The railroad was operating trains through the flood waters when the levels were low enough to enable the trains to safely traverse the area, but as the water began to rise, the railroad responded by raising its mainline in various locations around Davenport. In some locations the tracks were raised almost two feet, enabling trains to continue to operate through the affected areas.
The breach Tuesday was part of a temporary levee system that was keeping the flood waters out of the downtown area. After the breach, the CP main line was quickly under water measured in feet rather than inches. The Mississippi River is expected to crest Wednesday or Thursday in Davenport at a level that may match or exceed its record crest of 22.63 feet reached during the floods of 1993.
CP ballast trains have been busy dropping rock in many areas along the river in an attempt to keep operations fluid.
North of Savanna, on the Marquette Subdivision, the main line is experiencing high water levels at several locations too, with some spots having water above the ties, creating slow but passable areas. One train that passed through the high waters was the railroad’s business train, operating between Bensenville Yard near Chicago and La Crescent, Minn.
“CP has been raising the elevation of its track for several blocks through downtown Davenport to assist in keeping train traffic in operation during current and future flooding events,” spokesman Andy Cummings tells Trains News Wire. “When the track lift is complete, CP will be able to operate trains up to the 21-foot mark on the Rock Island flood gauge. The job of lifting track began March 28 and halted in late April due to the impending second crest. It will resume when water recedes enough to allow it.