Fairmount and Veblen Railway

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Fairmount and Veblen Railway
Type Short-line railroad
Status Some in use, some abandoned
Termini Fairmount, North Dakota, North Dakota
Grenville, South Dakota
Opened 12 November 1913 (1913-11-12)
Closed 1971
Owner Fairmount and Veblen Railway (1913-1915)
Soo Line (1915-2000)
Sunflour Railroad (2000-current, north of Rosholt)
Canadian Pacific Railway (2000-current, south of Rosholt)

The Fairmount and Veblen Railway (F&V) was a short line railroad that operated in Richland County, North Dakota; and in Roberts and Marshall counties, South Dakota.

The railroad was established in 1913 with the help and financial backing of Julius Rosholt, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and that year constructed trackage from Fairmount, North Dakota southward into South Dakota to Rosholt, then westward to Claire City and Veblen. The line was extended southward the following year, from Veblen to Roslyn, and then eastward to Grenville. A steam locomotive acquired from the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railway (“Soo Line”) was used on the railroad.

The first meeting to discuss the possibility of such a line was held February 4, 1913 at Winans Hall in Harmon Township. Construction began in April, 1913, and on November 12, 1913, the first train came through Rosholt. "(Rosholt) proposed that farmers along the right-of-way for the distance of roughly eight to ten miles on each side contribute $200 for each quarter section of land, either owned or farmed. The money was to be in the form of a loan, with the notes secured by a mortgage in the new railroad. By this means, Mr. Rosholt hoped to raise one-half the cost of building the railroad, with himself to furnish the balance." (Orlando Bjork, 1988 Rosholt-Victor History Book)

The town of Rosholt was named for Julius Rosholt, builder of the F&V, in appreciation for his fair dealings.

In 1915 the F&V was acquired by the Soo Line, and its trackage operated as a branch line by that railroad. The portion of the line between Veblen and Grenville was abandoned in 1971, and in 2000 the trackage between Rosholt and Veblen was sold to the newly formed Sunflour Railroad. Trackage north of Rosholt remained in use in 2006, operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Soo Line's corporate successor.


  • Gjevre, John A. (1990), Saga of the Soo: West from Shoreham (2nd ed.), Moorhead, MN: Gjevre Books, pp. 120–124, LOC 90-90283 
  • Hufstetler, Mark and Michael Bedeau. South Dakota's Railroads: An Historic Context. Pierre, South Dakota: South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, 1998.