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Union Pacific will host a celebration marking the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad's completion Thursday, May 9, at 10:30 a.m. MDT.
The ceremony will be held at Ogden Union Station a day ahead of Utah's celebration at Promontory Summit where the Golden Spike was originally tapped into place. Union Pacific no longer has tracks near Promontory Summit. They were removed to support the scrap metal projects during World War II.
"This celebration is Union Pacific's way of reflecting on our ancestors' remarkable achievements that connected the nation while reminding us of the enormous responsibility we have for our nation's future," said Scott Moore, senior vice president – Corporate Relations and chief administrative officer. "We are proud our employees live and work in thousands of the communities we serve, delivering steel to construct schools and stores, lumber to build homes, the food we eat, clothes we wear and electronics we rely on."
The May 9 ceremony will feature Union Pacific's iconic steam locomotives, Living Legend No. 844 and Big Boy No. 4014. The two will meet, recreating the historic image taken at Promontory Summit on May 10, 1869. The Big Boy is one of eight left in the world. It's newly refurbished and the only one in operation. Following the steam meet, Union Pacific Chairman, President and CEO Lance Fritz and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert will be joined by Margaret Yee and Sandy Dodge to tap a ceremonial spike. Yee's ancestors were among thousands of Chinese immigrants who forged the transcontinental railroad for Central Pacific. Dodge is a descendent of Gen. Grenville Dodge, Civil War veteran and Union Pacific's chief engineer during construction.
The steam locomotives will remain on display at Ogden Union Station until May 12, when they return home to the Steam Shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming. A limited number of tickets will be sold for a ride onboard Union Pacific's Heritage Fleet cars, pulled by Nos. 4014 and 844, between Ogden and Evanston, Wyoming. Guests will return to Ogden via a chartered bus. The trip, which includes a two-hour behind-the-scenes tour at Ogden Union Station, is a fundraiser for Spike 150, a Utah initiative to commemorate the 150th anniversary, and the Union Pacific Museum. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. MDT Monday, April 15, at http://www.spike150.org.
The 150th anniversary celebration will continue throughout the year, with No. 4014 visiting many states across the Union Pacific system. A tentative schedule with tour locations and dates will be published in the near future at http://www.upsteam.com.
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This article first appeared on www.up.com
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