Omaha, Lincoln and Beatrice Railway

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Omaha, Lincoln and Beatrice Railway
Reporting mark OLB
Locale Lincoln, Nebraska
Dates of operation 1903–
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 2.5 miles (4.0 km)
Headquarters Lincoln, Nebraska

The Omaha, Lincoln and Beatrice Railway (reporting mark OLB), "The Big Red Line", was founded in 1903 as an attempt to carry passengers between the three Nebraska cities.[1] Although it never extended outside Lincoln, the OL&B currently exists as a Class III switching railroad in Lincoln. It has been owned by NEBCO, Inc.[2] since 1929.


OL&B loads grain for ADM and Ag Processing Inc, delivers lumber to Lincoln Lumber Company, and interchanges between BNSF and Union Pacific.[3] They also operate a shop for car repairs and provide mobile car repair and track maintenance.

Known customers[4][edit]

  • Lincoln Lumber Company
    • Lincoln Lumber sits on what is left of the Union-Lincoln branch of the Missouri Pacific Railway. It was purchased from Union Pacific around the year 2001. Currently due to the condition of the track, OL&B will only run locomotive #12 down this stretch of track due to weight concerns of their GP 38-3 #47. Lincoln Lumber owns the trackage[5]
  • ADM Farmland
  • Ag Processing Inc.
  • Snyder Industries
  • Ready Mixed Concrete Co (owned by parent company NEBCO [6])


Roster number Locomotive type Year acquired Notes and history
12 RL1500 Circa 1990 Formerly CRIP SW1200 #926. Rebuilt by Republic Locomotive[7] and delivered to OL&B around 1990 initially numbered 47 for parent company owner George Abel, who played football for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the early 1940s, and is the first RL1500.[8] It was renumbered to 12 in 2015 after receiving a new No. 47 from Western Rail Inc rebuilt from WRIX 3507 (GP 35M) into a GP 38-3 with 2,000 HP, a 500 HP increase over the RL1500 they had been using. It now is used as backup in Lincoln.[9]
47 GP 38-3 2015 Started life as SP 7764. Rebuilt by Western Rail Inc in 2015 to GP 38-3 standards. De-tubrocharged and horse power is 2,000.[9] Click here for images on RR Picture Archives.
101 GE 44 Tonner Built in 12/1950 according to RR Picture Archives. Currently sits stored next to Ready Mixed Concrete on Y Street in Lincoln, NE. Was the former primary power in Lincoln. Once OL&B acquired 102, it then moved to Western Sand and Gravel north of Ashland, NE and operated there moving aggregates that would then be moved to Lincoln by what is now BNSF and turned back to OL&B for Ready Mixed Concrete.[10] Upon acquiring the first 47 (now 12) to be primary power in Lincoln, 102 took its place as Western Sand and Gravel and 101 came to Lincoln for storage. Click here for images of 101.
102 GE 70 Tonner Built October 1951 according to RR Picture Archives.[11] Formerly Sioux City Terminal 2.[12] Currently serving Western Sand and Gravel north of Ashland, NE moving aggregates around the property. Click here for images of 102.


  1. ^ "Omaha, Lincoln & Beatrice Railway Company OLB #598". Union Pacific Railroad. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  2. ^ NEBCO, Inc.
  3. ^ "OL&B Railway | Home". Retrieved 2016-09-05. 
  4. ^ "OL&B Railway | History". Retrieved 2016-09-05. 
  5. ^ Mabin, Butch (7/5/2005). "Court upholds ruling to deny city's bid for trail right-of-way". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved October 2, 2016 – via News Bank Inc.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ NEBCO
  7. ^ Republic Locomotive
  8. ^ "RITS: Omaha, Lincoln & Beatrice/Rock Island Connections". Retrieved 2016-09-05. 
  9. ^ a b Svoboda, Jay. "OL&B Purchases New Locomotive". NEBCO, Inc. Retrieved 2016-09-05. 
  10. ^ "Omaha Lincoln & Beatrice - Great Plains-West Rail Gallery". Retrieved 2016-09-05. 
  11. ^ RR Picture Archives
  12. ^ "Pictures of OLB 102". RR Picture Archives. 9-5-2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]