Interstate Commerce Commission Debuts

When Union Pacific began its journey west, the railroad industry was privately owned and unregulated. Competition thrived among the growing number of rail companies, who were quickly moving into each other’s territory. The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 aimed to prevent monopoly and enhance healthy competition through the Interstate Commerce Commission. The ICC would expand to oversee the trucking industry, as well as interstate bus lines and telephone companies.

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The Interstate Commerce Commission would remain intact for more than a century. In 1995 it was abolished and some of its functions were transferred to a new entity, the Surface Transportation Board.

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.