Florence Cut-Off

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I noticed in another thread (Some Old Slides), that someone discovered the Briggs Spur corridor that used to connect the Omaha Road (CStPM&O) to the CNW Road west of Florence. This road was the last to be built and the first to be abandoned by the CNW. I agree with the latter, but I may have found some evidence that this corridor is much older and was 're-used'.

When looking thru an 1885 book that describes the current status of the CStPM&O, I noticed that it mentions the current state of the 'Florence Cutoff' project. The following is what I found:


That made me wonder where did they cutoff the six miles? The corridor that I am familiar with heads west out of Florence and then heads straight north (thru tall cuts) to the area around Nashville. I always thought that was an expensive venture for a fledgling RR as the original owner of that segment was the Omaha & Northwestern (which was later purchased by CStPM&O). By accident, I found this 1876 map of Douglas county. It clearly traces the Omaha & Northwestern RR and it is NOT the corridor that I know. So I used Google Earth to trace from this old map (in yellow) and trace the abandoned line that we know (red) See this link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-kwddx1tWIvM1FfN0xjd2VycWc

I found that the yellow line is around 5.5 miles. I stopped tracing at the county border because I didn't know where to go. Then I found the following 1886 map of the Fort Calhoun township in Washington county. It shows the 'old' and 'new' lines. But I think the map maker has them reversed. So I modified my Google Earth trace to include this new information and I found that this equals 6 miles! The amount of cut-off mentioned in the 1885 book. The following picture has the amended trace and the 1886 map of the area. Again, I am sure that the map maker has the 'Old Line' and the 'New Cut Off' labels reversed by mistake. See link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-kwddx1tWIvcDNrX0VIakVvVXM

So if this is the first road to Fort Calhoun that was built by the Omaha & Northwestern (and later bought by the CStPM&O in 1880), then you can see that the Briggs Spur re-used this corridor to some extent. The fill that is still visible from 66th & State was built in 1869!

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