Beautifully engraved Stock Certificate from the famous Union Pacific Corporation issued in the 1970's - 1980's. This document has an ornate orange border around it with a picture of three workers above the famous
Union Pacific Logo.
Union Pacific is steeped in history. Its railroad, basically comprising the Missouri Pacific, Chicago and North Western, Southern Pacific, and Union Pacific Railroads, is almost 150 years old. In 1848, the first ten miles of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, a direct predecessor of the Chicago & North Western, are completed. Then on July 4, 1851, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the Pacific Railroad, a direct predecessor of the Missouri Pacific. The first rails of what will eventually become the Southern Pacific are laid at Buffalo Bayou, near Houston, TX. In 1862, Union Pacific -- chartered by an act of Congress and signed into law by Abraham Lincoln -- was created to link America's East and Midwest to the rapidly growing West Coast and to open trade with the Orient. In 1867, the Chicago and North Western connected Chicago with Omaha, thus helping to complete the first transcontinental railroad two years later. And, in 1869, the Central Pacific (later, part of the Southern Pacific) met with Union Pacific as the final link in this transcontinental line. The driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory, Utah Territory, heralded a new era of economic development for the United States. Quite literally, railroads like Union Pacific opened the West.
In 1868, Andrew J. Russell, who had been an official photographer for the U.S. Army during the Civil War under Matthew Brady, was commissioned by Union Pacific to photograph its construction crews as they laid ribbons of steel across the plains and through the mountains and valleys of the western territories. This endeavor was the 19th Century technological equivalent of the space program a century later. Russell's pictures are a testament to this breathtaking achievement -- hailed as "The Great Work of the Age" -- and to the heritage of Union Pacific.
A vast, rugged wilderness stood between America's fertile midwestern plains and its burgeoning West Coast when the U.S. Congress passed the Pacific Railroad Act in 1862 to provide incentives for private capital to build a transcontinental railroad. Union Pacific began its westward march across rain-swollen rivers, snow-covered mountains and arid plains from Omaha, Nebraska in 1862. The Civil War interrupted building until 1865, but by the winter of 1868 track-laying forces had spanned the Green River and pushed beyond Citadel Rock, above, in southern Wyoming.
In the spring of 1869, Union Pacific had cut its way into the rugged Wasatch Mountains, northeast of Salt Lake City, on its way to a rendezvous with the Central Pacific (later, part of the Southern Pacific). One of the last obstacles to the Golden Spike ceremony was the Brooks Cut, above. By the time Union Pacific reached the rendezvous point, its workforce was 10,000 strong, from bridge-builders to cooks. Many had fought in the Civil War and still wore their uniforms.
Securing the last rail with the driving of the famed Golden Spike at Promontory, Utah Territory, May 10, 1869, the transcontinental railroad's proud builders commemorated the uniting of America by rail. From coast to coast the message, "Done," was flashed by telegraph to an excited nation. Among the men who built the Central Pacific from the West Coast, left, and Union Pacific, right, some returned home to their families, but many stayed with the Railroad to build expanding branch lines. Still others were among the tens of thousands of new settlers who began to carve homes, farms, ranches and eventually new states from the wilderness between the Missouri River and the Pacific Ocean. Union Pacific has been serving the United States ever since, hauling billions of tons of autos, trailer and container traffic, chemicals, coal, grain, lumber, and an almost infnite variety of consumer goods. True to its mission, the Railroad has accelerated the pace of America's development and has become an important link in international trade.
Union Pacific Railroad
1848--The first ten miles of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad are completed, a direct predecessor of the Chicago & North Western.
1851--July 4 marks groundbreaking ceremonies for the Pacific Railroad, a direct predecessor of the Missouri Pacific. The first rails of what will eventually become the Southern Pacific are laid at Buffalo Bayou, near Houston, TX.
1862--President Abraham Lincoln signs the Pacific Railroad Act, which names and directs two companies, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, to construct a transcontinental railroad.
1863--Ground is broken at Omaha for Union Pacific, but construction is delayed because of insufficient funding. Central Pacific begins construction east from Sacramento, CA.
1865--The first UP rail is laid in Omaha. The predecessor of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad (Katy), is incorporated as the Union Pacific Railway Southern Branch. The manual block system of traffic control is developed. This is later replaced, in 1872, by the automatic block signal, which electrifies track circuits, reducing the frequency of accidents and collisions.
1867--George Pullman, along with Andrew Carnegie, approaches Durant with the idea of sleeper cars. George Westinghouse patents the air brake. The refrigerator car is developed. UP establishes its Land Office, and land is sold for $5 an acre.
1868--Confederate veteran Major Eli H. Janney patents the automatic coupler.
1869--The golden spike is driven at Promontory Summit, Utah by officials of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific, marking the inauguration of the transcontinental railroad.
1870s--The gold rush. Miners flock to California and Colorado.
1871--The Denver & Rio Grande completes its initial 3' gauge line between Denver and Colorado Springs, CO. The Texas & Pacific Railway incorporate to build a line from Marshall, Texas on through El Paso to San Diego, CA.
1872--The Credit Mobilier scandal emerges. Durant and other UP officials reap $23 million in dividends from the bogus construction company Credit Mobilier, passing its stock to influential members of Congress.
1873--The railroad debt crisis occurs.
1876--The Missouri Pacific Railway is created by the investors who purchased the Pacific Railroad.
1879--Jay Gould acquires controlling interest in Missouri Pacific.
1880--Union Pacific purchases the Kansas Pacific and Denver Pacific railroads.
1881--Missouri Pacific gains control of the St.Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern.
1884--The Oregon Short Line is completed, connecting the UP main line at Granger, Wyoming to the Pacific Northwest via the Oregon-Washington Railroad and Navigation Company. The Southern Pacific company is created.
1885--The Rock Springs massacre occurs when white miners in Wyoming receive news that raises were given to Colorado miners, but not to them. Already resentful at having to share their mines with Chinese workers, they become furious. The fury explodes when a mob storms into Chinatown, burning 100 homes to the ground and shooting many Chinese miners and their families.
1888--Narrow gauge track mileage peaks on the Denver & Rio Grande as they begin a program of standard gauging on key routes.
1880s-90s--Higher powered locomotives able to pull heavier and longer trains come into common use. Articulated construction allows longer locomotives to bend while rounding curves.
1890--Union Pacific Coal Company, the first UP subsidiary, is established. The Denver & Rio Grande completes the conversion of its Denver to Salt Lake City main line from 3' gauge to standard gauge.
1892--Jay Gould dies and control of his rail empire passes to his son, George Gould.
1893--Union Pacific falls into bankruptcy.
1896--A head-on collision is staged by the Katy Railroad at Crush, Texas as a publicity stunt. Witnessed by 40,000 people, two of the crowd die and several are wounded when the steam locomotives explode.
1897--After going bankrupt and into receivership, Union Pacific is sold to a group of investors for $110 million. Their number includes E.H. Harriman, a shrewd railroad tycoon and then-president of the Illinois Central.
1901--Union Pacific purchases 38% of Southern Pacific stock and assumes control of the railroad.
1903--The Western Pacific Railway is organized to build the San Francisco to Salt Lake City route to compete with SP. Western Pacific is part of George Gould's Rio Grande-Missouri Pacific system.
1905--The San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad is completed. The last spike is driven west of Las Vegas, providing UP access to Los Angeles.
1906--Construction of Western Pacific begins at Oakland, CA. The Pacific Fruit Express Company is formed, with joint ownership by SP and UP.
1907--The Denver, Northwestern & Pacific Railroad (later the Denver & Salt Lake) completes its initial line west of Denver toward Bond, CO. Built by David Moffat, the line is planned as competition for the Denver & Rio Grande Western on the Denver to Salt Lake City route.
1909--E.H. Harriman dies. The final spike of Western Pacific is driven near Keddie, CA.
1913--UP is ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to sell its 46% share of SP stock and relinquish control.
1915--MP and SLIM&S declare bankruptcy and are placed into receivership. WP goes into receivership, followed by D&RGW. A year later, WP reorganizes. Gould loses control of the railroad.
1917--MP and SLIM&S are reorganized and merged into the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company.
1920--The Transportation Act of 1920 gives the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) authority in virtually every area of railroading, including rates and services, the routing of freight, extensions, abandonments and consolidations of lines, and joint use of terminals and equipment.
1921--Discovery of the Lincoln railroad car silver in a UP vault in Omaha leads to the founding of the Union Pacific Historical Museum in the headquarters building.
1924--MP gains control of the New Orleans, Texas & Mexico Railroad and its subsidiaries. By 1929, MP and NOT&M have added several other Texas and Louisiana railroads to their empire.
1928--The 6.21 mile-long Moffat Tunnel is completed in Colorado, allowing Denver & Salt Lake to abandon its route over Rollins Pass and shorten its route by 22.84 miles.
1930--The Denver & Rio Grande Western gains control of the Denver & Salt Lake.
1931--WP completes construction between Keddie and Bieber, CA on the Inside Gateway route. This line, in conjunction with the Great Northern, competes with SP for traffic to Oregon and California.
1932--SP gains control of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, commonly known as the Cotton Belt.
1933--MP declares bankruptcy and is placed in trusteeship.
1934--The nation's first streamliner, the M-10000, introduces luxury passenger service. The Denver & Rio Grande Western completes the construction of the Dotsero cutoff, connecting the D&RGW and D&SL main lines in central Colorado and opening a direct route between Denver and Salt Lake City.
1935--WP goes into receivership.
1936--UP opens the Sun Valley Resort in Idaho, the country's first western ski resort. It features the nation's first ski lift with chairs, invented by railroad personnel in Omaha. C&NW, UP and SP jointly inaugurate the City of San Francisco streamliner running between Chicago and Oakland.
1937--Diesel-electric locomotives are introduced on the Missouri Pacific.
1939--Cecil B. DeMille's motion picture "Union Pacific" premieres in Omaha.
1941--The largest steam locomotive ever built, the Big Boy, goes into service on UP lines. This same year, diesel power is introduced for freight service.
1944--The last steam engine built for the UP, number 844, is constructed.
1945--WP emerges from reorganization.
1949--Blizzards strike Nebraska and Wyoming, closing UP's main line for seven weeks.
1955--Missouri Pacific retires its last steam locomotive.
1956--A 23-year trusteeship, the longest in U.S. rail history, ends as MP is reorganized. The Gulf Coast lines (NOTM, BSL&W, O&NW, NI&N, ISM&E, SLB&M, IGN, SAS, SAUG, AB, SB&RGV, SL, H&BV, HNS) are absorbed into MP.
1958--UP acquires Spokane International, giving UP a connection with Canadian Pacific Railway. Litchfield & Madison is merged into Chicago and North Western. Steam engines make their last runs on SP.
1960--UP targets Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific as a merger partner, beginning one of the longest, most bitterly contested merger proposals in railroad history. SP and Santa Fe begin an attempt to acquire the WP. Minneapolis & St. Louis is merged into C&NW.
1961--SP absorbs its Texas & New Orleans subsidiary.
1964--Texas & Pacific gains control of the Kansas, Oklahoma & Gulf and Midland Valley Railways. The KO&G-MV partner, Oklahoma City-Ada-Atoka Railway, is sold to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe.
1965--The Pacific Electric subsidiary is absorbed into SP.
1966--ICC rejects the SP-AT&SF bid to acquire the WP.
1967--MP gains control of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad. SP completes the 78-mile Palmdale-Colton cutoff, allowing trains to bypass the Los Angeles basin.
1968--UP acquires the Mount Hood Railroad. The Chicago Great Western is merged into C&NW. MP and C&NW gain joint control of the Alton and Southern.
1969--The Union Pacific Corporation is established as a holding company, with Union Pacific Railroad as one of its operating companies. The Ft. Dodge, Des Moines & Southern is leased by C&NW. MP sells the Evansville line (eastern side) of C&EI to Louisville & Nashville, and the Chicago to Woodland junction passes into joint MP-L&N ownership.
1970--Western Pacific's California Zephyr vista dome passenger train makes its last run. D&RGW loses the last vestige of its steam-powered narrow gauge empire when the Chama, New Mexico to Durango, Colorado line is abandoned. Durango to Silverton remains as a tourist attraction, while Chama to Antonito, Colorado is sold for tourist train use.
1971--The National Rail Passenger Service Act transfers most passenger service to Amtrak (America, Travel and Track). Some railroads, notably the Denver & Rio Grande Western, Southern, and Chicago, and Rock Island & Pacific hold out and continue to operate their own trains.
1974--The ICC rules in favor of the UP-CRI&P merger, but three months later UP terminates its offer for the CRI&P, as the line is steadily declining. Rock Island falls into receivership.
1976--The Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform (4R) Act calls for the restructuring of bankrupt lines and makes $2.1 billion in repayable financing available to northeastern and midwestern companies. The Chicago & Eastern Illinois and Texas & Pacific subsidiaries are absorbed into MP; the parent corporation, Mississippi River Corp., is renamed the Missouri Pacific Corp.
1977--The first double-stack car for container traffic is designed and tested by SP.
1978--Pacific Fruit Express, jointly owned by SP and UP, is dissolved equally. It becomes the SPFE and UPFE companies.
1980--The Union Pacific, Missouri Pacific and Western Pacific railroads file merger applications with the Interstate Commerce Commission. Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific ceases operations. In the following years, many of its lines are sold to other railroads, including MP, SSW and MKT. SSW acquires the Rock Island "Tucumcari" line and gains access to Kansas City. The MKT subsidiary Oklahoma, Kansas & Texas is created by purchasing Herington, KS to Dallas, TX from CRI&P.
1982--The UP-MP-WP merger is approved by ICC. As conditions of the merger, D&RGW gains trackage rights from Pueblo to Kansas City and SP gains trackage rights from Kansas City to St. Louis via MP.
1983--D&RGW ceases operation of its Denver-Salt Lake City Rio Grande Zephyr and joins Amtrak.
1984--UP and C&NW complete a connector line to the Powder River coal basin fields in eastern Wyoming.
1986--C&NW purchases the Kansas City-Minneapolis "Spine Line" from the Rock Island trustee after fierce competition from the Soo Line. C&NW proceeds to abandon the now-redundant ex-CGW line.
1988--UP acquires the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, commonly known as the Katy. Rio Grande Industries acquires the Southern Pacific Railroad. The D&RGW and SP railroads are merged, retaining the SP name.
1989--UP's Harriman Dispatching Center opens in Omaha, centralizing all train dispatching in one location. UP purchases 25% of Chicago & North Western stock, which is held in a voting trust. SP gains access to Chicago with the purchase of the St. Louis to Chicago line from the defunct Chicago, Missouri & Western. SP sets up a SPCSL (SP-Chicago-St. Louis) subsidiary.
1993--Disastrous flooding during the summer months strikes the midwestern states, causing millions of dollars in damage to UP and other railroads' physical plants. Train service is disrupted for several weeks throughout the region, as floodwaters crest.
1994--UP gains minority control of the C&NW following the ICC's approval of the voting control granted by its stock holdings. UP makes an offer for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe in competition with Burlington Northern.
1995--UP merges with C&NW after acquiring the remaining 75% of its stock. UP ends its attempts to acquire the Santa Fe. The BN and AT&SF merge into the BNSF Corporation, and SP gains significant trackage rights from BNSF as a merger concession. On July 23, Union Pacific announces it will run a special passenger train across major portions of the United States to carry the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games flame to Atlanta. On August 3, UP and SP announce their intent to merge. Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe reach a comprehensive agreement on September 27 to preserve and intensify rail competition following the UP/SP merger. On November 30, Union Pacific files its application with the Interstate Commerce Commission to acquire Southern Pacific. The 50,000th coal train is operated out of Wyoming's Powder River Basin on December 28, 12 years after UP operated the first train over the newly constructed connector line on August 16, 1984.
1996--On January 19, plans are announced of the intent to sell the 203-mile "Colony Line" in western South Dakota and Wyoming to the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad. The 40-day journey of the Union Pacific 1996 Olympic Torch Relay Train begins its run on April 26. The Surface Transportation Board votes to approve the UP/SP merger on July 3. On July 27, Dick Davidson is elected as Union Pacific Corporation COO, and Ron Burns is elected as Union Pacific Railroad president. The Union Pacific-Southern Pacific merger takes effect on September 11, forming the largest railroad in the U.S. Ron Burns resigns as CEO and president of Union Pacific Railroad on November 6. Jerry Davis is named president and COO of the railroad. Dick Davidson, president and COO of UP Corporation and chairman of UPRR, is named CEO of the railroad. Dick Davidson is elected chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Corporation on November 21, succeeding the retiring Drew Lewis.
1997--On January 1, the Missouri Pacific Railroad legally merges into Union Pacific Railroad, with UPRR remaining as the surviving corporation. The Feather River Canyon line reopens on March 3, after massive flooding closed the line on January 2. On May 2, the first major step in the UP/SP merger is taken with the completion of the first of four cutovers to the computerized Transportation Control System (TCS); the former Denver & Rio Grande Western portion of the SP. The former SP headquarters building in San Francisco is offered for sale on June 15. A joint safety team of UP managers, union employees and Federal Railroad Administration representatives is established to review safety across the UP system on August 27. On September 3, UP and FRA unveiled a package of Safety Assurance Compliance Process measures (SACP). Union Pacific files a Service Recovery Plan with the Surface Transportation Board aimed at eliminating congestion on October 1.
1998--UP and BNSF announce that a joint regional dispatching center for Gulf Coast operations will be opened in Spring, Texas on March 15. On April 2, work begins on restoring 17 miles of former Missouri-Kansas-Texas track in new Braunfels, Texas to improve train movement between Ft. Worth and San Antonio. UP and BNSF announce the sale of the jointly-owned Camas Prairie Railroad in Idaho to a subsidiary of North American RailNet, Incorporated on April 17. On July 6, the sale of 12 miles of the Colorado Royal Gorge line to a tourist railroad is announced. A new $70 million intermodal terminal opens at Marion, Arkansas, 10 miles west of Memphis, Tennessee, on July 10. Ike Evans is named president and COO, and Jerry Davis is named vice chairman of Union Pacific Railroad, on September 15. A new $32 million diesel shop is dedicated at Hinkle, Oregon on November 23, and a special train dedicates the restoration of double track in western Iowa on December 1.