A Midwest Regional Railway- 1930's - 1940's
St. Joseph and Grand Island Railway


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The St. Joseph and Grand Island Railway (SJGI) was a freight and passenger railway operating in the states of Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.. It served the cities of St. Joseph, Missouri, north eastern and north central Kansas, and Hastings and Grand Island, Nebraska, a total main line of 252 miles, with a short 7 mile branch from Stout to Highland,, Kansas. The line was important in helping to develop the expanding westward movement of our population and provided a link from the Kansas City and Missouri area to the west and Northwest. It was acquired by the Union Pacific in 1880, shortly after completion, but operated as a separate entity into the 1930's.
In the early 30's it ran two passenger trains between St, Joseph and Grand Island, and advertised connections to the northwest, It also ran two mixed trains between Hastings and Grand Island, Nebraska. Later in the 30\s the SJ&CI identity was lost in the UP system. The UP now introduced motor cars in place of the steam trains and reduced the service to once per day on the SJ-GI run, replacing the mixed trains on the H-GI run with buses, By the end of the 40's the buses were gone and the motor car service ended in the early 50's. The Union Pacific continues to operate the majority of the former SJ&GI. Abandoned portions run 32 miles between Elwood and Robinson, in Kansas, as well as a segment between Hastings and Grand Island.


St, Joseph and Grand Island - June 25, 1931

Short history of the St. Joseph and Grand Island Railway (SJ&GI)
1857 - The Palmetto & Roseport Railroad was chartered on February 17,to build a railroad from Roseport, Kansas,, opposite St. Joseph, Missouri to Palmetto Kansas. The road to be built was intended as an extension of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad.
1859 - Construction started on P&R.
1860 - First rail laid; first in the state of Kansas. Completed to Wathena, 5 miles,
1860-65 - Civil War stops construction.
1862 - P&R name changed to St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad and the SJ&DC obtained the right to maintain a railroad from the border line of Kansas to Ft. Kearney, in Nebraska.
1866 - The Northern Kansas Railroad Company was consolidated with the SJ&DC.
1867 - Land grants and bond issues create climate for continued construction west from St. Joseph.
1869 - By May the SJ&DC was built, 14 miles, to Troy, Kansas.
1871 - Construction was begun July 25, on a bridge over the Missouri River at St, Joseph.
1872 - By December the SJ&DC was completed to Hastings, Nebraska, a distance of 227 miles.
1873 - Missouri River bridge completed.
1879 - The SJ^DC name was changed to the St. Joseph & Western Railroad.
1879 - An extension was also built a distance of twenty five miles to Grand Island connecting the road with the Union Pacific Railroad. At this time the name was changed to the St. Joseph and Grand Island Railway (SJ&GI)
1879 - River bridge ownership falls under SJ&GI control.
1880 - Union Pacific gained control of the St. Joseph and Grand Island, but it was operated as a separate entity.
1931 - SJ&GI operated two steam passenger trains between St. Joseph and Grand Island, with advertised connection to the northwest. Also two mixed trains ran between Hastings and Grand Island.
1938 - SJ&CI name is buried in the UP System, and a single motor runs from St. Joseph and Grand Island. Buses replace mixed trains.
1950 - Motor car still operating but buses are gone.
1955 - Former SJ&GI (now UP) is freight only.
2000's - The Union Pacific continues to operate the majority of the former St.J&GI. Abandoned portions run 32 miles between Elwood and Robinson, in Kansas, as well as a segment between Hastings and Grand Island.

SJ&GImap
St. Joseph and Grand Issland - 1931


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guides- Various editions
http://tacnet.missouri.org/history/encycmo/rrstjoseph.html
http://kansasheritage.org/research/rr/p&r.html
http://kansasheritage.org/research/rr/p&r.html

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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, May 1, 2009, revised Oct. 10, 2011