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Kearney & Black Hills Railway

(later Kearney Branch, Nebraska Division)

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on March 8, 2016.

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Overview

Organized in 1889 as Kearney & Black Hills Railway

Owned by Union Pacific by ownership of stock

Originally surveyed and graded in 1887 from Kearney to Milldale (72 miles) by Omaha & Republican Valley Railway

O&RVRy sold completed grade to K&BH in 1890

Completed in 1890 from Kearney (connection with UP Nebraska Division mainline) and Calloway, Nebraska (66 miles)

Constructed and operated by Wood River Improvement Company, 1890 to 1892

Operated by K&BH, 1892-1898

Sold to UP in 1898

Timeline

1887
Railroad line from Kearney to Milldale, Nebraska surveyed and graded by Omaha & Republican Valley Railway.

May 22, 1889
Kearney & Black Hills Railway incorporated in Nebraska

May 1, 1890
Kearney & Black Hills Railway purchased the "almost entirely completed grade" between Kearney and Milldale from Omaha & Republican Valley Railway, 72 miles.

1890
Track laying completed between Kearney and Calloway, 66 miles.

1890
Union Pacific sold its locmotive number 9 to K&BH as their new number 1; UPRy 9 was built in 1862 for the U. S. Military Railroad for service during the Civil War; and came to UPRR second hand in 1866.

August 1890
Kearney & Black Hills Railway's locomotive number 2 was delivered new to K&BH..

October 1, 1890
Operation of K&BH was begun by Wood River Improvement Company, the contractors which had also constructed the railroad.

September 30, 1892
K&BH took over operation of its own railroad from Wood River company.

October 13, 1893
K&BH in receivership along with Union Pacific Railway which owned all of K&BH stock. K&BH was operated by receivers until its sale to UP in 1898.

October 31, 1898
K&BH was "surrendered" to Union Pacific Railroad at foreclosure sale. UP began operation of former K&BH as its Calloway Branch.

1905
UP operated its first McKeen motor car on this branch.

1912
Union Pacific extended former K&BH northwest from Calloway, 37 miles to Stapleton, changing the Calloway Branch to the Kearney Branch (known locally as Stapleton Branch).

Locomotives

(Note: In later years, UP 2-8-0s 105, 113 and 117 were assigned to the Kearney Branch, as noted in "Kearney & Black Hills: A Historic Line of the Union Pacific Railroad" by Francis Gschwind, South Platte Press, 1990, ISBN-13: 978-0942035131; Read more about UP's 100-class 2-8-0s)

Kearney & Black Hills Railway 4-4-0 -- 1 locomotive

1890 K&BH
Number
First
Number
Second
Number
Date To
K&BH
Builder Builder
Number
Date
Built
Date
Vacated
Notes
K&BH 1 UPRR 9 UPRy 9 1890 Rogers 1025 Jul 1862 1894 1

Description:

Drive Wheel Diameter: 56 inches (later 57 inches)
Cylinders: 15x22 inches

Notes:

1. K&BH 1 was built as U.S. Military Railroad "Osceola" in 1862; to UPRR 9 in 1866, named "Osceola"; to UPRy 9 in 1880; to UPRy 300 in 1885; to Kearney & Black Hills RR 1 in 1890; condemned at Kearney in 1894 (K&BH sold to UP in 1898)
   

Kearney & Black Hills Railway 4-4-0 -- 1 locomotive

Road
Number
Builder Builder
Number
Date
Built
Date
Vacated
Notes
K&BH 2 Baldwin 11117 Aug 1890 Aft 1898 1

Description:

Drive Wheel Diameter: 63 inches
Cylinders: 17x24 inches

Notes:

1. Built as K&BH 2 in 1890; to UP in 1898 (K&BH sold to UP in 1898); further disposition unknown

Sources

Ehernberger, James L. and Francis G. Gschwind. Union Pacific Steam, Eastern District (E&G Publications, 1975)

Union Pacific Railroad Company. Corporate History of Union Pacific Railroad Company, As of June 30th, 1919

Union Pacific Railroad. Eastern District Condensed Profile

Buffalo County Historical Society

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