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transition era union pacific in the midwest

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transition era union pacific in the midwest
Posted by matthew redden on Thursday, February 13, 2020 7:40 PM
 Hello                                                                                                                                                                                     I have read pelle soeborg's book building a sectional layout which features the farming area of the midwest. My question is did the union pacific have lines in this area of the midwest during the late 1940's and early 1950's. I ask this question as I live in adelaide australia and I am unfamillar with this area of the united states. Also is the grain elevator too modern for the transition era. Thanks for any advice.
 
Regards Matthew Redden
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Posted by jeffhergert on Thursday, February 13, 2020 9:14 PM

The UP in the transition era operated west of Omaha/Council Bluffs and Kansas City.  The  midwest farming territory for them back then would be Kansas and Nebraska.

I assume by grain elevator you mean the large concrete style as opposed to the small town wood elevators.  Many of the large elevators date to the first quarter of the 20th century.  I noticed one in Fremont NE (one of many such structures in the area) dates to 1917.

Jeff

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, February 14, 2020 6:56 AM

Along with what Jeff has to offer,  Pelle's freelanced UP railroad, the Daneburg Subdivision is based on eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.

I'm not a historian, by any means, but much of the UP modern day trackage in the midwest were from the take over of the C&NW.  Chicago & Northwetern.

It's probably more likely that the C&NW worked the rails back in the 40's and 50's, in the more eastern grainger areas of some of Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois. There was also a line called the Chicago Great Western CGW, but I'm not sure of it's time period.  You have to research the time period and area.

There was also the CRIP, the Chicago Rock  Island and Pacific, more know as the Rock Island line.  It covered much of Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahome, and into Texas.

As far as the grain elevator on Pelle's layout, it's pretty modern, but big concrete facilities where growing in the 50's.

Kalmbach has a book, I think it's called Modeling the Grain Industry.  If you could find a copy of that, it would probably answer a lot of your questions.

Keep us posted on your layout!

Mike.

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, February 17, 2020 10:48 PM

Chicago Great Western started in the 19th century, with the CGW name starting in 1892 after several railroads had merged together. It was bought by Chicago & NorthWestern in 1968. From Oelwein in eastern Iowa, it had lines going out to Minneapolis/St.Paul on the north, Chicago the east, and Kansas City to the southwest.

Chicago & NorthWestern was merged into UP in 1995. Up until 1955, UP's transcontinental trains used the CNW to reach Chicago.

UP isn't generally considered a "granger" railroad, like CNW, CGW, etc. but certainly did/does serve a lot of farm country in Nebraska, Kansas and the eastern parts of Colorado and Wyoming. Corn is most closely associated with Nebraska, the other three would lean more towards wheat production.

Stix
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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:14 PM

Relative to other RRs, I think of the UP has more of a fast freight hauler more than a local grainger RR, hauling freight to/from the west coast.  Think BigBoys pulling long trains of boxcars through NE and WY.

As others have said, the UP did not have a lot of local branch lines in the Nebraska area...hardly ran to KS....and the Nebraska route was mainly a fast double tracked mainline into WY and CO.  Along the mainline, which basically is the same route as I-80 and US 30 in NE, there are huge concrete grain elevators to take the grain all over the US. 

I don't think the UP had a lot of local generators of grain traffic itself, not that they didn't have enough that you couldn't model it.

But the C&NW, the Rock Island, and even the MOPAC had more online grain traffic, IMO, and were the real grain haulers of the day.  And the acquisition of those RRS in the 80s is what accounts for UPs trackage east of the Omaha, NE/Missouri river now.

- Douglas

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:40 PM

Let's not forget the "Omaha Road", the Chicago St.Paul Minneapolis & Omaha RR. It had a mainline from Omaha Nebraska to Minneapolis/St.Paul in Minnesota that I'm sure served plenty of small agricultural towns in Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota. It was a part of the C&NW System until folding into C&NW proper in the late 1950's, just before C&NW bought the Minneapolis & St. Louis. All those, along with the Chicago Great Western, eventually became part of today's Union Pacific. I would agree with the earlier post that most likely Pelle's layout is set on a line originally built by one of those "granger" roads.

Stix
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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:55 PM

The pictures in MR that I recall seeing show US 30 highway signs.  This would be either exCNW in western Iowa or original UP in eastern Nebraska.  I'm thinking more like the Nebraska side.

Jeff 

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:58 PM

BTW since the original poster is in a different hemisphere, should maybe point out the "granger railroad" refers to a 19th. century organization generally knows as "The Grange" which was an organization of farmers that was sort of a combination fraternal organization, labor union, and political movement. The farmers - especially in remote areas in the Midwest and West where they were captive clients of the only railroad in the area - felt they were being exploited with high rates to ship their farm products. They were able to get legislation passed in many states and even the federal government that created regulations regarding the rates railroads, warehouses and grain elevators could charge. The areas where the Grange was the strongest - mostly west of Chicago and east of the Rockies - were served by the "Granger Railroads" whose primary function was hauling farm products to market.

Stix
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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 7:34 PM

The Grange, formally known as The National Grange of Order of Patrons of Husbandry, still exists.  With the decline of the number of farmers, membership is open to everyone.

https://www.nationalgrange.org/

Jeff 
 

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