Growing with the Railroad

by Dale Heiman

Growing with the Railroad

Santa and my brothers.

Our family history with the railroad started in 1950 at Lane (MP 16.5), that is where my Dad started out with the UP on the Section (Maintenance of Way Department). At that time the railroad provided every section-man with a house to live in. The houses were on the east side of the track. My folks lived there with my two older brothers, and years later, that railroad housing was my first home.

One time when I was working a work train at this location, I went exploring and I was able to locate the footing of our old house and the outline of a fish pond that was in our side yard. There were five section houses at this location.

My Dad worked for UP for 30 years, retiring in 1981. My middle brother, Randy, retired from UP in 2009, after 38 years of service, along with a couple of moves through his career, finishing his career in Omaha, at the Harriman Dispatching Center. My own career with the railroad started out in 1971, just as my Dad had, I too, started in the Section department. Currently I am employed as a Locomotive Engineer and just had my 40th anniversary in July.

We truly are a Union Pacific family. I have enclosed a photo that ties my oldest brother into the UP traditions. He only worked one year for the railroad; however, he is the big brother in the photo, along with Randy, receiving a model train set from Santa. This photo was taken in 1955 when UP would bring Santa via train to all the RR children that lived along the tracks. This photo was taken at Lane.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Family, Working at UP
Omaha, NE
Sign in to comment »


  • Thank's Union Pacific for setting up this site for all of us to have the opportunity for Dale Heiman & other's to share their UP story's/history with us! I love the fact that my husband Tim has the opportunity to have been a apart of your history too for 33yrs now, I also have UP family history too!!! Let's all keep "BUILDING AMERICA" for the future!!!

    - Susan Lary a few years ago
  • I really enjoyed reading your Familys history with UP. Congratulations to you and your family for the many years of truely "Building America". Our Countrys Flag on the side of the engines makes me proud to be an American. I can't imagine how your family must of felt the first time you saw the first engine with the Flag. The Christmas Picture is priceless, thank you for sharing, and your service to UP & The Country.

    - Tom Stewart a few years ago