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Celebrating 150 Years of Railroading Across America

May 10 2019 - 150 Years Since the Golden Spike and the Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad

Updated 8:58pm 5/14/19 - Posted by Durand Now at 1:34pm 5/10/16

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The Great Race to Promontory; the meeting of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads, building the road as they traveled, and the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad, commemorated with the line's final, ceremonial golden spike, driven on May 10th 1869.

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.

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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, check out our gallery of photos from that time.

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Check out Union Pacific's commemoration of the Spike 150 celebration, including Big Boy No. 4014 and Living Legend No. 844, back on the rails!

CLICK HERE

Spike 150: As One

Watch this stirring new musical inspired by the Golden Spike era, including five original compositions and performances. As One is written and directed by the all-star team of award-winning composer, producer and songwriter Stephen Nelson; lyricist and vocalist Anjanette Mickelsen; and direction and choreography by Jennifer Parker Hohl. Distinguished musician and conductor Craig Jessop is the show’s executive producer. As One features a chorus and band of more than 250 elementary school students selected from Utah’s 29 counties.  

Presented courtesy of UEN/Utah Educational Network.

Get lots more at Spike150.org.

Here's a few more nuggets for railfans and fans of railroad history: If you haven't seen it, check out the AMC series "Hell on Wheels," which is centered around the construction of the transcontinental railroad. The series ran from 2011 to 2016. Watch the introductory trailer.

One last thing, check out our collection of Durand historical items, including plenty railroad-related treasures, in our special HERITAGE section.


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Steam Railroading Institute Says Former Employee Embezzled $200,000

Report: Warrant Issued for Former SRI Financial Director

Posted by Durand Now at 8:01pm 5/2/19

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The Steam Railroading Institute this week announced the results of an audit and preliminary investigation that show a former employee embezzled approximately $200,000 from the organization over a nearly two-year period.

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