Durand Railroad Days Offers Free Rides for Early Risers
Updated at 6:15pm 5/4/17 - Posted by Durand Now at 4:56pm 5/4/17
Durand Now photo
Get ready to do Durand Railroad Days like never before, with a welcome event that includes free rides. That's right -- free rides! No wristband required! But if you want to be part of the fun, you'll need to wake up extra early.
From 6 to 8am on Thursday May 18th, select rides will operate and everyone can come downtown and ride for free.
This has never been done in Durand Railroad Days history.
On May 10th 1869 the ceremonial "golden spike" was driven into the final tie that adjoined the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads, completing the first transcontinental railroad; a line that connected the Pacific coast at California and the western United States to the existing network of Eastern U.S. railroads. 1,775 miles of tracks were connected at Promontory Summit, Utah, where the Union Pacific-built line ran east to Council Bluffs Iowa. The Central Pacific line ran west from Promontory Summit to Sacramento California.
The connecting of the west to the east changed the American West, establishing it comfortably as "part of" the Union. Transportation of goods from coast to coast was faster, easier and cheaper. Passenger travel via rail from coast to coast led to the line eventually becoming known popularly as the "Overland Route."
The Overland Flyer, later called the Overland Limited, operated on the route, which included a connection to Chicago until 1962. While these passenger lines are no longer in service, the line is still commonly referred to as "Overland Route." The entire 1,775 miles of the line is owned today by Union Pacific.
To commemorate the anniversary of the First Transcontinental Railroad, and to celebrate National Train Day, which was established by Amtrak in 2008 to honor the "golden spike" anniversary on the Saturday closest to May 10th each year, check out our gallery of vintage Transcontinental photos.