• Burlington & Missouri River Rail Road

  • This forum is for discussion of "Fallen Flag" roads not otherwise provided with a specific forum. Fallen Flags are roads that no longer operate, went bankrupt, or were acquired or merged out of existence.
This forum is for discussion of "Fallen Flag" roads not otherwise provided with a specific forum. Fallen Flags are roads that no longer operate, went bankrupt, or were acquired or merged out of existence.

Moderator: Nicolai3985

  by squints16
Anybody interested in this line which ran across the southern portion of Iowa and became a subsidiary of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy? The line was completed in 1869, only months after completion of the transcontinental, and connected with the Union Pacific line in Omaha. It is now the main route of the Burlington Northern Sante Fe.

Between 1902 and 1904, the railraod made numerous adjustments along the route which shortened the distrance across Iowa by seven miles and reduced the grade from 70 feet to 35 feet. Sadly, this move made ghost towns out of former railroad towns that were bypassed by the new line. Some of the old ROWs can still be seen although in at least two counties (Mills and Union) the old ROW was turned into a highway.
  by zllim
We definitely need to put our heads together on this one. I've been researching this branch of the Burlington Northern for several months, and have found numerous fascinating facts about the line.

For instance, in the town I live in (Glenwood) the orginial line went right through what is now the big park in town. The building of that line actually caused the formation of the lake that is still there today. I've spent a lot of time trying to map exactly where the old line ran, and have it down except for a few small stretches. It's very challanging because the terrain in Mills County is so hilly - it's hard to imagine that the old line actually ran up some of the hills like it did.

Another interesting item is the location of the original depot. All the old timers in town claim it to be in one spot in Glenwood, but my research shows a different spot. I'm convinced that after they moved the line, the old depot was relocated and made into a residence.

Anyway, sounds like we're on the same research track. I'll look you up.

Would also love to know if anyone else has looked into this line in southwest Iowa...

  by squints16

Thanks for your reply. I believe that I have mapped out the old line all the way through Mills County. This includes three four former bridges near Malvern. I have walked much of the old line and there are plenty of artifacts to be found, including spikes and bricks from the original 1869 line. My friend has even tracked down a creosite timber that we believe is board from the the platform of the original depot in Glenwood. I've got plenty of other goodies as well.

Attached is a link to the Iowa Geological server. In this map, you can see two old bed quite separated from each.

http://cairo.gis.iastate.edu/client.cgi ... =390&y=239
  by St Joe Lines
The Burlington & Missouri River Railroad was actually two different railroad companies at overlapping times in the history of the CB&Q.

The first was the Burlington & Missouri River Rail Road Company, referred to as the BM&R (Iowa) and the second was the Burlington & Missouri River Rail Road in Nebraska, referred to as the BM&R.

The BM&R (Iowa) was the successor to the Burlington & Mount Pleasant Plank Road Company. It had its original beginnings back in 1838 as a dirt highway which had been constructed over a long established Indian trail. In 1848 an all weather road was needed and the Burlington & Mount Pleasant Plank Road Company was formed. By December of 1851 the 28 mile plank roadway was completed and travel was established between Mount Pleasant and Burlington Iowa.

The BM&R (Iowa) was chartered on January 15, 1852 by Burlington Iowa businessmen.

In February of 1853, with the help of James F. Joy and John W. Brooks of the CB&Q, the BM&R (Iowa) received the financial backing of Boston investors, led by John Murray Forbes to build the railroad.

By September 1, 1859 Ottumwa had been reached and would remain the end of the line until after the end of the Civil War. Resumption of construction began in July of 1865. Chariton was reached on July 1, 1867; Osceola January 1868; Red Oak November 1869. Construction had also begun opposite of Plattsmouth Nebraska on the Iowa side of the Missouri River, to build eastwards to complete the line quicker and Hastings was the site of the last spike to be driven to complete the line on November 26. 1869.

Regular train service from East Plattsmouth to Burlington Iowa commenced on January 1, 1870, and two days latter was extended to Council Bluffs via a connection with the St Joseph & Council Bluffs Railroad Company at Pacific Junction Iowa.

The Burlington & Missouri River Rail Road in Nebraska, referred to as the BM&R was chartered on May 12, 1869. This, two days after the Golden Spike ceremony between the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads.

The B&MR was to build from Plattsmouth to a connection with the Union Pacific at Kearney Nebraska.

Actual construction of the line began on July 4, 1869 at Plattsmouth. Ashland was reached on May 9, 1870; Greenwood June 25, 1870; Newton (Havelock) July 6, 1870. Lincoln was finally reached on July 26, 1870 and the line declared completed to this point. Official celebrations weren’t held until the 9th and 10th of August. The construction of the depot was started on the 22nd of July and was completed by late November.

In April of 1871, construction resumed three miles west of Lincoln. Ft Kearney was finally reached on September 3, 1872.