Western Iowa Tech Community College
Home Phone: (712) 276-3185
Cell Phone: (712) 490-4881
Email: drrudydaniels@gmail.com

Rudolph Daniels received his Ph. D. in Russian and Soviet Studies from the Pennsylvania State University in 1971. Since then he has taught at colleges and universities in the United States and in Germany. He has written numerous articles and five books. His book, Trains Across the Continent, a complete history of U.S. and Canadian railroads, was written at the request of the railroad industry and is considered the official account of our nation’s railroads. He has also published Sioux City Railroads. He has just finished another book, The Great Railroad War, on “US Railroads in World War One.” More recently Dr. Daniels was a contributing editor of the professional Railway Atlas of the United States and was script consultant for a recent Public TV production of “Orphan Trains.”


Dr. Daniels retired as Assistant Dean and Department Chair of Railroad Operations Technology at Western Iowa Tech Community College. He now concentrates on research and writing as well as giving presentations to the general public. Dr. Daniels has spoken internationally on a variety of topics that specialize in railroad history. In fact, he has twenty different programs on various aspects of railroading. He presents his Speakers Bureau programs in an antique conductor’s uniform. Obviously, Dr. Daniels eagerly accepts opportunities to speak on trains and railroads. When he was a child, Rudy, as he prefers to be called, could not decide whether he wanted to be a locomotive or caboose when he grew up. He still can’t decide. Nevertheless, he is currently known as the Mid-West’s “Super Conductor.”


She's Been Working on the Railroad

Women have played important roles in the railroad industry since its earliest days in the 1840s. Many worked at stations in the late nineteenth century, including Iowa's own Kate Shelley. There is no question that by 1900 women had become an integral part of the railroad's labor force. During World Wars I and II, women expanded their roles and worked in shops, on trains, and repairing track. This program also includes profiles of the women holding government offices and high corporate positions in the industry in more recent years.  *Photos will accompany the presentation when projector facilities are available.


Trains Across Iowa
​Rudy Daniels describes the past, present and future of the Hawkeye State’s railroads. The program explores Iowa’s unique position in the construction of the first transcontinental railroad and Iowa’s great contribution to railroad safety. The talk also describes the famous streamliners that rode Iowa’s rails. All aboard for an Iowa rail adventure!
Additional resources: Tales of the Rails (Video)

U.S. Railroad Operations During World War I
U.S. railroad history during World War I, in both its civilian and military aspects, is a fascinating and incredible story. Domestically, the federal government actually took over the Class I railroads until 1921. Overseas, the United States Army operated its own trains with American equipment in France. It constructed over 1,000 miles of standard gauge rail in France and hundreds of miles of narrow gauge to the trenches. The Army also sent soldiers to north Russia and to Siberia to operate and to protect American locomotives and freight cars. U.S. production of tracks and equipment was absolutely astounding not to mention the logistics of transporting locomotives and cars to three regions of the globe. It is a little-known fact that the U.S. railroad operations in France brought the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918!