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July 1, 1937

Federal Railroad Retirement Act Goes into Effect

By the early 1930s, railroad workers wanted a way to protect their pension payments, which were being negatively affected by declining revenues and benefit inequities among pensioners. Workers banded together and requested government action; the railroads, in turn, proposed a compromise. The Railroad Retirement Act of 1934 was struck down a year later, however, and a new version was passed in 1935. By 1937, the railroads and unions at last agreed on a way to incorporate existing pension plans into a plan regulated by the U.S. government.

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Those who had served 20 years or more in the Union Pacific system were eligible to join the Old Timers Association, founded in 1924. The Union Pacific System Athletic League ran sports programs within the Main Line, Short Line, Navigation and Los Angeles & Salt Lake units.

In 2012, Union Pacific celebrates the shared stories that have shaped our country since 1862. To mark our 150th anniversary, we invite you to explore how the nation’s largest railroad came to be and how UP continues to build America with innovation and tenacity, touching the lives of nearly every citizen.