What We Do

Midwest Flood Rail Bed Reconstruction

Railroad Bed Reconstruction

Location: Burlington, IA

Client: Class I Railroad

In spring 2008 record-breaking rains hit the Midwest, and the levees along the Mississippi River started to fail with Iowa and Missouri hit the hardest. Nearly one-third of Iowa was under water and water levels continued to rise. While waiting for the water to recede, EMR began staging equipment and crews prepared to stabilize and rebuild track beds where needed. Airboats were used to retrieve hundreds of floating stray railroad ties and crews began unloading and moving thousands of tons of ballast.


EMR crews worked 42 continuous days to get the railroad back on track. The flood occupied a vast area with limited road access, requiring the crews to take airboats to get to the work areas. Crews dealt with extreme heat, a variety of biting insects, snakes, and, of course, an immense amount of standing debris filled river water.

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