Nebraska Northwestern Railroad

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Nebraska Northwestern Railroad
Reporting mark NNW
Locale Nebraska
Dates of operation 2010–
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters Chadron, Nebraska

The Nebraska Northwestern Railroad (reporting mark NNW) is a Class III railroad that began operations in April 2010 after it purchased 7.22 miles of former Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern, previously Chicago and Northwestern Railway Cowboy Line track between Dakota Junction and the rail yard at Chadron, Nebraska. In addition to the 7.22 miles of owned track, the railroad leased the line between the connection with the DME Rapid City line at Dakota Junction and the connection with BNSF Railway at Crawford, Nebraska.

In addition to the connections to the west, the railroad connects with the remaining 4.5 miles of track owned by the Nebkota Railway coming from the east where a small grain auger loading facility was built in 2010.

Included in the purchase of the track were the railroad facilities at Harker School, including the former Chicago Northwestern roundhouse. Nebraska Northwestern intends to use the roundhouse for the repair and refurbishing of large railroad equipment.

In the spring of 2011 a 4.9 million dollar Federal Tiger grant was awarded to pay 80% of the cost of upgrading the line between Chadron and Dakota Junction to continuous rail and to add stringers and ties to the bridges between Chadron and Crawford.

Purchase of the Nebkota[edit]

On August 26, 2013 Nebraska Northwestern Railroad owner John Nielsen filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board to purchase 100% of neighboring railroad Nebkota Railway's stock and assume control of the railroad from its owner, grain company West Plains, LLC. According to the filing, operations of the Nebkota will be coordinated with those of Nebraska Northwestern, and potential shippers will benefit from greater efficiencies while receiving better service.

On November 20, 2013 the Surface Transportation Board authorized John Nielsen to gain control of the Nebkota as of December 15, 2013.