Railroad Across the Continent
2 July 2022 | 1:04 pm

 One of the largest commercial enterprises of the 19th Century in the United States was the completion of the first rail line across the continent from east to west and west to east. The key event was the meeting of the two rail lines in Promentory, Utah on May 10, 1869. For Utah, this ended the "pioneer era" or the time when people had to take wagons or walk across the plains.  

The Great Salt Lake is currently shrinking rapidly from the extensive drought in the Western United States. The original path of the railroad went around the northern part of the lake but later a causeway was built across the lake cutting it into two parts. The actual connection was at Promontory Summit. Here is a map of that location.

Later, the main rail line was built across the lake on a causeway that can be seen as a faint line across the lake. You can see from the photo that is is a rather desolate area. 

Locomotive 119 Union Pacific Railroad
1 July 2022 | 10:02 pm


Here is the description of Locomotive 119 from the Wikipedia article. Union Pacific No. 119

Union Pacific No. 119 was a 4-4-0 steam locomotive made famous for meeting the Central Pacific Railroad's Jupiter at Promontory Summit, Utah, during the Golden Spike ceremony commemorating the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. The locomotive was built by Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey in 1868, along with numbers 116, 117, 118 and 120. The original was scrapped in 1903, but a replica now operates at the Golden Spike National Historical Park.

Golden Spike National Historic Park, Utah
30 June 2022 | 8:31 pm


I certainly did not know what to expect when we recently visited the Golden Spike National Historic Park in Northern Utah. I had no idea that there would be working replicas of the original railroad locomotives. As it turns out, some of Utah's most unique surprises are waiting out in the huge west desert. If you don't know, this is site of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad which was officially celebrated on May 10th, 1869. The Park includes these full-scale reprical locomotives and an interesting visitors center that has a nice museum. 

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