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Industrialization - Student Activities

Activity 6 - The Rail Revolution

Over the years, evolutions and revolutions in transportation have changed how Iowans travel. In Waterloo and the Cedar Valley, the pathways that Indians first followed became stagecoach routes during pioneer times. Later, railroad companies laid track along some of the same pathways. Still later, roads and highways were built.

What was once a prairie path has evolved into today’s busy highway, railroad line or bike trail.


Step 1: Review the Information About Railroads in Iowa

Then read about the The Rail Revolution in Waterloo!


Step 2: Explore the Prairie Pathways Map

Look at the trails, railroad lines, and highways found on the Prairie Pathways map. Explore the different colors on the Cedar Valley Trails Network.

  1. Indian trails
  2. Wagon or stagecoach trails that brought people to Waterloo
  3. Roads that connected Waterloo with the surrounding towns and rural areas
  4. Railroad lines in and out of Waterloo

WCF&N Trolley

  1. Highways that connected Waterloo to other towns and cities
  2. Bike trails that were developed along abandoned railroad lines


Step 3: Write a Paragraph

After you have reviewed the Prairie Pathways map, write a paragraph describing how transportation routes have changed from pioneer days to modern times.

Possible questions to answer in your paragraph:

  • How did the Cedar River affect how people could travel?
  • How did the Cedar River affect the location of travel routes?
  • How have methods of transportation changed?
  • How have travel options grown since pioneer days?
  • Besides bike trails, how else might old railroad beds be used today?

 

Activities:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

 
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