Union Pacific: Golden at 150

By William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief, Railway Age Magazine; May 8, 2019

COVER STORY, MAY 2019 – Railway Age antecedent American Railway Times, May 15, 1869: “On May 10, the last rail connecting the tracks of the Union and the Central Pacific Railroads was spiked in place, thus giving a continuous railway line across the continent. The blows of the hammer driving home the last spike were heard simultaneously by the aid of the telegraphic wires at the extreme eastern and western sides of the continent; and in many places the marked event was celebrated by the ringing of bells, the firing of salutes, and the interchange of congratulations between the different sections of the country.

“Turning back to our files in the Railway Times of 1849 and 1850, we find this enterprise pretty well shadowed forth, by discussions, communications and appeals, all of which probably gave some aid in educating the public mind as to the feasibility and necessity of this great national highway. We well remember the derision with which P.P. Degrande’s statement was received, that the road between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Coast could be built in seven years; but he spoke wisely; the road has been built in about four and a half years’ time, and we are already beginning to see the commercial results which were then promised.

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