Union Pacific's 150th Anniversary celebrated in Old Sacramento
You're probably familiar with the song "I've been working on the railroad."
Union Pacific (UP) has been doing it for 150 years and they are celebrating in Old Sacramento this weekend.
According to its website "Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. Today, Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain.
Sacramento has been a train town since the 1950's and the first train ran between Alder Creek in December 1855 and extended to Folsom in early 1956.
If Saturday's crowd was any indication there are a lot of train lovers out there.
I grew up partly at my grand parents house in St. Elmo, IL which was only two blocks from the railroad tracks. I always loved the sound of the train passing through, day or night.
My dad, mom and two of my sisters rode the train from Arizona to Illinois to visit my grandparents several times.
I can barely imagine what it took to lay the tracks with back-straining work positioning the heavy rails and pounding in the spikes.
The Union Pacific Event featured an exhibit "Abraham Lincoln, California and the UP on the 2nd floor of the Railroad Museum.
Also on display was the SD70ACe Diesel Locomotive, the
UP Low-Emissions Locomotive No. 9900, the Steam Locomotive No. 844, an Exhibit Car, Handcar Rides, the Business Car No. 103 tours, San Diego and Arizona Eastern Fire Truck demonstrations, Locomotive Simulator Tours, "Mini Train" rides and the Sacramento Southern Excursion Train Rides.
I am deeply impressed by the sheer height and size of the trains.
I was fortunate enough to watch a maintenance man cleaning the heavy steel that puts the wheels in motion of the UP Steam Locomotive No. 844, a living legend.
His job is never-ending, protecting the steel parts from rust and corrosion.He wipes the steel down regularly with mineral spirits.
It was the last steam locomotive built and it was delivered in 1944.
It weighs 907,980 lbs, is 114 ft 2-5/8 Engine and Tender, is 14 wheeled. It carries 23,500 gallons of water and 6,200 gallons of No. 5 oil.