Working for the Union Pacific Railroad

by Falene Loveland

Working for the Union Pacific Railroad

I worked for the Union Pacific Railroad from 1968 to 1976 in the Traffic Department at the Salt Lake City Depot. We were the office with the salesmen who solicited the business and I started as a secretary in that department. We were originally on 4th South and Main Street but then relocated at the Depot.

I was one of those people in the commercial in the 1970s. Mr. Wes Soulier, who was one of my bosses, selected me as the Utah employee to participate in that commercial. The commercial featured one employee from different states to participate. We flew back to North Platte, Neb., for several days and learned the song and then sang it while they filmed each of us singing the song. I was the last person on the commercial who sang “We’re the Union Pacific.” We would stand on the back of a truck singing the song while the train would go past us. It was really fun making that commercial and I met others from different states. I have fond memories and fun pictures of that event.

When I first started working for the UP, I had just graduated from college and one of my best features was my typing. I used an IBM selectric typewriter in college and could type 100 WPM. When I got my job, I had to type on a manual typewriter that you had to press really hard to type through all the copies that were made. Thank goodness for progress. When they introduced electric typewriters, the older women in the office received them because of seniority. They hated them because they never had typed on them before so they gave them to us younger women.

I guess I was a trouble maker in those days because when I had my first baby, there weren't any benefits for me, yet the men’s wives were covered. So I talked to the Union and my second and third baby were covered. They said there wasn’t any women young enough to have children, so there wasn’t a policy in place. After my third child, I quit to stay at home and raise those children.

When we moved to the Depot, it was really cold in there and our dress code was dresses or suits. The women were bringing blankets to cover their legs to stay warm. I talked with my boss and said that pantsuits were in style now and asked if we could try changing our dress code to allow us to wear pants. He said yes and so we did.

I loved my job at the railroad. I loved the people I worked with.

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Working at UP
Salt Lake City, UT
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  • great story

    - Mark Parker a few years ago
  • And I also forgot to say thank you for being a trouble maker! The future generations of women at Union Pacific have many trouble makers to thank, I am sure.

    - Beth Wilderman a few years ago