union pacific railroad history facts

With its acquisition of Southern Pacific in 1996, Union Pacific became the largest domestic railroad in the United States. Just a year after doing so he purchased controlling interest in the nearby Kansas Pacific Railway, providing UP with a southerly line linking Denver with Kansas City. Facts. As one of the industry's great businessmen, still highly respected today, his leadership saw Union Pacific rebound and flourish. The Transcontinental Railroad Was Initiated During the Civil War. The present-day Union Pacific system began taking shape in the 1960s. Except for a troubled period at the end of the 19th century when an overextended Union Pacific fell into receivership the company has been well-managed through the years. In 1998 a gentleman by the name of Andre Kristopans put together a web page highlighting virtually every unit every out-shopped by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division. place in Ponoma, California has also been widely watched and Union Pacific VO-1000 #1204 and 4-8-4 #830 (FEF-2) work together at Council Bluffs, Iowa on September 28, 1958. Mobilier would be used as the conduit upon which monies were distributed to Union Pacific for its construction. His was a magnificent achievement that compares well with the Central Pacific Railroad… Omissions? That locomotive was #844 and today it is a household name throughout the railfan community having hosted numerous special excursions over the many decades as the only steamer never officially retired from a Class I railroad. Few ever thought it possible to see a Big Boy The traffic strains felt by World War II meant that many railroads were struggling to avoid power shortages. Today, there are tens of thousands of miles scattered throughout the country. According to the book, "The Northern Pacific, Main Street Of The Northwest: A Pictorial History" by author and historian Charles R. Wood there were a total of eight different options put forth running along various parallels from north to south. Both railroad companies battled against their respective obstacles to lay the most miles of track, therefore gaining the most land and money. It was reorganized in 1897 under the leadership of Edward H. Harriman, who was responsible for major improvements and standardization and who led the railroad to participate in the economic development of the West. The locomotive had participated in the New Orleans World Fair that year. Just type in a town or city and click on the timeline of maps at the bottom of the page! Drew Jacksich photo. The Union Pacific Railroad logo. Alas, in 2013 the site closed by thankfully Don Strack rescued the data and transferred it over to his, 1524B-1541B, 1618B-1642B (Evens), 1618C-1642C (Evens), 905-910, 964A-968A, 1400A-1441A, 1442-1463, 1550-1563, 905B-909B (Odds), 905C-909C (Odds), 969B-978B, 1430B-1458B (Evens), 1430C-1458C (Evens), 1442B-1471B, 1550B-1562B (Evens), 1550C-1562C (Evens), 910B, 910C, 1466B-1474B (Evens), 1466C-1474C (Evens), 1476B-1496B, 1476C-1496C, 3123-3304, 3335-3399, 3410-3583, 3609-3668, 3769-3804, 8035-8099, 3779-3873, 3971-3973, 4000-4999, 5103-5231, 5248-5347, 5353-5553, 5695-5699, 7345-7469, 7600-7924, 5554-5694, 5700-6081, 6430-6699, 6738-6887, 6995-6999, 7080-7297, 9997-9999, 219, 400 (Various), 1300 (Various), 1600 (Various), 1901, C (Various), 900 (Various), 1200 (Various), 1300 (Various), 1400, 1703, 1800 (Various), T. If you are researching anything EMD related please visit this page first. Finally, there are two other steamers, both of UP heritage albeit non-operational, kept at the roundhouse including 2-10-2 #5511 and 4-8-4 #838. Since 1969 it has been owned by the Union Pacific Corporation, a holding company. Having fired and operated that locomotive many, many thousands of miles this is not the news that you or I want to hear. These moves propelled it into becoming the massive and successful system it is today, serving most states and communities west of the Mississippi River. The 19th century was part of the United States' great industrial revolution, of which the railroads were key. But one cannot talk about the transcontinental railroad without talking about the Central Pacific’s eastern counterpart, the Union Pacific … Following a long battle with William Andrews Clark who wanted his own route to Salt Lake City, UP and Harriman signed an agreement for a 50% interest in the SPLA&SL. A UNION PACIFIC HISTORICAL SOCIETY PROGRAM PRESENTATION AT 2013 CONVENTION; POSING A QUESTION OF ETHICS; WYOMING NEWSPAPERS AND UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD HISTORY; THE OLD MACHINIST is addicted to obscure details of UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD history. An American Western television series of the same name was loosely based on the phenomenon and the Transcontinental Railroad's construction. This work was completed in May, 2019 and the 4-8-8-4 embarked on a PR campaign that exceeded even the railroad's restoration. The Union Pacific (UP) is one the largest and most powerful Union Pacific #8444 hustles northbound on ex-Missouri Pacific trackage near Bryan, Texas in December of 1984. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Needing additional and more powerful locomotives for passenger operations UP went to the American Locomotive Company (Alco) requesting a batch of 4-8-4s. Updates? It was formally consolidated in 1880. The Union Pacific system of railroad and steamship lines, 1900. It is seen here leading an excursion eastbound through Golconda, Nevada following an NRHS convention in San Jose, California during July, 1992. The two railroads were joined at Promontory, Utah, on May 10, 1869 (see Golden Spike National Historic Site). The big articulated was used on several outings and excursions from its completed restoration in 1981 until 2010 when the locomotive was sidelined for major overhaul. It is an excellent resource with thousands of historic maps on file throughout the country. Many years of hard operation has resulted in the locomotive requiring a complete frame up restoration just as the big boy [sic] received recently.". The most spectacular addition occurred during 2013 when UP announced it would acquire one of the fabled 4-8-8-4 Big Boys for the fleet, often regarded as one of the largest and most powerful examples of traditional steam designs ever built. recently acquired 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy" #4014. With the routing chosen Congress passed the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, signed into law by President Lincoln on July 1, 1862. UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY. As a result, UP's western line rushed quickly across the plains, building up to 8.5 miles of new railroad per day. documented. Information has been released as far back as May of this year [2019] regarding its current status...Which is...officially retired. The Union Pacific Railroad (reporting marks UP, UPP, UPY), legally Union Pacific Railroad Company and simply Union Pacific, is a freight-hauling railroad that operates 8,300 locomotives over 32,200 miles (51,800 km) routes in 23 U.S. states west of Chicago and New Orleans. In addition, just before the war broke out, Abraham Lincoln became the country's 16th President. In 1988 the company grew even larger when it purchased the Katy (the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad) and in 1995 did the same with the Chicago & North Western, providing it access to Wyoming's Powder River Basin coal fields. Butte Special: (Salt Lake City - Butte, Montana), City of Los Angeles: (Chicago - Cheyenne - Los Angeles), City of Portland: (Chicago - Cheyenne - Portland), City of Salina: (Kansas City - Topeka - Salina, Kansas), City of San Francisco: (Oakland - Cheyenne - Chicago), City of St. Louis: (St. Louis - Los Angeles/San Francisco/Portland), Gold Coast: (Chicago - Oakland/Los Angeles), Los Angeles Limited: (Chicago - Los Angeles), Pony Express: (Kansas City - Los Angeles). The website contains everything from historic (fallen flags) to contemporary (Class I's, regionals, short lines, and even some museums/tourist lines) rosters, locomotive production information, technical data, all notable models cataloged by the five major builders (American Locomotive, Electro-Motive, General Electric, Fairbanks-Morse, and Baldwin), and much more. The Union Pacific Railroad system is the second largest in the United States after BNSF and is one of the world's largest transportation companies. His son, W. Averell Harriman, was chairman of the board of Union Pacific from 1932 to 1946. Roger Puta photo. October 30: Thomas C. Durant, who has illegally manipulated a controlling interest in the Union Pacific Railroad Company, gets himself appointed the railroad's vice president and general manager. Interestingly, even now sections of these never-used grades canbe seen. One of Union Pacific's fine 4-6-6-4's, #3800 (CSA-1), leads an eastbound manifest near Green River, Wyoming on October 10, 1951. As mentioned during that time there are no plans to restore the UP 3985. When the two railroads met at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869 the country was finally linked with ribbons of steel, thus opening the West to commerce, trade, and settlement. The Pacific Railroad Act facilitated the creation of the First Transcontinental Railroad, a huge railway line that connected the east of the USA to the west. The Katy Railroad began far from Texas in 1870 in Kansas. To herald the railroad’s activities during World War II and highlight their … However, in a move unique only to UP the railroad spared #844 following her final freight assignments performed in 1959. This historic system has been in operation since before the Civil War and much of the general public has at least a general knowledge of UP since it formed the eastern segment of the Transcontinental Railroad. The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad was one of the great achievements in American history and was so famous that Western Union carried out lived updates. 150 facts you should know. See more ideas about transcontinental, railroad, central pacific railroad. This collection also contains an essay entitled " History of Railroads and Maps, " which includes a section on the building of the transcontinental railroad. "March 1971; after bringing in the Union Pacific's 'City of Los Angeles' a four unit set of 'E' units are backing out of Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal and on the way to the engine terminal." By then, UP understood that growth was the only way to remain one of the West's preeminent systems. It was directed to "construct a railroad and telegraph line from the Pacific coast, at or near San Francisco, or the navigable waters of the Sacramento River, to the eastern boundary of California." Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! Thomas Clark Durant was an American investor and railroad executive. Unfortunately, none survive. Richard Kindig photo. In addition to being one of the oldest and most expansive railroads in the United States, the Union Pacific is also known for operating a wide range of innovative and unique locomotives throughout its existence. While some states had been created when construction began, such as California, Kansas, Nevada, and Oregon there was no infrastructure in place to assist the project; virtually everything had to be hacked out of the wilderness while dealing with angry Native Americans who were extremely upset with the White Man's invasion into their ancestral hunting grounds (the U.S. Army eventually had to be called in to protect the project). Dodge proved far better at dealing with Durant and often ignored his boss if he felt it was in the best interest of the company. Roger Puta photo. In 1890 the railroad formed a subsidiary known as the Union Pacific, Denver & Gulf Railway; this massive entity provided connections from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas to Orin Junction, Wyoming linking cities such as Denver, Pueblo, Cheyenne, Amarillo and others along the way via a north-south routing. In an ironic twist, it would outright purchase the SP just before century's end. This, in itself, was an interesting starting point since the railroad was still disconnected from the national rail network; Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa were separated by the mighty Missouri River and it was not until 1872 that a new bridge opened across the waterway, linking UP with what was later the Chicago & North Western and other carriers. Finally, the government stepped in to form Amtrak in 1971, alleviating most carriers of the burden (today, you can still glimpse the City streamlines in Union Pacific's business train). From left to right is first-generation gas-turbine #60, 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy" #4017, and F7's (rebuilt from F3's). Their nickname became "Big Boy" when an unknown Alco worked scrawled the name in chalk on one of the locomotive's smoke boxes during production. The company continued the latter program into the 1960s, offering the public some of the best and most luxurious trains during a time when most other carriers were significantly cutting back their services. The Union Pacific Railroad’s Thomas Durant: Getting the Facts Right I have written a great deal about the men of the Central Pacific Railroad. Today, there are tens of thousands of miles scattered throughout the country. After it was moved to Cheyenne in 2014 the locomotive began its complete restoration in 2016. As Welsh and Holland note in their book this led to the term "hell on wheels.". We see a group of railroad men and women make their way west on the Union Pacific side of construction. This event corresponded with Union Pacific's incorporation although some time passed before construction actually commenced. A popular pastime for many is studying and/or exploring abandoned rights-of-way. It carries products and commodities such as coal, automobiles, foods, forest and agricultural products, and chemicals and is one of the largest intermodal shippers (including truck trailers and containers) in the country. A popular pastime for many is studying and/or exploring abandoned rights-of-way. The first arrived in 1937, given Class FEF-1, and numbered 800-819. While UP would have liked new diesels wartime restrictions prevented this. As Joe Welsh and Kevin Holland note in their book, "Union Pacific Railroad," following the Transcontinental Railroad's completion the journey from New York to San Francisco was sliced from six months to just ten days. The database is very "user friendly". The move from its longtime resting Today’s UP is much different from the system predating 1980 as it operates as far north as Seattle, as far west as Los Angeles/Long Beach, as far east as Minneapolis, and as far south as Dallas, Brownsville, and New Orleans (and about every west in between!). Although the Union Pacific did not start building in earnest until the end of the Civil War in 1865, they raced ahead across the flat terrain, at one point laying eight miles of track in one day. The only real issue the railroad dealt with was keeping the men focused; all along the route towns sprang up to accommodate the workers during downtime. John Kirchner photo. It had even controlled Southern Pacific between 1901 and 1912 before a Supreme Court decision forced the road to divest its holdings due to antitrust laws. The new Union Pacific was led by President John Dix with Vice-President Thomas Durant second in command. Durant quickly asserted himself as the leading authority although he technically was in charge only of UP's construction. However, following the outbreak of hostilities, a unified Northern delegation decided upon a central option along the 42nd parallel. Union Pacific Railroad, transportation company chartered (1862) by Congress to build part of the nation's first transcontinental railroad line. By mid-1862, the United States … This system had been organized by Collis P. Huntington, Mark Hopkins, Leland Stanford, and Charles Crocker (the so-called "Big Four") on June 28, 1861. According to Dodge it was so well organized that at no time did crews run short on supplies. On January 1, 1936 these systems, and others, were formally consolidated into the railroad. The whole point behind these monsters was an attempt at ways to reduce operating costs by either slicing down the number of locomotives required per train or operate longer trains. The Union Pacific Railroad started in Omaha, Neb., and worked west, while the Central Pacific Railroad started in Sacramento, Calif., and worked east. Another, somewhat less scandalous incident, took place as the two roads neared one another. In all, it comprised roughly 1,600 miles of trackage. This historic system has been in operation since before the Civil War and much of the general public has at least a general knowledge of UP since it formed the eastern segment of the Transcontinental Railroad. This was further realized when Northern Pacific; Great Northern; Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; and the Spokane, Portland & Seattle all merged in early 1970 to form the huge Burlington Northern system. Union Pacific Railroad Company, company that extended the American railway system to the Pacific Coast; it was incorporated by an act of the U.S. Congress on July 1, 1862. The Union Pacific’s original main line is the Overland Route, which runs between Ogden, Utah; Omaha, Nebraska; and Chicago. note; when Union Pacific officially announced its intentions to restore Wes Barris's SteamLocomotive.com is simply the best web resource in the study of steam locomotives. The latter is of particular Ed Dickens, the head of Union Pacific's steam program offered a little more insight regarding why 4-6-6-4 #3985 is now permanently retired (made official in January, 2020 but retroactive to May, 2019): "A quick update regarding the UP 3985. History. Electro-Motive Corporation/Electro-Motive Division. Bob Collins photo. However, thanks to the UP's sound business practices it weathered the storm relatively well, even continuing to pay a dividend during that time. One of its most notable excursions during these early years included Ross Rowland's Gold Spike Special to celebrate the centennial of the transcontinental railroad completion on May 10th, 1969. Beginning in 1977 UP added to its steam program when restoration was launched on 4-6-6-4 #3985 and completed through an all-volunteer effort by 1981. During 1939 UP purchased additional examples, Class FEF-2's #820-834, and completed the roster with the Class FEF-3's of 1944, #835-844. It went on an incredibly successful PR campaign throughout the 2019 season that saw more than 1 million folks come out to see the big locomotive. Union Pacific SD40-2 #3593, when the locomotive wore a camouflage livery and christened "Desert Victory" in honor of the 66 company employees who served in Operation Desert Storm. Gary Morris photo. Its City trains were unmatched, used by Hollywood and other dignitaries for many years. There are also some other notable heritage pieces kept at Cheyenne including one of the largest diesels ever constructed, Electro-Motive DDA40X Centennial #6936. Union Pacific subsequently acquired Missouri Pacific and the Western Pacific. As time permits we may release additional information on exactly why that locomotive has not operated since 2010. The issue wasn't resolved until 1872 although little punishment was ever handed down to those involved in the corruption. With the passage of the Pacific Railroad Act the CP adopted the agreement on October 7th and formally accepted it through the Department of the Interior on December 24th. The Challenger As the horsepower needs of the Union Pacific increased in the early 20th century, so did the size of it’s locomotives. The UP's resulting bankruptcy broke up its network when sold at foreclosure on November 1, 1897. Gould's interest in the railroad ended in 1884 although this did not slow its expansion efforts; it gained control of the nearby Oregon Railway & Navigation Company in 1887 which offered new access points such as Portland and Pendleton, Oregon as well as Spokane, Washington. The Union Pacific was largely financed by federal loans and land grants, but it overextended itself through its involvement in the Crédit Mobilier scandal, in which a few manipulators reaped enormous profits. San Francisco Overland: Connected Chicago and Oakland, later serving only as far east as St. Louis. They are one of the world's biggest transportation companies. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 #3985 was an important and popular component of the railroad's steam program from 1981-2010. This Blog is his way of ensuring he is not alone in his mania for the perusal of … After the war UP realized passenger service was on the decline although remained strong enough into the 1950s that it continued purchasing or upgrading its fleet. In 1954 UP began retiring the first of the 4-8-4s although the locomotives continued to see service through 1962. Both examples of Union Pacific's high-horsepower, experimental General Electric "U-boats" it acquired from the mid-1960s through the early 1970s; U50 #47 and U50C #5006 are seen here at Council Bluffs, Iowa circa 1971. Many were pulled up in the 1970's and 1980's although others were removed long before that. For the general public UP operates the aforementioned business train and several historic steam locomotives including the never retired 4-8-4 #844, 4-6-6-4 #3985, and the On August 25, 1916 it changed its name to the aforementioned LA&SL and on April 27, 1921 UP acquired full control from Clark. They usually spent this freedom drinking in bars and enjoying brothels, until moving on to the next settlement. Thanks to the its forward thinking, during the postwar period UP began gobbling up smaller, and larger, railroads. George Cockle/Union Pacific photo. It is difficult to truly articulate just how much material can be found at this website. At the same time expansions continued through Utah reaching Salt Lake City in 1870 (via the Utah Central) and Butte, Montana in 1881 (Utah Northern). Alas, in 2013 the site closed by thankfully Don Strack rescued the data and transferred it over to his UtahRails.net site (another fine resource). After the war diesels soon supplanted steam and the Northerns, despite their advanced technologies and cost savings, were bumped to freight assignments. While the move was a logical one (in 1946 the railroad reported nearly $65 million in passenger revenues, which was down to just $14.6 million by 1968), for those who followed the railroad they dubbed it the "City of Everywhere." Additionally, UP's fleet of streamlined E9s normally assigned to the business train call there for maintenance as do its restored, lightweight cars. Requiring more driving wheels and a longer chassis than could be accommodated on even their broadest of mainline curves, a new design had to be achieved. this steamer on July 23, 2013 the railfan community was shocked and the Then project engineer quit in frustration and Durant subsequently hired Greenville Dodge to replace him. Perhaps not surprisingly this setup was greatly abused; Durant used the company to grossly overcharge UP and the government for contract work, nearly driving the railroad into bankruptcy. The 35th parallel route became the Rock Island line from Memphis to Tucumcari, New Mexico, and westward from there the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway to Los Angeles. He was serving as vice president of the Union Pacific railroad (UP) in 1869 when it was connected with the Central Pacific railroad at Promontory Summit in Utah territory. The original company was incorporated on July 1, 1862, under an act of Congress entitled Pacific Railroad Act of 1862.The act was approved by President Abraham Lincoln, and it provided for the construction of railroads from the Missouri River to the Pacific as a war measure for the preservation of the Union. Drew Jacksich photo. The event took place at 12:47 p.m. that day and was performed by Leland Stanford. The future of the Union Pacific is as wide open as the great western plains where the railroad operates. If you have any interest in history at all, you will find this database fascinating. Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy" #4018 steams upgrade on legendary Sherman Hill near Perkins, Wyoming on September 14, 1957. Alas, the rapid expansion would severely cost the company; it was far too overextended in debt and fell into receivership in 1893. news made headlines in the media. To maintain top-notch service, UP began systemically retrenching and combining its "Domeliners." It is estimated its trips (which concluded in November, 2019) drew an estimated 1 million+ trackside to see the massive locomotive. A year later the Northern began hosting special excursions from its base of operations in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Since then UP has added several classic steam and diesel models to its roster, most of which are housed in its shops and roundhouse at Cheyenne, Wyoming. Due to the ongoing issue of slavery, Congress could not come to a consensus on which. The original rail line was built westward 1,006 miles (1,619 km) from Omaha, Nebraska, to meet the Central Pacific, which was being built eastward from Sacramento, California. The growing and expanding country established great manufacturing centers in the Northeast while the South generated prodigious volumes of cotton and textiles. The Pacific Railway A Brief History of Building the Transcontinental Railroad. They have over 32,100 route-miles in 23 U.S. states west of Chicago and New Orleans.The Union Pacific Railroad system is the biggest in the United States. It was a product of Pullman-Standard and the Winton Engine Company, given the moniker M-10000. He played a pivotal role in the creation of the first railway that encompassed the western United States. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In 1961 new Electro-Motive GP30s arrived, which were given the 800 numbering series and forcing the Northern to be reassigned as #8444 for a time. Union Pacific operates North America's premier railroad franchise, covering 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States. This cam… Shows lines as reorganized by Edward H. Harriman after the business depression of 1893. Since then the 4-8-4 has become the most visible public relations ambassador on the Union Pacific system, hosting numerous excursions annually, leading the business train during various outings, and/or sitting on display for special events such as the College World Series in Omaha and the annual Cheyenne Frontier Days. It was chosen since the locomotive was in relatively good condition and will certainly become the star attraction on the railroad regardless of how often it leaves the roundhouse. A sly individual set upon enriching himself, he and several associates formed Credit Mobilier in 1864, originally known as the Pennsylvania Fiscal Agency a loan and contract company created in 1859. Under Casement’s leadership, the Union Pacific laid 1,087 miles of track, from Fremont, Nebraska, west to Utah where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads met to form the transcontinental railroad. Try searching this collection using the words "Union Pacific" or "Central Pacific" or "Railroads West (U.S.)". They were one of the most powerful steamers ever produced and began a trend of Union Pacific operating enormous locomotives. major railroading event and milestone in our country’s history. Although the Central Pacific had a two-year head start over the Union Pacific, the rough terrain of the Sierra Nevadas limited their construction to … Union Pacific's famous heritage steam locomotive fleet, 4-8-4 Northern #844 and 4-6-6-4 Challenger #3785, power an excursion for 'Railfair 1991' as it rolls through Doyle, California during April of that year. All content copyright American-Rails.com (unless otherwise noted). There was also narrow-gauge property that ran from Golden up Clear Creek to Central City and Silver Plume, Colorado. After the Transcontinental Railroad opened much work remained in upgrading the property for heavy rail service and pushing rails across other parts of the West. Corporate headquarters are in Omaha, where Union Pacific laid its first rails in 1865. Corrections? In an effort to stake more land from the government and pocket even more money, Union Pacific and Central Pacific actually began grading lines past one another! Mac Owen photo. The Union Pacific grew to operate in 13 western states, extending from Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Kansas City, Missouri, to Portland, Oregon, and Los Angeles.

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