Thousand Mile Tree is a pine tree located in Weber Canyon near the community of Henefer, Utah along the Overland Route of the Union Pacific Railroad. In January 1869, graders of the railroad found a similar tree standing next to the line they were constructing, which by coincidence marked the western progress of exactly one thousand miles of road from Omaha, Nebraska/Council Bluffs, Iowa, the eastern terminusof the First Transcontinental Railroad.
The original Thousand Mile Tree was found standing along the Weber River, adjacent to the under-construction grade of the westbound Union Pacific section of the transcontinental line in what is known as Wilhelmina's Pass, at an elevation of 5,257 feet (1,602 m) above sea level. According to Utah rail historian and writer Don Strack, in his article Eastbound To Wahsatch—Union Pacific's Route Through Weber and Echo Canyons, about one week following 15 January 1869, the “tracks reached the site of a large tree, 90 feet (27 m) tall, that happened to be exactly 1,000 miles from Omaha, and soon a sign was hung from the tree clearly stating that fact.
"The tree was in the middle of a gorge between Henefer in the Upper Weber Valley and Devil’s Slide, a unique geological formation of twin limestone ridges running vertically from the canyon floor. Along with the Thousand Mile Tree, Devil's Slide immediately became a sight to be seen by all passing trains. The gorge just east of Devil’s Slide was named Wilhelmina's Pass and was the subject of several views by Union Pacific’s official photographer A. J. Russell for his stereographic tour of the new line. Although the gorge was changed significantly to accommodate today’s Interstate 84, most early trains stopped to allow passengers to appreciate the landmark, and several excursion trains from Ogden were arranged to see Wilhelmina's Pass, the Thousand Mile Tree, and Devil’s Slide.”
By 1900, the original Thousand Mile Tree had died and it was removed in September of that year. Later modifications to the line reduced the mileage at that point from 1000 miles to 959.66 miles (1,544.42 km), but in 1982, Union Pacific planted a new tree to commemorate the site. This particular tree stands today within a special fenced enclosure along the original transcontinental line, where it has grown to over 30 feet (9.1 m) tall.
In 2016 a drawing of the "Thousand Mile Tree" by Jim Stitt was featured on the label artwork of the 42nd annual "Our Special Ale" brewed by Anchor Brewing.
The Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, often shortened to Rio Grande, D&RG or D&RGW, formerly the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, was an American Class I railroad company. The railroad started as a 3 ft narrow-gauge line running south from Denver, Colorado, in 1870. It served mainly as a transcontinental bridge line between Denver, and Salt Lake City, Utah. The Rio Grande was also a major origin of coal and mineral traffic.
A transcontinental railroad or transcontinental railway is a contiguous network railroad trackage that crosses a continental land mass with terminals at different oceans or continental borders. Such networks can be via the tracks of either a single railroad or over those owned or controlled by multiple railway companies along a continuous route. Although Europe is crisscrossed by railways, the railroads within Europe are usually not considered transcontinental, with the possible exception of the historic Orient Express. Transcontinental railroads helped open up unpopulated interior regions of continents to exploration and settlement that would not otherwise have been feasible. In many cases they also formed the backbones of cross-country passenger and freight transportation networks. Many of them continue to have an important role in freight transportation and some like the Transsiberian Railroad even have passenger trains going from one end to the other.
The Union Pacific Railroad, legally Union Pacific Railroad Company and simply Union Pacific, is a freight-hauling railroad that operates 8,300 locomotives over 32,200 miles (51,800 km) routes in 23 U.S. states west of Chicago and New Orleans. The Union Pacific Railroad system is the second largest in the United States after BNSF and is one of the world's largest transportation companies. The Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of the Union Pacific Corporation, both headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. The president of Union Pacific since 2015 is Lance Fritz.
The Western Pacific Railroad was a Class I railroad in the United States. It was formed in 1903 as an attempt to break the near-monopoly the Southern Pacific Railroad had on rail service into northern California. WP's Feather River Route directly competed with SP's portion of the Overland Route for rail traffic between Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah, and Oakland, California, for nearly 80 years. In 1982, the Western Pacific was acquired by the Union Pacific Corporation and it was soon merged into their Union Pacific Railroad. The Western Pacific was one of the original operators of the California Zephyr.
Interstate 84 (I-84) is an Interstate Highway in the northwestern United States. The highway runs from Portland, Oregon, to a junction with I-80 near Echo, Utah. The sections running through Oregon and Idaho are also known as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway. The highway originally served as a fork of I-80 to serve the Pacific Northwest, and was originally numbered Interstate 80N.
The Kansas Pacific Railway (KP) was a historic railroad company that operated in the western United States in the late 19th century. It was a federally chartered railroad, backed with government land grants. At a time when the first transcontinental railroad was being constructed by the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific, it tried and failed to join the transcontinental ranks. It was originally the "Union Pacific, Eastern Division", although it was completely independent. The Pennsylvania Railroad, working with Missouri financiers, designed it as a feeder line to the transcontinental system. The owners lobbied heavily in Washington for money to build a railroad from Kansas City to Colorado, and then to California. It failed to get funding to go west of Colorado. It operated many of the first long-distance lines in the state of Kansas in the 1870s, extending the national railway network westward across that state and into Colorado. Its main line furnished a principal transportation route that opened up settlement of the central Great Plains, and its link from Kansas City to Denver provided the last link in the coast-to-coast railway network in 1870. The railroad was consolidated with the Union Pacific in 1880, and its mainline continues to be an integral part of the Union Pacific network today.
Echo is a census-designated place located in northwestern Summit County, Utah, United States. The population was 56 at the 2010 census.
The Central Overland Route was a transportation route from Salt Lake City, Utah south of the Great Salt Lake through the mountains of central Nevada to Carson City, Nevada. For a decade after 1859, until the first Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, it served a vital role in the transport of emigrants, mail, freight, and passengers between California, Nevada, and Utah.
The Pacific Telegraph Act of 1860 called for the facilitation of communication between the east and west coasts of the United States of America. Hiram Sibley of the Western Union Telegraph Company won the contract. In 1861, Benjamin Franklin Ficklin joined Hiram Sibley in helping to form the Pacific Telegraph Company of Nebraska. At the same time, Jeptha Wade was asked by Hiram Sibley to consolidate smaller telegraph companies in California. While the Pacific Telegraph Company built west from Omaha, Nebraska, the Overland Telegraph Company of California was thus formed and built east from Carson City, Nevada. With their connection in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 24, 1861, the final link between the east and west coasts of the United States of America was made by telegraph. The First Transcontinental Telegraph lead to the immediate demise of the Pony Express. The Pacific Telegraph Company and the Overland Telegraph Company of California were eventually absorbed into the Western Union Telegraph Company.
The Feather River Route is a rail line that was built and operated by the Western Pacific Railroad. It was constructed between 1906 and 1909, and connects the cities of Oakland, California, and Salt Lake City, Utah. The line was built to compete with the Central Pacific Railroad, which at the time held a nearly complete monopoly on Northern California rail service. The route derives its name from its crossing of the Sierra Nevada, where it follows both the North and Middle Forks of the Feather River. The route is famous for its impressive engineering qualities and its considerable scenic value. All of the route is now owned and operated by the Union Pacific Railroad; however, the Union Pacific has transferred significant portions of the route to other lines. The portion still called the Feather River Route by the Union Pacific runs from the California Central Valley to Winnemucca, Nevada and has been divided into three subdivisions named the Sacramento, Canyon and Winnemucca subdivisions.
Interstate 84 (I-84) is a part of the Interstate Highway System that links Portland, Oregon to I-80 near Echo, Utah. The 119.77-mile-long (192.75 km) segment in the U.S. state of Utah is the shortest of any of the three states the western I-84 passes through, and contains the eastern terminus of the highway. I-84 enters Box Elder County near Snowville before becoming concurrent with I-15 in Tremonton. The concurrent highways travel south through Brigham City and Ogden and separate near the Ogden-Hinckley Airport. Turing east along the Davis County border, I-84 intersects U.S. Route 89 (US-89) and enters Weber Canyon as well as Morgan County. While in Morgan County, I-84 passes the Devil's Gate-Weber Hydroelectric Power Plant and Devil's Slide rock formation. Past Morgan, the highway crosses into Summit County, past the Thousand Mile Tree before reaching its eastern terminus at I-80 near Echo.
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.
The Utah Division of the former Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RGW) is a rail line that connects Grand Junction, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah in the Western United States. It is now incorporated into the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) system as its Green River and Provo Subdivisions, forming a portion of the Denver-Nevada Central Corridor. Daily passenger service is provided by Amtrak's California Zephyr, and the BNSF Railway and Utah Railway have trackage rights over the line.
The Utah Central Railroad was the first railroad in the U.S. state of Utah other than the main line of the First Transcontinental Railroad. Built by Mormons, it connected Salt Lake City to the transcontinental line at Ogden. It has since become part of the Union Pacific Railroad, which operates the line as the Salt Lake Subdivision; FrontRunner commuter rail tracks were added alongside the UP freight line in 2008.
The Overland Route was a train route operated jointly by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad / Southern Pacific Railroad, between Council Bluffs, Iowa / Omaha, Nebraska, and San Francisco, California over the grade of the First Transcontinental Railroad which had been opened on May 10, 1869. Passenger trains that operated over the line included the Overland Flyer, later renamed the Overland Limited, which also included a connection to Chicago. Although these passenger rail trains are no longer in operation, the Overland Route remains a common name for the line from California to Chicago, now owned entirely by the Union Pacific.
Weber Canyon is a canyon in the Wasatch Range near Ogden, Utah, through which the Weber River flows west toward the Great Salt Lake. It is fed by 13 tributary creeks and is 40 miles (64 km) long.
Wahsatch is a ghost town in Summit County, Utah, United States. It lies along I-80 at the northeastern end of Echo Canyon some 23 miles (37 km) east of Echo, and 11 miles (18 km) west of Evanston, Wyoming. Wahsatch was established as a railroad camp, later achieving local prominence in sheep ranching. It was inhabited from 1868 until the 1930s.
The Central Corridor is a rail line operated by the Union Pacific Railroad from near Winnemucca, Nevada to Denver, Colorado in the western United States. The line was created after the merger with the Southern Pacific Transportation Company by combining portions of lines built by former competitors. No portion of the line was originally built by the Union Pacific; in fact, some portions were built specifically to compete with the Union Pacific's Overland Route. The line is known for significant feats of engineering while crossing the Wasatch Mountains of Utah and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The line features numerous tunnels, the longest and highest of these is the Moffat Tunnel.
The Overland Limited was an American named passenger train which for much of its history was jointly operated by three railroads on the Overland Route between San Francisco and Chicago. The Southern Pacific Railroad handled the train west of Ogden, Utah, the Union Pacific Railroad between Ogden and Omaha, Nebraska/Council Bluffs, Iowa, and east of the Missouri River to Chicago it was operated by the Chicago and North Western Railway as well as, for a few years starting in 1905, by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad.
The history of the Union Pacific Railroad stretches from 1862 to the present. For operations of the current railroad, see Union Pacific Railroad; for the holding company that owns the current railroad, see Union Pacific Corporation.
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