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Rails in Nebraska - Listing of Past and Present Roads

Rails in Nebraska

Historic & Modern Rail lines in the State

Company Name / Reporting Marks - classification - current status - miles operated within state (year)

Burlington and Missouri River Railroad / B&MR

One of the first railroads in Nebraska - later became CB&Q.

Burlington Northern Railroad / BN - Class 1 - predecessor of BNSF

Grew out of the CB&Q after the Merger with Northern Pacific.

Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad / BNSF - Class 1 - operational - 1,686 miles (1999)

Formed by the union of BN with the ATSF in the mid-1990's.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad / CB&Q - predecessor of BN

Outgrowth of B&MR, commonly called the Burlington. Originated from Burlington, Iowa.

Central Branch Union Pacific / CBUP - merged into MP

Running from Atchison, Kansas west and into south central Nebraska. The CBUP was operated and eventually purchased by the Missouri Pacific, which later became the Northern Kansas Division of the MoPac.

Chicago, Central & Pacific Railroad - regional shortline - operational - 2 (1999)

Chicago & North Western Railway / C&NW - Class 1 - merged into UP

Originating in Illinois, the road aquired the FE&MV in 1903, which ran through Nebraska. It also controlled the CStPM&O as a seperatecompany until 1957. The road operated 1,405 route miles (FE&MV and CStPM&O combined) in Nebraska. The North Western merged with UP in the late 1990's.

Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad / CRI&P - Class 1 - ceased operations

Also known as Rock Island or the Rock. Originating from Illinois, the road built its Chicago-Colorado mainline across southest Nebraska. The Rock Island went broke and ceased operations in March 1980.

Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway / CStPM&O - merged into C&NW

Operated between the cities above, and later merged into the C&NW.

Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad - regional shortline - operational - 39 (1999)

Fillmore Western Railway - local shortline - operational - 24 miles (1999)


Fremont and Elkhorn Valley Railroad - local shortline - operational

Based in Fremont, NE for diesel excursions and dinner train
Fremont and Elkhorn Valley Railroad Homepage

Fremont, Ekhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad / FE&MV - merged into C&NW

Merged into the C&NW. The original route is preserved today as a short tourist railroad.

Iowa Interstate Railroad, Ltd. - regional shortline - operational - 3 miles (1998)

Kearney and Black Hills Railway / K&BH - shortline - merged into UP

Shortline built between Kearney and Calaway in 1890. UP aquired the road in 1898.

Kansas City North Western Railroad / KCNW - operations ceased

Built in 1889 as the Kansas City, Wyandotte and North Western Railroad, with trackage from KC to Virginia, Nebraska. MP controlled the line for many years, but it reverted back to the shortline in 1917 as KCNW. Operations ceased in 1919.

Kansas City and Omaha Railroad / KC&O

Originally built by StJ&GI in 1886-7. CB&Q aquired the road in 1902.

Kyle Railroad - regional shortline - operational - 56 miles (1999)

Kyle Railroad operates on 692 miles of track in the northern tier of Kansas, eastern Nebraska and eastern Colorado serving the agriculture rich winter wheat and feed grain region of the high plains.


Missouri Pacific Railroad / MP - Class 1 - merged into UP

Also called MoPac, originating from St. Louis with rails from the Gulf to Colorado, extended 347 route miles in southern and southeastern Nebraska which the road built in the 1860's-1880's. The road also aquired the Central Branch Union Pacific (a Nebraska shortline) during the road's early push into Southern Nebraska. MoPac would merge with the UP in 1983.

Nebkota Railway, Inc. - local shortline - operational - 103 miles (1999)

Operates between Chadron and Merriman, Nebraska, with connections to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe in Crawford, 19 miles west of Chadron. Locally owned and operated, NEBKOTA hauls grain, fertilizer, rock, cement, scrap metal, and recyclable products.

Nebraska Central Railroad - local shortline - operational - 282 miles (1999)

A collection of five (5) former Union Pacific Railroad branch lines, is a 250 mile property operating in north central Nebraska. Shipments are predominately grain and agricultural products, scrap iron, and finished metal products. Rio Grande Pacific Corporation maintains a 100% equity interest in this property.
Nebraska Central Railroad Company

Nebraska, Kansas & Colorado RailNet, Inc. - regional shortline - operational - 231 miles (1999)

Nebraska & Lake Superior Railroad - shortline - operational

Nebraska Northeastern Railway Co. - local shortline - operational - 120 miles (1999)

A wholly-owned subsidiary of TNW Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The road interchanges with the BNSF.

Nebraska Southern Railway Company - shortline - operational

Omaha Lincoln & Beatrice Railroad / OL&B - shortline - operational

Once ran trolley cars but now serves as a shortline switcher service in Lincoln and Ashland.

St. Joseph & Grand Island Railroad / StJ&GI

Operated as UP subsidiary.

Union Pacific Railroad / UP - Class 1 - operational - 1,110 miles (1999)

Originating in Omaha as the state's first railway. Operated 1,358 route miles through Nebraska before mergers with MP and C&NW. Union Pacific R.R.



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Latest update: Thursday, 13 November, 2003

Sources: The Hub of Burlington Lines West by Holck

Photos taken in Lincoln, Nebraska unless otherwise noted.
All photos & text 2000-2003 T. Greuter / Screaming Eagles , unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.