Omaha, Neb., where Union Pacific Railroad began, has been awarded a membership in Union Pacific's Train Town USA Registry as part of the railroad's year-long 150th anniversary celebration.
Omaha received an official Train Town USA resolution signed by Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young and a commemorative metal sign. In addition, Omaha's historical connection with Union Pacific will be featured at www.up150.com.
"We are proud to recognize Omaha as we commemorate our railroad's sesquicentennial celebration and growing up together," said Bob Turner, Union Pacific senior vice president - Corporate Relations. "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 Omaha is a source of pride as we remember our past while serving and connecting our nation for years to come."
Omaha and Union Pacific Railroad share a rich and lengthy history together. Abraham Lincoln created Union Pacific by signing into law the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862. Ground was broken in Omaha in 1863 but actual construction was delayed until July 1865, when the first rail was laid just three months after Lincoln was assassinated. The golden spike marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad was driven May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah, by officials of Union Pacific and Central Pacific. Union Pacific opened the first bridge across the Missouri River between Omaha and Council Bluffs in 1872.
Today, as in years past, all Union Pacific employees, including nearly 8,000 in Nebraska and 4,400 in Omaha, are committed to meeting the challenge given to them 150 years ago by Lincoln himself, to connect and support the United States of America while continuing to meet the needs of the customers, shareholders and communities in which they live and work.
The Train Town USA metal sign will be temporarily displayed at Union Pacific's Home Plate, just blocks from where rail workers broke ground to begin the expansion westward of the nation's first transcontinental railroad.
At Home Plate, across the street from TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Union Pacific will display railroad equipment June 14-25/26 to help the community celebrate college baseball's championship games. The display, open noon to 8 p.m. each day, includes the legendary steam locomotive No. 844, a 1950s-era Streamliner diesel locomotive, the Promontory traveling museum rail car and a state-of-the-art locomotive engineer/conductor training trailer with the latest virtual simulation computer system.
Union Pacific's 150th anniversary will also be celebrated by the community July 14 – 15 during Railroad Days, an annual celebration of all things train and track.
During the festival, visitors will have the opportunity to experience many railroad-themed activities at Lauritzen Gardens, The Durham Museum, Union Pacific's Railroad Museum, Joslyn Art Museum, RailsWest museum and the Historic General Dodge House. For more information visit Railroad Days 2012.