On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog


monument to Chinese workers

monument to Irish workers

replica of rail tie in which golden spike was driven


Jupiter coming from the west



119 coming from the east




me standing on the same spot where the famous picture was taken


Ogden Union Station Museums

Finally got here ! I truly enjoyed seeing these replica locomotives reenact the 1869 coming together of the Union Pacific Railroad from the east and the Central Pacific coming from the west to form a transcontinental railroad. A golden spike and three other precious metal spikes were driven in a tie that day. They have all been removed - one is lost- 2 are in California and one is in Council Bluffs . The wooden table and bench visible in one of the photos is where the telegraph operator sat. When the trains met he sent the message D-O-N-E.

The park ranger explained the differences in the locomotives- the Jupiter burned wood while 119 burned coal. Their ornate paint jobs were typical of the day not done for tourists as one visitor suggested. In 1869 Promontory was a pop up town but now is is remote and fairly desolate. Feels like the middle of nowhere. After the Lucin Cutoff was laid in 1904 Promontory Summit was no longer necessary.

I saw a movie at the visitor center that explained the vast amount of money spent and the huge amount of workers ( 3,000 Chinese alone!) it took to make this possible. It also explained how uniting the coasts changed the country forever. Buffalo herds were depleted and settlements popped up everywhere.

It was only noon when I left GSNHS so I had plenty of time to drive to Ogden and visit the Union Station Museums. What a terrific idea to have this big 1924 rail station house four different museums. Of course there is a railroad museum but there is also the Utah Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum , the station's permanent art collection, the Browning - Kimball Classic Car Collection, and the John M. Browning Firearms Museum. The Browning family is from Ogden.

Weather is getting nasty due to remnants of hurricane Rosa. Stopped In Provo and will head to Nevada tomorrow.

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