track Construction - Summer 1903

Track construction began in the summer of 1903. With mules, slip scoops
and the efforts of 200 men, the line was completed in 1904.

Next: The 'Interurban' >>