C&NW (since it got into Wyoming before the CB&Q, it's listed first)

Predecessor line to the C&NW was the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley

1884 October 1 

All assets of the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley and the Sioux City & Pacific railroads are taken over by the Chicago & Northwestern RR.

1886 April  

The Elkhorn's construction subsidiary, Wyoming Central, pushes westward from Dakota Junction. Surveys are taken across central Wyoming, through South Pass to connect with the Central Pacific at Ogden, Utah.


C&NW/Elkhorn construction progresses as far west as Casper, Wyo.


Track is extended from Casper to Shoshoni in mid 1906 by the Wyoming & Northwestern.

1906 October 1

Track reaches Lander. During this time it is publicly acknowledged by the C&NW management of two possible destinations for extension: Coos Bay, Oregon and Eureka, California. Northwestern President Marvin Hughitt finally put all the rumors and projections to rest when he discontinued any planning on these extensions.


Tie creosoting plant opens at Riverton, Wyo.


Track from Casper to Shoshoni (Illco to Shobon) is abandoned with trackage rights granted on the CB&Q. C&NW track is taken up to be recycled for the war effort.


During this time 7,144 car loads of fuel oil are shipped out of Riverton.




June 11

  An extension built westward from Northport, NE reaches Guernsey, Wyo.



A 131-mile branch line is constructed to connect Toluca, MT to Cody, Wyo. Construction begins during  the spring of 1900 and is completed on November 11, 1901. It gives the Q access not only to Yellowstone Park but also, of more importance, to the productive Big Horn Basin.



Surveys between Guernsey, Wyo. and Salt Lake City, UT. are nearly complete. If this 461-mile line were to be built, it would make a through route between Omaha and Salt Lake that is 76-miles shorter than the existing Union Pacific main line. (This was strongly recommended to Charles Perkins, then President of the Q, for the construction of this line. He sent the recommendation to the Board of Directors in Boston. They never responded.) Just think what could have been?



CB&Q comes under control of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific as a result of the Northern Securities scandal. Control of the Q shifts from Boston to St Paul.


October 3 

Construction begins southward from Frannie Junction.


September 3

 Kirby is reached, 110 miles to the south of Frannie Junction.



Work resumes from Kirby through the Wind River Canyon by way of Casper to a connection with the Colorado & Southern at Orin Junction.



Great Northern's extension of rail line southward from Great Falls to Billings, MT is completed.


April 24 

The Q completes a 30 mile extension from Warren MT. (across the state line from Frannie Wyo.) to Fromberg MT. to meet an extension built by the Northern Pacific from Billings, MT.



The Toluca Branch is abandoned from Toluca, MT. to Warren, MT. 


October 18  

The completed line from Frannie Junction to Orin Junction, Wyo. is finished and opens for service.


December 15  

An eight-mile connection between Guernsey and Wendover, Wyo. is opened connecting the Q to the C&S.


Jack Saxton of the St Joe Lines provided much of this information. I took the liberty of only slightly revising the data he sent, and formatting it into these tables.

Thanks, Jack!


History Page 1