Hawkeye Express derailed by pandemic, funding issues
IOWA CITY (AP) — The train that has carried thousands of Iowa football fans from Coralville to Kinnick Stadium on games days will cease operations, the athletic department announced Wednesday.
The Iowa Northern Railway’s Hawkeye Express has made the 10-minute trip on game days since 2004. The athletic department and railroad said now is the time to end the train rides because of the likelihood of continued social distancing this season season and the need for equipment upgrades and increases in operating expenses.
An average of 3,700 fans boarded the train in Coralville on game days in 2019.
Fans weren’t allowed to attend games in 2020 because of the pandemic.
“The Hawkeye Express has been a wonderful part of our Hawkeye football gameday experience,” senior associate athletic director Matt Henderson said. “While it was a difficult decision to make, we all agree it is the right decision.”
The Hawkeye Express ran on track owned by the Iowa Interstate Railroad, which operates between Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Chicago.
Fans who rode the Hawkeye Express are encouraged to use public parking lots around the stadium.