Grand Island, 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.
Grand Island received an official Train Town USA resolution signed by Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young, and Grand Island's historical connection with Union Pacific will be featured at www.up150.com.
"We are proud to recognize Grand Island as we commemorate our railroad's sesquicentennial celebration and growing up together," said Brenda Mainwaring, Union Pacific director - Public Affairs for Nebraska. "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 Grand Island is a source of pride as we remember our past while serving and connecting our nation for years to come."
Grand Island has been a railroad center since the Union Pacific Railroad first reached the community in July 1866, building westward as part of the original transcontinental railroad.
One-hundred and forty-six miles west of the starting point of the Union Pacific at Council Bluffs, Iowa, Grand Island became a major locomotive and crew change point. A depot and locomotive maintenance shops were constructed and enlarged over time as the city steadily prospered from the commerce and convenient transportation provided by the railroad.
Union Pacific's Grand Island roundhouse provided local employment as workers carried out repairs and maintenance on the steam locomotives. At its peak in the 1920s, the roundhouse consisted of 40 stalls where locomotives were serviced.
A second main line track was built through Grand Island in 1900.