Re: Looking for a Short Line

Nathan Obermeyer


You may want to take a look at the Nebraska-Kansas Railroad which was owned and operated by the Ideal Cement Plant at Superior, Nebraska. The railroad's sole purpose in life was to move the limestone rock from the quarries in Kansas to the cement plant located in Nebraska. The railroad was made famous at the time for being the shortest interstate railroad at roughly 4 miles long. When it started in 1914, it used an electric locomotive and then later went to steam and then finally diesel in 1960 until the plant and railroad closed in 1986.

The plant was switched by a CB&Q line that passed right beside the plant and the local town of Superior, Nebraska, had four railroads (CB&Q, MP, C&NW, AT&SF) which all interchanged the cement traffic with the Q. The plant shipped bagged cement in box cars and in addition, later shipped it in covered hoppers. The late 1940s-early 1950s would be a great time to model the plant and line. At that time the CB&Q used a doodlebug to pull 2-4 loaded cement covered hoppers to supplement the amount of traffic generated by the plant. The plant would receive box cars of dynamite for blasting, silica sand, plus other materials.

The Nebraska-Kansas line used two trains at a time on the line. One would be in the quarry being loaded while the other is at the plant dumping the rock. They would meet on a siding allowing each to pass. The car fleet consisted of a home built caboose/gang car plus flat cars that had large buckets used to carry the limestone rock and were dumped in to the crusher at the plant. South Platte Press recently published a book on it.

The cement plant switching and interchange traffic alone would be interesting to model if not the N-K railroad.


--- In, "John Miller" <amwing1588@...> wrote:

Hi all,

I don't know if this is the correct venue to ask this, but I will anyway. I need help in discovering a short line RR set in the early to mid 1930's (depression era). I would like to be able to research it through visits, photo's and books and then build a layout and fill it with the correct types of rolling stock appropriate for that time period.
The short line I'm interested in modeling would have had it's own road name (or even one of a major line)along with it's own rolling stock, but would also move a lot of interchange cars along it's line and might include rolling stock...from milk cars, log cars, covered hoppers to 50' auto boxes and Oh ya...lots of small to medium steamers. I've been modeling the larger mainline roads for years, but just find myself yearning for something special. There are so many of these branch lines/short lines across the country, and that being said, I'd like to hear from you all, which ones you like and why. At this point, I don't have a geographical preference, so let the suggestions fly.

Thanks to all in advance.

John Miller
Folsom, CA.

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