Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

This historic postcard shows the railroad depot in Deadwood.
This historic postcard shows the railroad depot in Deadwood.
January 25, 2016

IN HISTORY: B&MR Railroad Arrives in Deadwood Jan. 27, 1891

The Burlington & Missouri River Railroad delivered its first passengers to Deadwood on Jan. 27, 1891.

The railroad company had incorporated in Iowa in 1852 and built itself up from just a few miles of track until it reached the Missouri River to the west in 1859.

By 1868 the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad operated 13 locomotives and 429 cars, carrying mostly freight, with net earnings of $299,850 in 1867.

In 1869, the railroad expanded into Nebraska. In 1872, the railroad was acquired by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, but it kept its name and operated as a subsidiary. The company then began laying tracks further west, aiming for Denver, and operated several lines in the Black Hills. 

In 1901, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy acquired the Black Hills & Fort Pierre Railroad. The narrow guage BH&FP Railroad operated until March 20, 1930, when the track was dismantled.

In 1970, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy was part of a merger of several railroad companies into the Burlington Northern Railroad, which merged with Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in 1996 to become Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. BNSF continues to operate. 

Learn more online about the history of railroading in the Black Hills and South Dakota from the South Dakota State Railroad Museum

See more about Deadwood's railroad history in the video below. 



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