Schuyler, 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.
Schuyler received an official Train Town USA resolution signed by Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young, and Schuyler's historical connection with Union Pacific will be featured at www.up150.com.
"We are proud to recognize Schuyler 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 Schuyler is a source of pride as we remember our past while serving and connecting our nation for years to come."
Daniel Hashberger was the first official settler within the present city limits of Schuyler in 1856. The most significant event in the founding of Schuyler, however, was the coming of "The Iron Horse."
Early in 1866 the rail line reached Schuyler. Schuyler, at that time, was known as Shell Creek Station, and was the property of the Union Pacific Railroad. There was a station, a section house and a few small units.
In 1869, the legislature divided Platte County into 3 separate counties. The eastern parcel was named Colfax County in honor of Schuyler Colfax, then vice-President. Shell Creek Station was then named "Schuyler" and was designated the County Seat of Colfax County. In April, 1869, the town was platted by officials of the Union Pacific Railroad and sold to the Clarkson Bros.
Schuyler had its brief glory as a "trail town." Dissatisfied with marketing and shipping facilities of the Kansas Railroad, and its terminal point of Abilene, a number of Texas cattlemen sought another vantage point from which to ship their cattle. Union Pacific officials began in 1869 to woo their trade and the two groups negotiated as to freight rates and an agreement was reached. Schuyler was selected as the terminus point because of the rich grazing land on the Platte River bottom, and could be purchased reasonably for stockyards.
A spur track was built in June, 1870, and Schuyler was in business. During 1870, the long trail from Texas was beaten barren by the thunder of thousand of hooves of longhorns. Between 40,000 and 50,000 head of cattle were sold at Schuyler that year.
A second main line track was constructed in 1908.
Today, more than 50 trains per day travel on the rail line through Columbus. Virtually every commodity crosses Union Pacific's Nebraska rails, with low-sulfur Wyoming coal and transcontinental import containers being the dominant freight. The primary freight originating in Nebraska is grain.