North Platte, Neb., has been awarded a membership in Union Pacific's Train Town USA Registry as part of the railroad's year-long 150th anniversary celebration.
North Platte received an official Train Town USA resolution signed by Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young, and North Platte's historical connection with Union Pacific will be featured at www.up150.com.
"We are proud to recognize North Platte as we commemorate our railroad's sesquicentennial celebration and growing up together," said Brenda Mainwaring, Union Pacific director - Public Affairs for Nebraska and Iowa. "Union Pacific has been part of the country's fabric throughout the railroad's 150-year history. That bond between us and the nearly 7,300 communities we serve continues to strengthen.
"Our shared heritage with North Platte is a source of pride as we remember our past while serving and connecting our nation for years to come."
North Platte, Nebraska became, from creation, a "Train Town" and was first platted as a railroad town by Union Pacific Railroad's Chief Engineer, Grenville Dodge. Dodge chose the location because water was readily available, and its distance from Grand Island, Nebraska. The town received its first train in 1866. Dodge then constructed major shop facilities and winter quarters for its crews. In 1867, main line operations through the town began.
William "Buffalo Bill' Cody located Scouts Rest Ranch at North Platte because it allowed him to move his Wild West Show by train or by wagon across the United States relatively quickly. During World War II, the North Platte Canteen, supported by thousands of area citizens, served baked goods and refreshments to more than six million service members during a 10-minute stop as they were convoyed across the United States. After 105 years, passenger service was discontinued in 1971.
North Platte became a division point where trains are sorted, railroad crews are exchanged, and maintenance or repairs are performed on equipment. Union Pacific's Bailey Yard is the largest railroad classification yard in the world. Named in honor of former Union Pacific President Edd H. Bailey, the massive yard covers 2,850 acres and is eight miles long.