As has become more common in recent years, UP has split its traffic in much of Metro Omaha between what are essentially two one-way main lines.
The two routes diverge at Fremont, Nebr. approximately 40 miles northwest of Omaha via US Route 275. Eastbound traffic uses the former UP main and is paralelled by the highway for about 10 miles as far as Waterloo and Valley. As the "Lane Cutoff" it may also be accessed from much of southside Omaha. Around 40th street, it swings northward through a gritty neighborhood of abandoned stockards, and crosses the Missouri. One of the casinos in Council Bluffs, IA is adjacent to the bridge.
Almost all westbound transcontinental traffic now uses the former C&NW main between Boone, Iowa and Fremont via Blair. The two lines diverge at the small community of Missouri Valley, and the eastbound line to Council Bluffs, which is pretty much on a north-south orientation, is not as readily accessible. The westbound line immediately crosses the river on a single-track bridge, and the setting in the summer months is nearly park-like.
Fremont and Blair are both clean, pleasant communities, and a trip up 275 will paralell much of CNW's stillborn, and now abandoned transcontinental attempt of the late 19th century. Blair is named for John I Blair, possibly the most under-appreciated of the great railroad builders.
What a revoltin' development this is! (William Bendix)