Falls was known as a railroad city in the late 19th century,
when four lines connected here. These lines, and the dates
when they arrived in Cedar Falls, were the Dubuque and Pacific,
now the Illinois Central (1861), the Cedar Falls and Minnesota
(1870), the Chicago Great Western (1884) and the Burlington,
Cedar Rapids and Northern (1863).
As a railroad
hub, Cedar Falls had easy access to Minneapolis/St. Paul,
Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, Des Moines, Kansas City
and other locations. In 1893, for example, it was possible
for a passenger to ride from Cedar Falls to Chicago over
three different railroads without changing cars.
In 1893, 36 trains
were operating in and out of Cedar Falls every day. Products
moving out of Cedar Falls included 520,000 pounds of butter
annually, 856 cars of flour and mill stuff, 296 cars of
livestock and 200 cars of grain. Products moving into Cedar
Falls included 1,590 cars of lumber, 880 cars of wheat and
oats, 196 cars of machinery and 75 cars of straw for the
Cedar Falls Paper Manufacturing Company.
Cedar Rapids and Northern Railroad originally used the Rock
Island Depot. The six passenger and six freight trains that
once operated out of Cedar Falls on a north-south route
used it. It was renovated and served as a restaurant known
as The Depot from 1972 - 1986.