It's the 150 anniversary of the Transcontinetal Railroad being completed

at Promotory Point, Utah on May 10, 1869. This is a big event here as you can probably imagine. I used to go on field trips out to the Point back when schools did that. I have a replica of the Golden Spike that was used to complete the joining of the tracks.

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Two big boys hitched together to pull an especially heavy load of 90 cars in 1958

There were once 8 really big steam locomotives that pulled coal and other stuff up through Weber canyon. Today there is only one and it has made its way to Ogden for the celebration. You want to see this engine! It's really, really big! The crowds lining the route were huge. The pictures of that is in one of the articles listed in the main page I listed below. Take a look.

Big Boy No. 4014 and Living Legend No. 844 arrive in Ogden

The world's only operating Big Boy steam locomotive No. 4014 along with Living Legend No. 844 arrive in Ogden on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, just days before the 150th anniversary celebration of the completion of the transcontinental railroad.

Check out the photos of it making its way through one of the twin tunnels. I have been hearing the whistle blowing for two days and it is really something to hear. Heh..it just went off again. I can't download the photos but you do want to check them out.

Here's Big Boy coming out of Evanston, WY on its way to Ogden down Weber canyon.

Here's Fox News coverage of it. A 3 minute video of better quality.

Here are some more articles of interest on this celebration.

Golden Spike anniversary draws history buffs, Chinese Americans, more to Box Elder County

PROMONTORY SUMMIT — They biked, they bussed, they drove.

Classrooms made a field trip out of it, train buffs traveled from afar and a contingent of Chinese Americans from California came to pay their respects.

Even an Abraham Lincoln impersonator, John Voehl of Denver, traveled to the celebration at Golden Spike National Historical Park in rural Box Elder County on Friday. Like thousands of others, he was there to mark the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, a milestone event in U.S. history.

“The transcontinental railroad is one of the greatest things that happened in the world,” said Voehl. He was sporting a tall hat and a long black coat, similar to the garb of the former U.S. president, who helped shepherd the legislation creating the historic rail line that connected the eastern and western United States.

“To be here is one thing," Voehl continued. "To be here on this day is fantastic.”

U.S. National Park Service officials reported around 15,000 visitors on Friday, a huge spike from the 2,000 to 3,000 who have come for other recent anniversary celebrations, according to Weber County Commissioner Jim Harvey, who was among the many visitors. The final spike completing the transcontinental railroad was ceremoniously pounded into the ground on May 10, 1869, and, indeed, the park swarmed with visitors from across the United States and beyond to mark the sesquicentennial of the event.

Revisit the Golden Spike Centennial Edition

In May 1969, the Standard-Examiner marked the 100th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike with a special edition of seven sections recording and resharing the history, as well as the future in 2069. Here it is, complete and in its original format.

This has all of the pages of what was covered on this day.

This is the home page of the Standard Examiner that has more articles about the railroad being built. My grandpa used to work on trains and so I have always been a huge fan of trains. I always roll down my window when I'm stopped at a train crossing just to hear the noise of it passing. They don't click clack like they used to, but it's still fun for me to hear them passing by....

Here's a night time shot of Union Station and 25th street which used to be where train passengers could go to wet their whistles after arriving in Ogden. This used to be called Red Light Alley because there were lots of brothels located on it.

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Looking West

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Looking east

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Bollox Ref's picture

I took of the 4-8-4 Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, No. 261, from a decade or so ago, from just up the road.

The Yellowstones of the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway had more tractive power than the Big Boys of the Union Pacific.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Bollox Ref

The Yellowstones of the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway had more tractive power than the Big Boys of the Union Pacific.

The Denver and Rio Grande Western was rather fond of those same Yellowstone 2-8-8-4s, too!

Smile

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

travelerxxx's picture

@Bollox Ref

Reminds me of a man I met — I think it was in Green Bay, WI, — in the mid 1970s. He was a nuclear engineer and ran a nuclear power plant that powered, like, half of Wisconsin or something. That man quit his job at the nuke plant to be a railroad engineer. He said the reason he quit was because he liked the feeling of power when he controlled a train engine.

Seriously. He really did it and really said that. I guessed it was the noise and clamor that drew him. I can understand that. The one reactor I've been around was pretty quiet.

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of many people.

Video compiled by moi back in 2014 for the good folks at The Evening Blues back when it was still at DKos.

Didn't mean to dampen your enthusiasm snoopes, I love old trains too. Just wanted to add another perspective.

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snoopydawg's picture

@JtC

I remember when you posted this video over there. Thanks for including it here. Yes bringing the tracks together sure did change lots of lives. People could hop on one and take their time traveling across the country. We used to take one every summer to Butte Montana where one summer as I was running to greet my aunt I fell and knocked out a tooth. Skinned my knees pretty good too.

Sure wish I could have afforded to go out to Promotory. Maybe I'll be able to do this at the next celebration. Ha ha..

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

polkageist's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg
When I was a boy the steam engines would pound through town just two blocks from my grandmother's house. It was a thrill. Especially at night when a particularly heavy freight would shake the world as it roared through and woke me up with a start.

Then I enlisted in the Marines and went to boot camp in San Diego. That first night lying in my bunk wondering what I had gotten myself into I heard the whistle in the distance. It still is the saddest most lonesome sound I can remember.

Diesels are more ecologically sound but steam is the most emotionally sound.

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Greed is not a virtue.
Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@polkageist

Diesels are more ecologically sound

Actually, the jury's still out on that one. At least, until we produce enough biodiesel to render petrodiesel completely obsolete. And steamers can run on a variety of fuels, a feature that will become more valuable as petroleum becomes scarcer and more expensive.

The net carbon footprint of a rail ton-mile (or tonne-kilometer, or what have you) is pretty much the same both ways. And steamers are readily repairable as evidenced by the fact that they were usually repaired when damaged; whereas modern diesels are often scrapped at the first major mechanical failure.

but steam is the most emotionally sound.

And then, there is that! Smile

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

polkageist's picture

@thanatokephaloides
I'm glad to hear steam still has a chance. Maybe. There are drawbacks like steam hissing out at passengers on the platform and making them jump. For us boys that was always fun to see.

I doubt we will ever go back, especially when I see how electrics hit somewhere between 200 and 300 miles an hour in so many countries. YouTube has some really good videos on trains of all kinds. I've just never grown up where trains are concerned. Obviously I'm not alone.

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Greed is not a virtue.
Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@polkageist

I doubt we will ever go back, especially when I see how electrics hit somewhere between 200 and 300 miles an hour in so many countries.

From the ecological standpoint, electrics are the hands-down really big winner. No emissions at point-of-use and it's always easier and more effective to control emissions at a fixed facility than on a mobile one.

Once the line is electrified, it's also the cheapest energy to run trains on.

As for steam, it's not the ecology that doomed it; it was the labor costs. And once petroleum becomes too expensive and rare to burn, Cat only knows what energy railways will run on. I suspect it'll be almost all renewable electric with a side of resurrected steam.

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

snoopydawg's picture

@polkageist

I've just never grown up where trains are concerned. Obviously I'm not alone.

Looks like there are a few of us that have a love of trains and special memories of the times that we rode the rails and had family members who were connected to them.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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Azazello's picture

There's lots of vids out, search UP 4014.
The thing is huge, an articulated steam locomotive, 4-6-6-4 configuration.
They say it's the largest operating steam locomotive in the world.

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janis b's picture

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snoopydawg's picture

@janis b

Did you check out the photos of the train during its trip in Weber canyon? This is really beautiful country traveling through it. This is just 20 minutes from my home, but it's like traveling back in time to when most of the country was still rural. I used to go to a resort close to the double tunnels and we'd watch and listen as the trains went by. Fun memories.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

and this reminds me of an experience I talked about in that comment that I trust will be appreciated again.
When I was stationed on Vancouver Island (BC) and for a national celebration the government sent a steam engine from the farthest reaches on the east coast to the very end of the line on Vancouver Island.
It was pulling along classic Pullman cars that had a lot of memorabilia to exhibit in each scheduled layover, and the steam engine was just for show, it was fired up (literally had a 'fireman') but it was being pulled by new engines attached to it until it got to the end of the ,last, leg of the cross country trip on Vancouver Island.
In each division, from start to finish, the train was handed off from one train crew to the next one across the Country and on the mainland it was the luck of the draw as to which train crew was up next along the way and a lot of crews hoped they didn't draw it because train crews are paid by the mile not the hour and this train may have been getting green lights most of the way it had speed limits because of the equipment being towed.

However on Van Island we were the onlytrain crew in Victoria to take anything northward to the next section in Nanaimo so it was ours and when we met the engineer and 'fireman' he talked about how he was a retired railroad engineer that had ran steam engines in his career at CPR.
Then the day we were to take it up island our conductor talked to me and the engineer about a request made by the old retired guy that asked that for one last time in his life could he really be the one moving this train up island (beautiful and Malahat Pass is a steep climb). He understood that there would be media pictures of the exhibit train leaving the yard so we had to be at the front to pull the train but what we agreed upon was to do just that, until we were out of sight then we isolated our engines and let him have that dream.
After we were miles away from any public eyes I walked over behind the engineer to look back at him and this guy was smiling big time. Looking back you could see the long trail of black smoke behind until we got near Nanaimo where we took back control and parked them downtown in a siding for people there to visit.
One last interesting point is that many engineers vied for the position in each region, and most with a lot of credentials, but as far as the 'fireman' went it was actually a woman! She had her hair tightly tucked away in the railroad hat and her jumpsuit, like her was black from soot.
She didn't talk to us, just tried to be in the background anonymously and I imagine it probably had to do with keeping train crews from hitting on her. I always wondered how she got that job over retired 'firemen', but she did he job well as that fire was hot and that old engine had a lot of power.

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Centaurea's picture

I was at the Post Office today, picking up a package, and the postal employees were talking about the new "railroad stamps" released today. When I saw them, I had to buy a sheet.

The photos at the USPS website don't do them justice. They're well-designed and executed, including gold foil embellishment. A bit steampunk-ish. Very evocative.

https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2019/0311-usps-celebra...

I've always loved trains. Fortunately, I was able to take some train trips in the '70s before Amtrak took over. They still had the old dining cars where they served real food cooked to order on a stove. You sat at tables covered with with table cloths and ate with metal utensils, while watching the scenery go by. There was even a real flower in a vase on the table. Those were the days.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Centaurea's picture

@Centaurea One of the trains I rode was the pre-Amtrak version of the "City of New Orleans", which ran between Chicago and New Orleans, my home at the time.

I remember waking up in the middle of the night during that trip. The train had stopped, then backed up and there was a lot of banging and noise going on outside. We had arrived at the midway point in the route, Memphis, Tennessee, where they were detaching some cars that were now empty and picking up new cars for the rest of the trip.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

snoopydawg's picture

@Centaurea

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Marking the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the U.S. Postal Service will commemorate this 19th century marvel with a magnificent set of Forever stamps.

The first-day-of-issue event for the Transcontinental Railroad Forever stamp is free and open to the public. News of the stamp is being shared with the hashtag #RailroadStamps.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Centaurea's picture

@snoopydawg In person, they're gorgeous.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@snoopydawg this looks like a good place to put the song

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moneysmith's picture

If we had a decent rail system in this country, I would take it everywhere, and I'm sure I'm not alone. It's the perfect way to travel.

Also, we have something in common --

My grandpa used to work on trains and so I have always been a huge fan of trains. I always roll down my window when I'm stopped at a train crossing just to hear the noise of it passing. They don't click clack like they used to, but it's still fun for me to hear them passing by..

My grandfather was a brakeman in the Midwest for years. A train goes through the little town where I'm staying now couple times a day. There's really nothing like listening to it... a wonderful remnant from another era.

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Hell is empty and all the devils are here. William Shakespeare

@moneysmith
De-railings, crappy food, unmet schedules. Just Greyhound on rails.
No matter how bad an airline trip is, it's over in a few hours.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Amtrak killed it. De-railings, crappy food, unmet schedules. Just Greyhound on rails.

And that's a serious, un-earned insult..... to Greyhound.

AmSUCK: the original bad trip!

And how far we have fallen......

Diablo

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

The Aspie Corner's picture

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@The Aspie Corner

We should convert this to Magnetic Levitation.

Get us the required room-temperature superconductors, and we're off to the races!

While we're still working with ohmic materials (normal stuff whose voltage-current relationship is correctly described by Ohm's Law E=IR), regular electric propulsion is still most efficient and cheapest.

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg