May 12, 1953

Number 3 Track Opens in Wyoming

The difficult Sherman grade out of Cheyenne continued to challenge Union Pacific locomotives, even 85 years after the railroad first reached Sherman Hill. In 1953, UP built a third track over the pass. Though nine miles longer, the 42 ½-mile route provided locomotives with an easier journey. The Number 3 track passes through the town of Harriman, Wyo., named for Roland Harriman, 1950s UP Board Chairman and son of E.H. Harriman.

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At 8,013 feet of elevation, Sherman Hill was the highest point on the Union Pacific for most of the 20th century. It still ranks among the steepest grades at 1.55 percent.

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.