Salina, Kan., has been awarded a membership in Union Pacific's Train Town USA Registry as part of the railroad's year-long 150th anniversary celebration.
Salina received an official Train Town USA resolution signed by Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young, and Salina's historical connection with Union Pacific will be featured at www.up150.com.
"We are proud to recognize Salina as we commemorate our railroad's sesquicentennial celebration and growing up together," said Ben Jones, Union Pacific director - Public Affairs for Kansas and Missouri. "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 Salina is a source of pride as we remember our past while serving and connecting our nation for years to come."
The main line track through Salina was constructed by the Union Pacific Railroad Eastern Division in 1867. In 1868, the railroad's name was changed to Kansas and Pacific.
The railroad brought goods, building supplies and people to Salina faster and cheaper than the slow and undependable wagon trains from the East. It helped Salina grow into a regional manufacturing, wholesale and retail center.
The Kansas Pacific was consolidated with the Union Pacific in 1880 and took that name again.
Built to replace five different depots, Salina's Union Station was built in 1917 and was to serve all of the Salina railroads. It sported red brick, a Spanish-style roof and a large control tower. Union Pacific currently uses the depot as a district office. Opened in 1920, the Union Pacific Freight Depot served the Union Pacific and downtown Salina until the 1970s when it was closed.
In the early 1930s, in an effort to boost sagging passenger travel, the Union Pacific conceived the "Streamline" train and the result was the M 10000. A truly revolutionary train for its day, it cost $10,000 to build. It consisted of an aluminum skin over an iron frame and was powered by a 600 horsepower distillate engine and its two cars and engine were constructed as one unit. The train's two coaches carried 116 passengers and the bullet-shaped rear featured a buffet that served snacks.
After a nation-wide tour in 1934, the M 10000 was renamed the "City of Salina" and made daily round trips from Salina to Kansas City. In 1941, it was removed from service and scrapped, with the metal going toward the war effort. The "City of Salina" was replaced by a steam engine-pulled passenger train that was named the "Kansan."