Union Pacific Railroad

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    Chicago and Alton Railroad Company Bond Certificate
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    Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad Company Stock Certificate
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    Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railway Company Stock Certificate
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    Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company Stock Certificate
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    Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company
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    Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company Certificate of Deposit
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    Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company Specimen Stock Certificate
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    Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company Specimen Stock Certificate
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    Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company Equipment Trust
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    Galena & Chicago Union Rail Road Company Stock Certificate
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    Midland Precinct, Nebraska (Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad) Bond Certificate
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    Missouri, Oklahoma & Gulf Railway Company Stock Certificate
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    Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway Company Bond Certificate
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    Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway Company
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    Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway Company
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    Tidewater Southern Railway Company Stock Certificate
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    Union Pacific Corporation Stock Certificate
    Union Pacific Corporation Stock Certificate
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    Union Pacific Corporation
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    Union Pacific Railroad Company Stock Certificate
    Union Pacific Railroad Company Stock Certificate
    Union Pacific Railroad Company
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    Union Pacific Railroad Company Bond Certificate
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    Union Pacific Railroad Company
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    Union Pacific Railroad Timeline

    Formation

    July 1, 1862

    The original company, the Union Pacific Rail Road was incorporated on July 1, 1862, under an act of Congress entitled Pacific Railroad Act of 1862. The act was approved by President Abraham Lincoln, and it provided for the construction of railroads from the Missouri River to the Pacific as a war measure for the preservation of the Union. It was constructed westward from Council Bluffs, Iowa to meet the Central Pacific Railroad line, which was constructed eastward from Sacramento, California. The combined Union Pacific鈥揅entral Pacific line became known as the First Transcontinental Railroad and later the Overland Route.

    Promontory Summit

    May 10, 1869

    The line was constructed primarily by Irish labor who had learned their craft during the recent Civil War. Under the guidance of its dominant stockholder Dr. Thomas Clark Durant, the namesake of the city of Durant, Iowa, the first rails were laid in Omaha. The two lines were joined at Promontory Summit, Utah, 53 miles west of Ogden on May 10, 1869, hence creating the first transcontinental railroad in North America.

    Credit Mobilier Scandal

    1872

    The original UP was entangled in the Cr茅dit Mobilier scandal, exposed in 1872. As detailed by The Sun, Union Pacific's largest construction company, Cr茅dit Mobilier, had overcharged Union Pacific; these costs had then been passed on to the United States government. In order to convince the federal government to accept the increased costs, Cr茅dit Mobilier had bribed congressmen. Several prominent UP board members (including Durant) had been involved in the scheme. The ensuing financial crisis of 1873 led to a credit crunch, but not bankruptcy.

    Jay Gould Takes Control

    January 24, 1880

    As boom followed bust, the Union Pacific continued to expand. The original company was purchased by a new company on January 24, 1880, with dominant stockholder Jay Gould. Gould already owned the Kansas Pacific (originally called the Union Pacific, Eastern Division, though in essence a separate railroad), and sought to merge it with UP. Thusly was the original "Union Pacific Rail Road" transformed into "Union Pacific Railway."brand visibility and market reach.

    Panic of 1893

    1893

    Extending towards the Pacific Northwest, Union Pacific built or purchased local lines that gave it access to Portland, Oregon. Towards Colorado, it built the Union Pacific, Denver and Gulf Railway: both narrow gauge trackage into the heart of the Rockies and a standard gauge line that ran south from Denver, across New Mexico, and into Texas. The Union Pacific Railway would later declare bankruptcy during the Panic of 1893. Again, a new Union Pacific "Railroad" was formed and Union Pacific "Railway" merged into the new corporation.

    The Lucin Cutoff

    1904

    Meanwhile, Union Pacific worked to construct a faster, and more direct substitute for the original climb to Promontory Point. In 1904, the Lucin cutoff opened, reducing curvature and grades. The original route would eventually be stripped of track in 1942 to provide war scrap.

    Serving California's Farms

    1906

    In the early 20th century, Union Pacific's focus shifted from expansion to internal improvement. Recognizing that farmers in the Central and Salinas Valleys of California grew produce far in excess of local markets, Union Pacific worked with its rival Southern Pacific to develop a rail-based transport system that was not vulnerable to spoilage. These efforts came culminated in the 1906 founding of Pacific Fruit Express, soon to be the world's largest lessee of refrigerated railcars.

    An Improved Customer Experience

    1930's and 1940's

    To attract customers during the Great Depression, Union Pacific's chairman W. Averell Harriman simultaneously sought to "spruce up" the quality of its rolling stock and to make its unique locations more desirable travel destinations. The first effort resulted in the purchase of the first streamlined train: the M-10000. The latter resulted in the Sun Valley ski resort in central Idaho; it opened in 1936 and finally was sold in 1964. Despite the fact that the M-10000 and its successors were among the first diesel locomotives, Union Pacific completed dieselization relatively late. In 1944, UP finally received delivery of its last steam locomotive: Union Pacific 844.

    Acquisitions to Expand Reach

    1980's and 1990's

    As the 20th century waned, Union Pacific recognized - like most railroads - that remaining a regional road could only lead to bankruptcy. At the close of December 31, 1925, UP and its subsidiaries had operated 9,834 miles of routes and 15,265 miles of track; in 1980, these numbers had remained roughly constant (9,266 route-miles and 15,647 track-miles). But in 1982, UP acquired the Missouri Pacific and Western Pacific railroads, and 1988, the Missouri鈥揔ansas鈥揟exas. By 1993, Union Pacific had doubled its system to 17,385 route-miles.

    Chicago & North Western Merger

    1995

    UP merges with C&NW after acquiring the remaining 75% of its stock. The other 25% had been acquired the previous year.

    Southern Pacific Merger

    May 2, 1997

    The first major step in the Union Pacific/Southern Pacific merger is taken with the completion of the first of four cutovers to the computerized Transportation Control System; 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.

    150th Anniversary

    2012

    The company celebrates the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Pacific Railway Act of 1862, which chartered The Union Pacific Railroad Company to build west from the Missouri River for the transcontinental railroad.聽