objectives of the Hub City Heritage Corporation are to encourage and
promote the preservation and restoration of railroad memorabilia as
pertinent to the Oelwein area. To establish, furnish and maintain a
railway museum for the education and enjoyment of the general public.
The town of Oelwein was laid out in a cornfield purchased from G
Oelwein in 1872 on the coming of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and
Minnesota Railroad. It was later called the Chicago, Rock Island and
Pacific Railroad usually referred to as the Rock Island.
Heritage was formed in early 1987 and opened the railway museum on June
14, 1987 and by 1989 we first acquired the Railway Express building. Hub City Heritage later acquired the two-story
yard office building and the 75-foot dispatchers' tower, which is the
last of the CGW dispatchers' towers and the last tower in the State of
On a continually basis Hub
City Heritage acquires railroad equipment. Some of the largest railroad
rolling stock that has been preserved a Chicago, St Paul Minneapolis
& Omaha SW1 #55 switch engine with its cast steel frame built in
1940, an Chicago Great Western EMD FP7 “F-unit” locomotive repainted in
its original factory Chicago Great Western EMD colors, a 40' CGW steel
box car built in 1944, a CGW covered hopper plus other rolling stock.
The Rock Island 17958 caboose was built in 1914, the CGW 637 bay window
caboose was built in 1963. Our latest
motive power acquisition is the Minnesota Transfer 62 S1 diesel
switcher locomotive built in 1941.
The Railway Express building was originally the home of Wells Fargo and
Company Express in 1912. Shortly after WWI
in 1918 the structure was acquired by the American Express Company and
in 1930 became the Railway Express Agency. The original building was
one-half of what it is now and the cost to build it was $4,146.56.
Through this shipping agency many things were transported, including
live animals, furniture and machinery. Many horses were shipped from
Please keep in mind that if you would like to make a donation to the
organization, whether it is railroad memorabilia or monetary, we are a
501(c)(3) non-profit, educational