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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » 150th Anniversary

   
Author Topic: 150th Anniversary
yukon11
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Today, May 10, marks the 150th anniversary of the golden spike ceremony at Promontory Summit.

https://is.gd/bchEYv

Too bad that both the original CP "Jupiter" and the UP 119 were scrapped. The UP "Big Boy" did show.

The original golden spike is now located in a museum at Stanford U.

Richard

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Ocala Mike
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My son and grandson were in Ogden for the occasion (at Union Station). UP put up a nice video on FB.

--------------------
Ocala Mike

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Gilbert B Norman
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The Wall Street Journal had a great photo of the 4014 arriving at Ogden in the Friday print edition (photo is also at their website).

Otherwise TRAINS was camped out along US 30 to observe it heading WW under steam:

TRAINS courtesy of Facebook

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Gilbert B Norman
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"What was it the engines said,
touching pilots head to head?"

http://trn.trains.com/photos-videos/videos/2019/05/big-boy-4014-video-compilation

OK, maybe UP is "indifferent" about handling Amtrak trains, and what someone "pulled" enabling ARRA09 funds allocated for the (?) HSR Chicago-St Louis passenger train project to be used to rebuild the G,M&O to access their Elwood IL Global Intermodal facility bordered on criminal.
However, no one can argue against how the UP preserves and protects their heritage.

disclaimer: author Long UNP

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Gilbert B Norman
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Something tells me that content from this book, Ghosts of Gold Mountain, is not part of the docent's script at the California Railroad Museum.

I also don't think the decision to lay rail over Donner rather than the more favorable Beckwurth Pass is addressed as well there.

But both stories have a common denominator.

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yukon11
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Yes, I wonder why they didn't choose the Beckwourth Pass route instead of Donner Pass.

Here is that route.

 -

I found many contradicting accounts of the 4 ceremonial spikes, on the internet.

gold
silver
silver
iron

gold
low quality gold
silver
iron

gold
silver
silver
gold, silver, iron

gold
gold and silver
silver
iron

And a few other combinations.

I did read where the final spike was just a regular iron spike, not gold. I also read that it was, indeed, gold but a pre-drilled hole was necessary. If they tried to drive in a gold spike without a pre-drilled hole, the gold spike would probably wind up flat as a pancake.

Richard

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Gilbert B Norman
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Richard, there is a story regarding Donner over Beckwurth, but in this "political correctness" world (which cost me a week on the bench at another site), I had best defer to historical sources.
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George Harris
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Mr. Norman: Probably (I hope) won't happen here. Rather you tell us than have to search for it. I see no reason whatsoever for being penalized for talking about something that happened 150 years ago. That is way too much a 1984 style rewrite of history.
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Gilbert B Norman
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From what is available at sources such as Wiki, Chief Engineer Theodore Judah had met Jim Beckwurth, an African American who had fought for the Union, had become a "Mountain Man" and had discovered the pass that bears his name. However the "Fab Four" - Crocker, Hopkins, Huntington, Stanford -, who had motives beyond building the railroad with economy and efficiency, shall we say "tolerated" Judah for his "sincerity". The available sources say that the Beckwurth Pass was rejected as being an "inferior route" and construction proceeded over Donner.

While Donner is more scenic and direct than is Beckwurth, the grades and 1000' less elevation makes me wonder "why".

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yukon11
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More interesting pictures and text:

https://is.gd/Eqkeao

I wasn't aware of the origin of "Standard and Poors" and of Mr. Poor's railroad manual.

Richard

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Gilbert B Norman
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Today, The New York Times has an interesting article regarding the recognition afforded the Chinese during this Sesquicentennial when compared with same at the Centennial.

Fair Use:
  • But many of the workers who had built the railroad were all but invisible at the ceremony, and in its retelling for many years afterward. They included about 15,000 Chinese immigrants — up to 90 percent of the work force on the Central Pacific line — who were openly discriminated against, vilified and forgotten.

    Now those workers are being written back into the history of the railroad, thanks to the dogged efforts of their descendants and of scholars. At the 150th anniversary of the golden spike ceremony on Friday, and at associated events held last week in Utah, thousands gathered to recognize a more complete picture of the monumental feat.
All told; "they came out the better" this time around.
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palmland
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Good interview with Ed Dickens on WGN on the Big Boy posted on another site.

4014 in Chicago

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yukon11
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I wonder why the CP Jupiter was wood-fueled, while the UP 119 was a coal burner? Maybe they reckoned the CP had a lot of wood resources coming through the Sierras? Although the UP 119 locomotive was coal-fueled, I read that it started out as a wood burner but switched over to coal at Carbon, Wyoming. I'm not sure if that was true.

Richard

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