While freight was important to the Crandic in the early years, it was better known for its passenger interurban operations. After passenger operations were discontinued in 1953, freight became the primary source of traffic for the Crandic. At the same time, the electric-powered locomotives were replaced with diesel-electric models. The customer base in Cedar Rapids continued to expand with the population in the area. In 1980, with the demise of the Milwaukee Road, Crandic purchased the Cedar Rapids to Homestead, Iowa, portion of the Milwaukee. Also in that year, an Iowa City to Hills, Iowa portion of the former Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad was acquired by the Crandic. In 1996, a large locomotive and car shop was built in the southwest side of Cedar Rapids as a replacement for the original Rockford Road facility.
In late 2004, the Crandic chose to concentrate on its major focus, switching customers along its rail lines. A daily road freight between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City previously operated by the Crandic was turned over to the Iowa Interstate Railroad in August 2004. In 2005, Railway Age magazine named the Crandic its Short Line Railroad of the Year. Also in 2005, Crandic opened its third shop complex. The newest shops are located on the site of the original Crandic shops. The previous shops complex was sold to Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) for use as a railcar cleaning and repair shop for ADM's large fleet of rolling stock.
The Crandic currently operates 60 miles (97 km) of main line and 40+ miles of yard trackage in four east central Iowa counties. The Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway employs 90 individuals. 90,000 car loads of traffic are handled each year on the Crandic. The largest customers include Alliant Energy, Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Weyerhaeuser's Cedar River Paper, and Penford Products.