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January 24, 1880

Kansas Pacific and Denver Pacific Join UP

Jay Gould was no stranger to the rail industry — at the time, he controlled thousands of miles of U.S. railway. His plan for Union Pacific was to build a system of interconnected railroads in the Midwest in order to expand the company to key areas in Colorado and Wyoming. When UP was consolidated with the Kansas Pacific and Denver Pacific, Gould controlled all three railroads, renaming the company Union Pacific Railway Co.

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The Kansas Pacific previously was called the Union Pacific Eastern Division. But because of allegations of corruption and fraud at UP, the Eastern Division changed its name to Kansas Pacific in 1868. From 1870 until completion of the Union Pacific's Omaha bridge, the Kansas Pacific and Denver Pacific were part of the only through rail route across America.

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.