The Union Pacific|
The Union Pacific (cont.)|
The Union Pacific (cont.)|
Burlington & Missouri River Railroad|
Sioux City & Pacific Railroad
Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway Co.
The Express Companies
In July, 1868, Douglas County voted to issue county bonds to the amount of $250,000, and Pottawatomie County to issue $205,000, to be paid to the company upon certain conditions and at specified periods.
These questions being disposed of, bids for the construction of the bridge were sought, to which numerous replies were made, resulting in the execution of a contract in that behalf with L. B. Boomer & Co., of Chicago, bearing date September 4, 1868. After some delay in the arrangement of preliminaries, and during the same fall, ground was broken and work upon the foundations of the structure commenced, under the directions of Gen. W. S. Smith as Chief Engineer. The work was to be immediately commenced, and to be made ready for the track September 10, 1869, and the pneumatic machinery for sinking the columns was expected to have been completed and delivered in 1868, but was not furnished until January, 1869. The first section of cylinders was received March 10, 1869, and on the day following, the construction of the bridge was formally commenced, by the placing of a cylindrical section in position, or sinking the north column of Pier 11. On the 23d of April, soundings were taken, when it was found that the column was within a few inches of the rock. On the 27th of April, the first section of the south column of Pier 11 was placed in position for sinking. The south cylindrical section of that column was placed in position May 7, and on that day, while forcing out the water from the column with twenty-eight pounds' pressure, the latter parted forty feet below the surface, and was lifted nearly twenty feet into the air.
According to plans and specifications prepared in accordance with the views of the engineer, the bridge was to consist of eleven spans of superstructure, of 250 feet each, supported by one masonry abutment and eleven piers, formed of iron columns, sunk by the pneumatic process. Three columns were to be sunk from each pier, with their centers on a line at right angles to the line of the bridge. The up-stream column was intended to be, and is, five feet in diameter, and the two other columns eight and one-half feet in diameter, with spaces intermediate of twenty feet and ten feet respectively, making the length of the pier fifty-two feet. In the line of the bridge, the soundings taken indicated that rock underlaid the river at depths varying from twenty-four feet on the west side to seventy-five feet on the east side, below low water mark, the greatest depth of water being, at the time the survey was made, fifteen feet. These iron columns were sunk and fastened to the rock, thereby insuring the stability of the foundations. The small column extended from the rock to the level of low water only, and forms the support of the lower end of the iron ice-breaker, the upper end resting against the side of and fastened to the adjoining main column.
The two main columns extend from the rock to the bridge seat, which is fifty feet above high water mark, and are upward of one hundred feet in length each, with twenty feet distance between high and low water. They are formed of sections ten feet in length, with a flange at each end bolted together with one-inch bolts, four inches apart, the thickness of the iron being one and three-fourths inches in the up-stream column, one and one-half inches in the lower column, and that of the flanges three inches. The average weight of the sections is eight and one-half tons. The columns, being sunk and fastened, were filled with cement nipple masonry, the spaces between the columns between high and low water mark also being filled with the same material; resting upon iron floors; supported by brackets bolted to the columns and enveloping the masonry thus laid, are large iron plates riveted together, as also to the columns. Above high water mark, and extending up to the bridge seat, cast-iron cross-bracing and wrought-iron tie-rods are placed.
The pneumatic process of sinking iron columns was invented by Dr. Potts, in England, about forty years ago, and first applied to the sinking of a hollow iron pile in the Goodwin Sands for the foundation of a beacon light. On these sands many vessels had been lost in consequence of the inability of English engineers to erect a light-house or beacon to indicate their existence. It was found impossible to drive a steel bar into these sands to a greater distance than ten feet, and, as they shifted to a depth of over twenty feet by the action of storms, until the discovery of Dr. Potts all attempts to indicate their location had failed. Dr. Potts sunk a hollow iron pipe to the depth of sixty-eight feet, which withstood the action of the severest storm, and long served for the foundation of a beacon to point out to navigators the location of the sands they had so much dreaded. Soon after this success, the process was used in England in sinking piers for bridges, and at the present time it is being applied is preparing foundations for numerous bridges and sea-walls on the continent. Various improvements have since been made on the original invention, the most important being the application of the air-lock by Messrs. Fox, Henderson, & Co., the constructors of the Crystal Palace, London. In France, the process is regarded with great favor by engineers, and is in extensive use. It was first introduced into the United States by Charles Pontez, since when a great many foundations have been sunk and bridges built, among which are those over the Great Pedee, Santee and Cape Fear Rivers at the South, and Harlem River at the North, the piers over which are laid upon pneumatic cylinders. The greatest work of the kind in this country, however, is the enormous iron coffer dam, weighing 190,000 pounds, sunk by Gen. W. S. Smith at Waugoshouse, in the Straits of Mackinaw. The same engineer also sunk nine cylinders by this method in the Savannah River for the piers of a bridge, to carry the Charleston & Savannah River over that stream.
When a pile is to be sunk, one of the lower sections of the cylinder is placed in position, and an air-tight cap bolted upon it, the air exhausted by air pumps driven by a steam engine, when the cylinder is driven down by its own weight and that of the atmosphere. The cap is then removed, another section bolted on, and the same process repeated. The cylinder is thus driven to a depth dependent upon the character of the material encountered. When the resistance to the sinking becomes so great that the cylinder can be driven no farther in this way, the process is reversed and air is forced into the cylinder until the water is pressed out under the bottom, and through a discharge pipe provided for that purpose. This method of excavating by an air current, invented and patented by Gen. Smith, was found so effective here that the first cylinder was sunk forty feet in twenty-four hours.
On the 26th of July, 1869, the second column of Pier 10 and one column of Pier 7 were partly finished, when Mr. Boomer attempted to make a change in his employes, and the entire force abandoned the work. Further labor in the enterprise was not undertaken for some months, and matters remained quiescent until April, 1870, when T. E. Sickles, Chief Engineer of the Union Pacific Railroad, decided to push the bridge forward to completion. A second contract was executed with Boomer & Co., which had in the meantime been organized into and was then known as the "American Bridge Company," whereby they agreed to furnish the materials and proceed with the sub and super structures.
This contract was dated September 15, 1870, after which work was commenced and prosecuted with vigor until its completion, on Monday, March 11, 1872, or just three years to a day from the date of its commencement.
The tests of its capacity were begun on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 13, l872, in the presence of a large number of spectators. The test train consisted of an engine that had been employed in the construction of the bridge, in front of which were ten unladen flat-cars, preceded by an equal number of cars loaded with stone, so that each car weighed thirty tons. This train moved through the spans very slowly, and, after reaching the east end, returned with greater speed, the motion of the bridge under the great weight being scarcely perceptible. During the afternoon, a loaded freight train passed over the bridge at the usual rate of speed since permitted. The first passenger transfer train, under the management of G. W. Homan, Jr., crossed the structure on the following Friday afternoon. March 22, the train being made up of an engine, two freight and three passenger cars.
The bridge, with its approaches, is 7,000 feet in length, and originally cost a total of $1,450,000.
By far the most extensive manufactory in the city of Omaha is that of the shops built in connection with the Union Pacific Railroad. This being the head of the great railroad belt spanning the plains and arching the Rocky Mountains, and being also nearest the great producing and manufacturing centers, is also the chief source of supplies for this line.
The building of these shops began in 1864, soon after the grading upon the road bed commenced. The work was pushed rapidly ahead, and, in the fall of 1865, was completed and in operation.
During the year 1880, there were built 120 coaches of various kinds; twelve second-class coaches were arranged for second-class sleepers, and about fifty others remodeled and changed. Four depots and a section house were built on the Albion Branch of the Omaha, Niobrara & Black Hills Railroad; two depots were erected on the St. Joseph & Western; two depots on the main line; two on the Lincoln Branch; two depots and two section houses on the Grand Island & St. Paul Branch; fifty cars were rebuilt, a large lumber shed, 40x85 feet, and also a large stable for the company's horses, 35x85 feet, were built during the year.
The expenses incurred upon the repairing of passenger, freight, mail, baggage and express cars amounted to $521,285.
A gradual and rapid extension of these shops has been made from year to year since they were built, as became necessary in the manufacture of supplies required upon newly constructed lines and branches, and also in keeping up with the large increase of travel and traffic over the line.
They comprise more than a dozen large and substantially constructed brick buildings, and occupy an extensive area of ground.
The capital as a permanent investment in buildings and machinery is estimated at more than $1,000,000.
The shops comprise a car-building department and a department for the construction of locomotives, etc. The car department at present employs about five hundred men, and the locomotive department over one thousand, making a grand army of employes of more than fifteen hundred men.
In 1880, there were employed in the car department 490 men, to whom was paid out monthly, for wages, the amount of $30,000. In the locomotive department, including fireman and engineers employed on the line between Omaha and Grand Island, there were employed 850 men, who received as wages, for the year, $548,304.92.
The total number of mechanics, laborers, firemen and engineers in all the departments was 1,340, whose wages aggregated, during the year, $908,304.72.
The general supervision of the shops is under I. H. Congdon, who is also the General Master Mechanic.
Robert McConnell is the Master Mechanic in charge of the locomotive department, including all its subordinate departments of foundry, blacksmith shops, machine shops. etc.
The car department is under the superintendence of George E. Stevens.
The Union Pacific Building has an interesting history and is an old landmark in Omaha. It was erected for hotel purposes in 1857, by Dr. George L. Miller, Lyman Richardson and George Bridges, and called the "Herndon House," after Lieut. Herndon, who was lost on the Central America. It was opened and run in magnificent style by M. W. Keith, from whom it passed into the hands of J. T Allen, Mrs. Bronson and others. In 1870, the premises were rented to the Union Pacific, and in 1875, that corporation purchased them from Dr. Monell for $42,000. During the summer of 1878, the structure was entirely rebuilt, and to-day is one of the handsomest and most perfectly arranged buildings in the city. The cost of the improvements made at this time was $54,000. On the first floor are the land, express, Division Superintendent, Train Dispatcher and coal departments. The Auditor, Cashier, General Superintendent, General Freight and Ticket Agents ank Paymaster's offices are located on the second floor, while Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company occupies the third story.
The value of the property is quoted at $100,000.
As early as 1875, the local managers of the Union Pacific road, with prominent citizens of Omaha and the trans-Platte counties, had under consideration the project of a railroad line connecting with the Union Pacific at Valley Junction, running through Saunders, Butler and Polk Counties, and extending ultimately to and along the Republican Valley. No publicity was given to the scheme, but when it became known that an effort was made to organize a narrow gauge route, and after some negotiation, Douglas County was asked to issue $125,000 in bonds to aid in the construction of a narrow gauge road from Omaha to the Republican Valley, the proposed issue was defeated at an election called to vote thereon, and articles of incorporation were thereupon signed to build a standard gauge railroad along the route and through the counties above indicated. The capital was placed at $500,000. Sidney Dillon, A. J. Poppleton, Jay Gould, S. H. H. Clark, J. W. Gannett and T. L. Kimball were elected a Board of Directors, and that body chose S. H. H. Clark President; Sidney Dillon, Vice President; and J. W. Gannett, Secretary and Treasurer. The parties interested were men of capital, and guaranteed the construction of the road from Valley Junction to Wahoo, in Saunders County, by January 1, 1877, and its extension and completion, in consideration of a moderate amount of aid for the enterprise from Saunders and other counties traversed by the road. The counties expressed a willingness to bind themselves to a reasonable amount to any legitimate, bona fide company, that would build a road or put up a forfeit in case of failure to carry out the contract.
A meeting of the people of Saunders County was convened at Wahoo on the 27th of August, 1876; the County Commissioners were requested to accept the proposition of the Union Pacific and issue bonds to the extent of $140,000 to aid in the construction of the road. Some opposition was offered to the instructions thus addressed. The Union Pacific put up $50,000 cash, as a forfeit, and $1,000 to pay the expenses of an election, and the people became satisfied that the proposed railway was a straightforward, honest project. At an election held in the county, on October 10, 1876, the consent of citizens was obtained to issue the bonds. This was regarded as an event of the greatest importance to Omaha and the State, and on Wednesday, October 25, of the same year, work on the road from the Union Pacific to the east bank of the Platte River was commenced. Work was pushed so vigorously that the entire twenty miles, including a bridge over the Platte nearly half a mile long, was completed on December 23, or, in round numbers, sixty days. The only work done under contract was the grading, the bridging, tieing and track-laying being done by the railroad company. The bridge over the Platte is 2,300 feet in length, and approached from both directions by an easy grade.
Omaha & Republican Valley Railway, a branch of the Union Pacific, extending from Valley Station, on the Union Pacific, to Osceola, the county seat of Polk County, a distance of eighty-five miles, was commenced in 1876, and completed to its present terminal point in 1879. It traverses Saunders, Butler and Polk Counties, Wahoo, David City and Osceola being the chief towns on its line. It enters Saunders County at the northeast corner, and leaves it at or near the extreme southwest corner, from where it bends quite abruptly to the north until David City is reached, when it again turns to the southwest to Osceola, describing in its course the letter S. It is a most important transportation route for that section of the State, and, when completed farther up the Republican Valley, will assume greater importance.
St. Joseph & Denver City Railway, extending from St. Joseph, Mo., to St. Paul, Neb., came under the control of the Union Pacific in the spring of 1879, and is now their prominent outlet to St. Louis and other points to the southeast. The St. Joseph & Denver road was chartered by the Legislature of Kansas, February 17, 1857, by the title of the Marysville, Palmetto & Roseport Railroad Company, with authority to build a line of road from either of the above-named places to a connection with the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, at or near Roseport. The corporate name was changed to St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad April 17, 1862. The authority to build a road from the Nebraska State line to Fort Kearney was obtained under the general law of Nebraska, on the 11th of August, 1866. The Northern Kansas Railroad Company was consolidated with this company, and the right to lands granted by act of Congress, July 23, 1866, of 1,700,000 acres, was thereby obtained. The capital stock was also increased to $10,000,000. Subscriptions from municipal corporations to the amount of $1,025,000, and from individuals to the extent of $1,400, were secured in aid of building the road. On these subscriptions work was commenced, and eighty miles of the line were completed and in operation in October, 1870, at a cost of about $1,500,000. In 1871, the road was extended forty-eight miles, and in the following year it was completed to Hastings, when it passed into the hands of the Union Pacific, who extended it to Grand Island on their line of road during the summer of 1879, and in 1881 to St. Paul, the county seat of Howard County.
Omaha & Denver Short Line.--The history of the building of this line contains many points of interest. In 1873, the Union Pacific road first fostered the enterprise of building the road, which was then known as the Julesburg Cutoff, but which, known by the other name, has a much sweeter sound and significance. Much of the projected line was graded between 1873 and 1875, when certain complications with the then inimical Kansas Pacific forced an abandonment of the scheme. Upon the completion of the Union Pacific purchase of the Kansas Pacific, however, the former corporation, true to its good judgment and enterprising spirit, early in 1880 recommended the construction of the line. The old grade was changed in various places, and the line was practically rebuilt from Denver Junction to La Salle, a distance of 150.5 miles.
The Omaha Short Line is a logical outgrowth of the commercial situation of the West as viewed by the intelligent mind. The facts surrounding its existence are sufficiently convincing of the truth of this statement. The shortening of the distance between Omaha and Denver (practically between the producing West and the consumer East) is the first noteworthy fact. By the old route, the distance from Omaha to Denver was 622 miles; by the new route, it is 569. By the old route, the passenger time from Omaha to Denver was thirty-one hours; by the new route it is twenty-three and one-half hours. By the old route, the freight time from Omaha to Denver was ninety-six hours; by the new route, it is only forty-eight hours. In connection with these facts, and to some extent explanatory of them, must be considered the natural advantages of the new road. From Omaha to Denver it is practically an air line, as will be seen by the map exhibited. At no point on the road from Denver Junction to Denver does the curve exceed one degree in a distance of 5,700 feet. For miles the road runs as straight as human skill could place it. Supplementing this advantage is the one derived from level grade. The maximum grade of the Omaha Short Line is sixteen feet to the mile, and its average is less than ten feet. It follows the Platte River from Omaha to Denver, and the utilization of this water grade enables it to possess the smallest grade (for the number of miles extended) of any railroad in the United States. Its contiguity to the river bears another significance which is worthy of earnest attention, which is the fact that it runs through the only agricultural belt of that prairie land which has come to be all that remains of the Great American Desert. The gentle sweep of the ground from the river makes irrigation a positive temptation, and the success of the method at Greeley and other points is all the proof needed to establish the utility of yielding. Thus the new line runs through a country which, before many years, must supply that local traffic which is an important factor in the business of any road, and which no line competing with this can possibly be able to command. The picture of the Omaha Short Line running from Denver Junction to Denver through a country green with vegetation and beautified by the presence of thriving agricultural hamlets and thrifty-looking farms and farmhouses, is one which speaks the word of promise to the ear, and will not blast it to the hope.
The positive side of the question is thus displayed. The absolute advantages of the Omaha Short Line are established. It follows that a comparison be made between these advantages and the facilities possessed by competing lines.
From the Missouri River to Denver (that is, from Kansas City), the distance is 639 miles by the way of the Kansas Branch of the Union Pacific Railroad. From the Missouri to Denver (that is, from Omaha), by way of the Short Line, the distance is 569 miles. The difference in favor of Omaha is seventy miles. From the Missouri to Denver, by the way of the Denver & Rio Grande, and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, is 754 miles. The difference in favor of Short Line is 185 miles. From Leadville to the Missouri, by the way of the Denver & Rio Grande, the distance is 792 miles; by the new route, the distance from Leadville to Omaha is 742 miles; difference in favor of Omaha, fifty-one miles. From the Missouri at Kansas City to Chicago is 469 miles; from Omaha to Chicago is 498 miles. This constitutes a difference in favor of Kansas City of twenty-nine miles. But the new route from Omaha to Denver, being seventy miles shorter than that from Kansas City to Denver, the difference between the distances from Denver to Chicago by the two routes in question is, at the end, forty-one miles in favor of the Omaha route.
In the matter of distances, all other things being equal, the route which is the shortest (no matter if the difference in distance be trifling) secures command of the trade. It can produce the necessary result cheaper and quicker than any other competitor. If no other reason than this existed for the supremacy of the Omaha Short Line and the consolidation of freight business and travel upon the route which passes through and is in a great measure tributary to Omaha, this matter of distance would alone be sufficient. But other reasons do exist which add certainty to certainty. The uniformity of grade of the new line has been mentioned before. In the computation of results, it is even more important than distance. Experienced and disinterested experts claim that an engine can pull sixty cars over the new line easier than it can pull twenty over the Denver & Rio Grande and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, and that the difference between the new line and the Kansas Branch in the same respect is proportionately large. This means cheap and quick freights and transportation, and the practical command of the great business of Colorado, all in one way or another tributary to Denver, by the Omaha Short Line. It means wore than any practical consummation that has before been reached, that Omaha, by virtue of its geographical position, by virtue of its possession of the concentrated interests of the Union Pacific Railroad, and by virtue of the friendliness of that corporation for its own interests and for those of Omaha, is the established gateway between the East and West--between the gold-producers and the gold-buyers--between the two elements of the most important commerce of the richest and greatest nation on the earth. For, the supremacy once established, as it now is, cannot be overcome. Nature has conspired to produce the result, and to make it irrevocable; and the advantages which nature has offered have been (and must, in the logic of things, hereafter forever be) utilized.
And now the marriage ceremony has been performed. The guests, who owed their presence to that high priest of the occasion, the Union Pacific Railroad, are all departed; Denver and Omaha are joined, the fates say for better, not for worse. From that great union, what great things are not in store for all of us? From that union will spring wealth and power and happiness--an acquaintance and a friendship of men with men. Let Herr Joseffy, watched over by the Denver critic, give us that wedding march again--the one that "tells of a future rich with promise"--the one that "fills all hearts with joy," and is "freighted with a benison" (benisons are rated third-class) "that brightens alike the past., the present and the future."
The Union Pacific Railway, the greatest trunk line on the American continent, gives Omaha direct connection with the coal, iron, silver and gold regions of Wyoming and Colorado, the silver belt of Utah, Idaho and Montana, and the bullion and fruit exporting region of California and the Pacific coast. The headquarters of the Union Pacific Railway have been located at Omaha ever since the road was chartered. After the consolidation of the Kansas Pacific Railway with the Union Pacific, eighteen months ago, the headquarters of the Kansas Pacific were also removed to Omaha. All the various branches and leased lines operated by the Union Pacific Railway management now have their principal offices in Union Pacific headquarters in this city.
The following officers of the Union Pacific are located in these headquarters: S. H. H. Clark, General Manager; Thomas L. Kimball, Assistant General Manager; J. T. Clark, General Superintendent Union Division; P. T. Nichols, Superintendent Eastern Division; C. S. Stebbins, General Ticket Agent; O. P. McCarthy, Assistant General Ticket Agent; E. K. Long, Ticket Auditor; J. W. Morse, General Passenger Agent; S. B. Jones, Assistant General Passenger Agent; E. P. Vining, General Freight Agent; P. P. Shelby, Assistant General Freight Agent; Joseph W. Gannett, Auditor; G. W. Hall, Assistant Auditor; A. S. Van Kuran, Auditor of Agent Accounts; F. D. Bown, Cashier; S. T. Josselyn, Paymaster, Union Division and branches; A. C. Powell, Paymaster, Kansas Division and branches; A. D. Clark, Purchasing Agent; J. J. Dickey, Superintendent of Telegraph; L. H. Korty, Assistant Superintendent of Telegraph; M. H. Goble, Freight Auditor; F. A. Nash, Car Accountant; D. O. Clark, General Coal Agent; J. Blickensderfer, Chief Engineer; E. Lane, Superintendent of Bridges; Leavitt Burnham, Land Commissioner; Howard Kennedy, Secretary, and P. L. Perine, Cashier, Land Department; R. H. Wilbur, Traveling Auditor; Horace Newman, Stock Agent; E. M. Morsman, General Manager Pacific Express; W. F. Bechel, Auditor Pacific Express; Andrew J. Poppleton, General Attorney; John M. Thurston, Assistant Attorney.
The literary bureau of the Union Pacific is a very important feature in the workings of that immense establishment. Mr. R. E. Strahorn, chief of this department, is ably seconded by Mr. T. W. Blackburn.
The following is the present mileage of the Union Pacific Railway.
UNION DIVISION. Miles. Main line (Union Pacific Railroad), Council Bluffs to Ogden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,033 Omaha & Republican Valley Branch, Omaha to Lincoln and Stromsburg, and Grand Island to St. Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 Omaha, Niobrara & Black Hills Branch, Duncan, Neb., to Norfolk and Lost Creek to Albion . . . . . . 84 Colorado Division (Colorado Central Railroad), Cheyenne to Denver Central and Georgetown. . . . . . 178 St. Joseph & Western Division, St Joseph to Grand Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252 Marysville & Blue Valley Branch, Marysvllle to Beatrice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Echo & Park City Branch, Echo, Utah, to Park City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Utah & Northern Branch, Ogden, Utah, to Butte City, Montana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 416 Julesburg Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151 Fort Russell, Almy and other spurs . . . . . . . . . . 11 ____ Total Union Division . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,329
KANSAS DIVISION. Main Line (Kansas Pacific Railway), Kansas City to Denver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 539 Leavenworth Branch, Leavenworth to Lawrence . . . . . 34 Carbondale Branch, Lawrence to Carbondale . . . . . . . 32 Junction City & Fort Kearney Branch, Junction City to Concordia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Solomon Branch, Solomon to Beloit . . . . . . . . . . . 57 McPherson Branch, Salina to McPherson . . . . . . . . . 86 Cheyenne Division (Denver Pacific Railway), Den- ver to Cheyenne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Boulder Branch, Brighton to Boulder . . . . . . . . . . 27 Boulder and Caribou Branch, Boulder to Marshall . . . . 6 Wyandotte & Enterprise Spurs, Armstrong to Wy- andotte and Detroit to Enterprise . . . . . . . . . . 4 ____ Total Kansas Division . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,011
DENVER AND SOUTH PARK DIVISION. Main Line (Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad), Denver to Buena Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 Morrison Branch, Bear Creek Junction to Mor- rison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Leadville Branch, Buena Vista to Leadville . . . . . . . 36 Gunnison Branch, Buena Vista to Hancock . . . . . . . . 20 Fairplay Branch, Garos to Fairplay . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Breckenridge Branch, Como to Boreas . . . . . . . . . . 10 ____ Total Denver and South Park Division . . . . . . . . 230 Nevada Central Railroad, Battle Mountain to Austin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 ____ Grand Total under Union Pacific Railway manage- ment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,663
The Union Pacific is working a construction force on each of the following lines, representing 1,200 miles of projected lines, all of which will be built within the next two years:
Grand Island & St. Paul Branch, between St. Paul and Scotia, Neb.
Greeley, Salt Lake & Pacific Branch, between Greeley, Fort Collins and La Porte, Colo.
Boulder Canon Branch, between Boulder and Caribou, Colo.
Breckenridge Branch, between Boreas and Breckenridge, Colo.
Gunnison Extension, between Hancock and Irwin, Colo.
Laramie & North Park Branch, between Laramie and Soda Lakes, Wyo.
Utah & Northern Branch, between Dillon and Helena, and Silver Bow and Deer Lodge, Montana.
The Oregon Branch, between Granger, Wyo., and Boise City, Idaho, and Baker City, Ore., and between junction on Snake River, and Galena, on Wood River, Idaho.
Surveyors are in the field locating other branch lines in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Montana, Idaho and Oregon; 328 miles of track have been laid by the Union Pacific the past year, and fifty or more miles are graded and ready for the iron.
The Union Pacific main line and branches afford Omaha business men facilities for carrying on trade in Nebraska, Wyoming, Black Hills, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Montana, and Omaha jobbers now reach all parts of the section named. The completion of the Oregon Branch will add Oregon and Washington to this list.
The most important line opened during the past year is the Omaha & Denver Short Line. Trains began running over this line November 6, and business has increased since that day. Mail service will be put on January 2. This line is important because it puts Omaha on the shortest lines from all points east to Denver and Colorado points, and because it opens up more direct communication between this city and Denver and Colorado points. The line is more nearly straight than any other line of equal length in America and has fewer grades.
Transactions of the land department of the Union Pacific for 1881:
Acres sold, 1881 . . . . . . . . . . . 95,000 00 Amount sold for . . . . . . . . . . $471,000 00 Average price per acre . . . . . . . . $4 95 Number purchasers . . . . . . . . . . . 1,065 00 Average number acres to each . . . . . 89.20 00 TOTAL TRANSACTIONS. Acres sold . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,227,500 00 Amounts sold for . . . . . . . . $9,969,500 00 Average price per acre . . . . . . $4 47½ Number purchasers . . . . . . . . 19.210 00 Average number acres to each . . . . . 115.95 00