The line was a short spur from the main line.
By 1869, the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad took control of the short spur, and continued building west.
To get from Iowa to Nebraska meant to cross the Missouri River. This was accomplished by barge, and in the winter, ice crossing.
The railroad was opened to Fremont, Nebraska by 1869. At Fremont, it would connect to the Union Pacific Transcontinental Mainline.
The line was a short bypass of Omaha, connecting to the Chicago & North Western Railway at Missouri Valley.
By 1883, a bridge would be built across the river at Blair.
In 1901, the C&NW purchased the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad. The line continued to serve as a smalltime bypass.
By the 1960s, with many consolidations well underway, the line became more important. It allowed coal and intermodal trains to bypass the congested Omaha area.
By 1995, C&NW was purchased by Union Pacific. Union Pacific continues to operate this line as the Blair Subdivision.
It is considered one of the most high priority Union Pacific lines, and is in the process of being upgraded to allow seamless operations.
This large deck girder bridge crosses Fish Creek and Marina Drive in Blair.
Built in 1904, the bridge is a very simply composed deck girder structure. It contains three large spans, set onto stone substructures.
Fortunately, it also appears to be in great condition. It is likely the third bridge at this location. A truss or lighter girder was likely the predecessor to this span.
The bridge may be replaced in the near future however, because Union Pacific has suggested the idea of widening the Missouri River Bridge and other tracks to include double track operation.
The author ranks this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview. The bridge can be accessed from Marina Drive.