The company began construction on its main line westward from Kansas City in September 1863 and by the next year, the first 40 miles of the line to Lawrence was in operation. This map by the Kansas Pacific Railway Company features their "Golden Belt Route" from Kansas City to the "rich silver discoveries in Colorado." It advertises the "shortest and quickest, therefore the cheapest, route to Colorado." The railroad was consolidated with the Union Pacific in 1880. William R. Petrowski, "The Kansas Pacific Railroad in the Southwest. ", University of Kansas: Kansas Pacific Railroad, Thomas Ewing Jr. and the origin of the Kansas Pacific, Eastern Kentucky University Special Collections and Archives, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kansas_Pacific_Railway&oldid=923195006, Predecessors of the Union Pacific Railroad, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Babbitt, James E. "From Albuquerque to Tucson in 1867: The Kansas Pacific Railway Survey Photographs of William A. On the Kansas Pacific Railway [graphic]. The Kansas Pacific Railway formally opened on September 1, 1870. Interstate Commerce Commission. While the railroad’s groundbreaking began in Wyandotte (now part of Kansas City, Kansas), the Missouri side of the city still honors its transportation history (Arabia Steamboat Museum, National Airline History Museum, 1914’s Union Station). ©Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated May 2018. As in the case with the Union Pacific, the Pacific Railway Act authorized large land grants to the railroad along its mainline. The construction of the line was motivated in part by the desire of the U.S. government to extend transportation routes into Kansas, which had been the scene of ongoing conflict between Union and Confederate sympathizers during the Bleeding Kansas days prior to the start of the Civil War. Yes, the Union Pacific won the beefy contract, but the railroad that became the Kansas Pacific Railway in 1869 kept making history. In 1868, the U.S. Congress enacted a law that was signed by President Andrew Johnson to build a second-phase extension of the line to the Rocky Mountains, with the intention of continuing past Denver through the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, to compete with the Union Pacific main line. In 1880, at Gould's direction, the railroad was consolidated with Union Pacific and the Denver Pacific, with the new railroad taking the Union Pacific name. The Golden spike event in Utah the previous year had marked the linking of the Union Pacific with the Central Pacific Railroad, but until 1872, passengers on the Union Pacific were required to disembark between Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska to cross the Missouri River by boat.. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library: creatorOf: Benecke, Robert. The railroad was consolidated with the Union Pacific in 1880, and its mainline continues to be an integral part of the Union Pacific network today. It was not until 1934, with the completion of the Dotsero Cutoff, connecting the mainline of the Denver and Salt Lake Railroad with the Denver and Rio Grande Western mainline, that the rail network west from Denver would cross the Rockies and reach Salt Lake City . It was originally the "Union Pacific, Eastern Division", although it was completely independent. In 1874, Union Pacific investor Jay Gould gained effective control of the Kansas Pacific. In the early 1880s, the Union Pacific sent surveyors on several expeditions up the Platte Canyon and the Poudre Canyon. It failed to get funding to go west of Colorado. In March 1869 the name was officially changed to the Kansas Pacific Railway. By the fall of 1866, the line had reached Junction City and in 1867 to Salina. It was a federally chartered railroad, backed with government land grants. During the construction, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody was employed to shoot buffalo to provide meat for the track laying crews. ", Petrowski, William R. "Kansas City to Denver to Cheyenne: Pacific Railroad Construction Costs and Profits. The Kansas Pacific began in 1855 as the Leavenworth, Pawnee and Western Railroad, and was later reorganized in 1863 as the Union Pacific Eastern Division. On the Kansas Pacific Railway, consists of a series of photographs by Robert Benecke (1835-1903), taken along the Kansas Pacific line for the railroad company. The railroad was consolidated with the Union Pacific in 1880, and its mainline continues to be an integral part of the Union Pacific network today. They operated in the western United States in the late 19th century. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. It was reorganized in 1863 into the Union Pacific Railway Company, Eastern Division. In 1885, the railroad went before the Supreme Court in Kansas Pacific R. Co. v. Dunmeyer in a dispute over land titles. ", This page was last edited on 27 October 2019, at 00:11.
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