THE HISTORY

COLUMBIA BRANCH RAILROAD HISTORY

The Columbia Branch Railroad is currently in its one hundred and forty-fifth year of existence. Because of the vast amount of history involving the Columbia Branch and space constraints in this website, the following time line only includes basic history relating to important dates . (Much more information will be added soon along with images and maps) To learn more about this historical railroad please reserve your copy of, THE COLUMBIA BRANCH RAILROAD.

TIME LINE

April 20, 1836  Missouri’s First Railroad Convention was held in St. Louis. Delegates from Boone County, Missouri included: John W. Kaiser, James W. Moss, John B. Gordon, William Hunter, R.W. Morris, and twenty-four year old James Sidney Rollins.

March 3, 1851  A charter was granted by the state of Missouri to the North Missouri Railroad Company to build a railroad from St. Charles, Missouri to the Iowa boarder.

May 1854  Construction began on the North Missouri railroad at St. Louis. 

January 30, 1857  The official origin of the Columbia Branch Railroad occurred with the incorporation of the Boone County & Jefferson City Railroad Company.

September 14, 1858  The North Missouri railroad was completed to Centralia, Missouri.

February 1, 1859  The North Missouri railroad was completed to Hudson, Missouri to intersect with the Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad.

1861 – 1865  The Civil War delayed the construction of the Columbia Branch Railroad.

May 21, 1866  The official Groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Columbia Branch railroad took place at Columbia.

October 29, 1867  The Columbia Branch railroad was completed.

April 10, 1868  The telegraph was completed from Centralia to Columbia.

April 23, 1873  The Boone County & Jefferson City Railroad was foreclosed and sold to William Burr for $30,000.

April 30, 1873  William Burr sold the Columbia Branch to the newly incorporated Boone County & Boonville Railway Company.

May 1, 1902  The Boone County & Boonville Railway Company sold the Columbia Branch to the Columbia & St. Louis Railroad Company.

May 9, 1902  The Columbia & St. Louis Railroad Company sold the Columbia Branch to the Wabash Railroad Company.

October 16, 1964  Norfolk & Western Railway Company acquired the Columbia Branch from leasing the Wabash Railroad Company.

April 18, 1969  Passenger service ends on the Columbia Branch.

June 1, 1982  The Columbia Branch becomes a part of the holdings of the Norfolk Southern Corporation when the Norfolk & Western merges with the Southern Railway.

October 2, 1987  The City of Columbia, Missouri purchases the Columbia Branch from Norfolk Southern Corporation.

October 6, 1987  The Columbia Terminal Railroad (COLT) begins operations on the Columbia Branch.

September 14, 2011  The first train runs over the new Highway 63 railroad bridge on the Columbia Branch.

July 15, 2011  The Columbia Star Dinner train begins operations on the Columbia Branch.