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Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad

UP kicks off celebration of transcontinental railroad history

UP presented the city of Sacramento with a commemorative golden spike similar to a gold spike presented at the transcontinental railroad's completion nearly 150 years ago. (Left to right) Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Neil Scott, UP assistant vice president-operations, Western Region.
Photo – Union Pacific Railroad


Union Pacific Railroad yesterday launched a two-year celebration commemorating the "great race" to complete the transcontinental railroad nearly 150 years ago.

UP crews built railroad track west of Omaha, Neb., while Central Pacific constructed track east of Sacramento, Calif. A symbolic golden spike was driven at a ceremony when the railroads met in Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869.

"The driving of the final rail spike defined Union Pacific as the economic engine that connected people, moved goods and transformed America's progress," said Scott Moore, senior vice president-corporate relations, in a press release. "We look forward to honoring the communities and railroad development that played critical roles in our country's growth and way of life."

UP representatives yesterday presented Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg with a commemorative golden spike near the exact location where 1860s California Gov. Leland Stanford broke ground for Central Pacific in Sacramento.

The Class I also introduced up.com/goldenspike, an interactive website that illustrates the journey through 46 communities changed by the railroad.

Additionally, the railroad launched a series of activities and celebrations to bring each community's history to life. Those events and activities include a traveling exhibit documenting each community's connection to the railroad construction; steam train visits; and an art exhibition in partnership with the Joslyn Art Museum that highlights UP's collection of original photographs of the transcontinental railroad's construction.