St. Joseph and Grand Island Railway

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The St. Joseph and Grand Island Railroad (SJ&GI) was created in about 1879 when the St. Joseph and Western Railroad (SJ&W) built a line from Hastings to Grand Island, Nebraska. Upon completion of the line, the SJ&W was reorganized into the SJ&GI. Doniphan, Nebraska, was plotted in 1879 at about the halfway point between Hastings and Grand Island and was named for John Doniphan, an attorney for the railroad. The SJ&GI was essentially part of the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) for most of its existence. When the UP built a shorter cutoff between Hastings and Gibbon in 1914, use of the SJ&GI tracks north of Hastings gradually declined. The line mostly was abandoned by 1989. The only remaining segment of the line between Hastings and Grand Island (the SJ&GI continued to St. Joseph, Missouri) is a few miles between the Union Pacific mainline through Grand Island and the coal-fired power plant south of Grand Island. The power plant receives two to three unit coal trains per week.