• Happy 150th Birthday Union Pacific! Today = Golden Spike Day

  • Discussion about the Union Pacific operations past and present. Official site can be found here: UPRR.COM.
Discussion about the Union Pacific operations past and present. Official site can be found here: UPRR.COM.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

  by Jeff Smith
Retitled the anniversary thread

Got some spare time on your hands? I'd love for a railroad.net member to come up with something for this! And, if you share any stories on their site, we'd love for your to share them here as well.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/5322 ... 0.html.csp
The Union Pacific Railroad celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and is seeking aspiring filmmakers to give a 2012 twist to its 1970s commercial, “We Can Handle It.”

Contestants can access information, rules, sheet music to the ad’s “Great Big Rollin’ Railroad” theme song, and more at http://www.up150.com . A recent release from Union Pacific Corp. encouraged participants to infuse a new flavor — whether it be blues, reggae, pop, country, rock, hip hop, rap or jazz — into the old but inspirational lyrics.
  by blockline4180
I'm sorry I don't have any stories to share as I wasn't born until 116 years later, but this photo became very famous after it was taken back in 1869:

  by Jeff Smith
More on the 150th: http://www.lemarssentinel.com/story/1803734.html

Brief, fair-use quote:
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln approved the Pacific Railroad Act, authorizing land grants and the issuance of government bonds for the construction of railroads from the Missouri River to the Pacific.

Today, 150 years later, Union Pacific's rail covers two-thirds of the U.S., with more than 32,00 miles of track in 23 states. Its 8,000 locomotives help ship everything from coal to flat-screened TVs across the nation.
  by Jeff Smith
Side contest:

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/1 ... o-Contest/
HA, Neb. — Union Pacific Railroad will award more than $35,000 in prizes to the top entries that remake the company's classic 1970s television commercial, "We Can Handle It."

The contest is part of the launch of the Omaha railroad's 150th anniversary celebration website.
  by Jeff Smith
http://blog.oup.com/2012/05/the-signifi ... spike-day/

Happy Birthday UP!
For Americans in 1869, the driving of the golden spike, which joined the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads at Promontory Point, Utah, on May 10, carried a significance similar to that of the first moon landing for a later generation. It marked the conquest not only of distance, but of a landscape that was as alien to most Americans as the moon. It bound together the far-flung ends of a nation still licking its wounds from a bloody and divisive civil war. Travelers could now go from New York to California via a series of trains in seven days, a journey that earlier took 35 days across the fever-infested Isthmus of Panama or five months for the perilous sail around Cape Horn. In the process they could also glimpse the West that few of them had ever seen and was already an American mythology in the making.

This longest ribbon of iron ever built by man across the harshest but most spectacular terrain in the nation reflected the dawn of a new age of industrial progress, in which the reunited states were sure to excel. Visions of settlements, towns, cities, farms, mines, and trade with the Far East beckoned to a people eager to fulfill them at almost any cost. Fabulous riches awaited from industry, trade, and commerce. More railroads soon followed, and eventually five more transcontinental lines were built along with thousands of miles of track laid by other roads. For more than another half a century the railroads remained the biggest and most dominant industry in the nation.
http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120 ... -continent
The “golden spike” was driven at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory, May 10, 1869, by Central Pacific Railroad President Leland Stanford, completing the first transcontinental railroad connecting the West Coast to the East, and reducing travel time from the goldfields to the big cities from weeks to days.

After about a decade of debate, the Civil War removed much of the opposition to the railroad from Southern representatives fearing competition from the West and enrichment of the North. The Republican-controlled 1862 Congress passed the Pacific Railroad Act (later modified and expanded by legislation in 1863, 1864, 1865). The act created the Union Pacific Railroad Co. and authorized the issuance of government bonds to the Union Pacific (headquartered in Nebraska Territory), and the Central Pacific Railroad (a California company).

In addition to the government-backed 30-year bonds, the companies received massive land grants. The two companies were granted the rights of way, 200 feet on either side of their track, and an additional 6,400 acres (one mile along the track and the 10 miles deep) for each mile of track laid (the grant alternated between sides of the track each mile with the federal government retaining ownership of the opposite tract.)
  by Jeff Smith
Another shot.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by Jeff Smith
What I want to know is how long it took to back up those trains! Did they follow proper FRA protocol for protecting?
  by U.V.#200 GE70 Tonner
its a shame this track was torn up for scrap,but atleast the UP is still a strong and profitable railroad.Happy 150th,may the next 150 be just as good.
  by toolmaker
I read you can drive to the original site it's off Interstate 80. As mentioned the tracks are not there anymore so I wonder if it's worth the effort to visit.
  by Backshophoss
Promontory Ut. the"GOLDEN SPIKE" National Historical Site is reachable along I-15/I-84,Exit 366,follow UT-83(state highway)
to a dirt road that takes you to the site. There is plenty of signage to get you there.
  by brockboyts
Hi everyone!

Wow, 150 years.

My wife and I celebrated this history in the making by showing our UP pride. We made an animation for the Union Pacific contest. We would love for each of you to see it. It is for everyone to enjoy. :)

If you like the video give us a vote.

Heres how:
1) Click or paste the link: http://up150.com/gbrr/video/194
2) Hit the "heart" like button under the video
3) UP requires you to log in so there is no cheating.

Thank you for your support and we hope you like our animation to celebrate 150 years of Union Pacific.
  by Gilbert B Norman
...or so would say Nutty Railfan (checked; no one at this site is registered using that "nutty" handle).

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/busin ... vents.html

Brief passage:

  • TRAINS may not figure as prominently in the popular imagination as they did in the 1950s, when every American boy seemed to have an electric train set, but the railroad industry is, to be sure, still chugging along.

    Union Pacific, for example, earned revenue of $19.6 billion in 2011, an increase of 15 percent over 2010 and a record high for the company, which dates to President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Pacific Railway Act in 1862.

    Now, to mark its 150th anniversary, along with rolling out a vintage steam engine for events from Louisiana to California, Union Pacific is rolling out a national advertising campaign.

    Print ads feature Union Pacific trains winding through sweeping American landscapes, while copy emphasizes the railroad’s role in the country’s history — and future.

    “In 1862, President Lincoln said start,” says one ad where a train bisects a panoramic mountain setting in California. “He never said stop.” Another, with a train near silos on a Minnesota farm, says, “Connecting shining sea to fruited plain.” And another, as a train traces the California coast at sunset, says, “Today we celebrate the most important day in the history of our company. Tomorrow.”
disclaimer: author holds long position UNP
  by Gilbert B Norman
The ads are appearing today in both The Times and Journal.

They are full page and in color; from following railroad industry affairs for almost sixty years I can never recall ever seeing ads as impressive as these. They are up there with or exceeding those ran by the Pennsylvania RR, "The Standard Railroad Of The World", throughout WWII.
  by Gilbert B Norman
I must wonder if this new Bio of Leland Stanford, provides any further information about Theodore Judah - the most sincere one of the gang, and as a result, deprived of equal billing with Crocker, Hopkins, Huntington, and Stanford. This Journal review would suggest there is:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-d ... lewebshare

Fair Use:
.Theodore Judah, a young man in his early 30s and the only one among the leadership who had any real experience building railroads. Judah’s surveys of the Sierra Nevada led to the discovery of a feasible passage at Donner Pass. It was Judah’s presentation to prospective investors that emboldened the Sacramento shopkeepers to go into the railroad business.

Judah spent time in Washington, D.C., securing congressional staff positions that allowed him to guide into law the first Pacific Railway Act in 1862, giving the exclusive Western franchise to the Central Pacific. When he returned to California, however, he quarreled with the Central Pacific leadership about business practices he regarded as unethical and quickly accepted a buyout. He promptly set off for the East Coast again, but as the transcontinental railroad had yet to be built, he traveled by boat from California to New York via Panama, and in doing so contracted yellow fever. He died one week after arriving in Manhattan, at the age of 37.
Even a longer shot would be mention of the Judah friendship with Jim Beckwurth, who knew of the far more grade advantageous pass over the Sierras now bearing his name and not developed until the Western Pacific was built early last century.