COLUMBIA BRANCH RAILROAD HISTORY
The Columbia Branch Railroad is currently in its one hundred and forty-ninth 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 order your copy of, THE COLUMBIA BRANCH RAILROAD.
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 ended on the Columbia Branch.
June 1, 1982 The Columbia Branch became 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 purchased the Columbia Branch from Norfolk Southern Corporation.
October 6, 1987 The Columbia Terminal Railroad (COLT) began operations on the Columbia Branch.
September 14, 2011 The COLT makes its first run over the new Highway 63 railroad bridge on the Columbia Branch.
July 15, 2011 The Columbia Star Dinner train began operations on the Columbia Branch.