OMAHA, Neb., October 10, 2016 – Union Pacific will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the railroad reaching Cozad, Nebraska, at a community celebration on Friday, Oct. 14. The event includes a display of Union Pacific’s historic No. 844 steam locomotive, which will serve as the backdrop for a commemorative shadow box presentation from the railroad to Mayor Nancy Meyer.
Cozad and Union Pacific have intertwined histories: by crossing the 100th meridian line — an invisible, yet critical geographic marker — near Cozad on Oct. 6, 1866, Union Pacific was guaranteed the right to continue westward construction, as stipulated in the Pacific Railway Act of 1862. This milestone meant Union Pacific could proceed west to meet the Central Pacific Railroad, and in the process continue to receive land grants on either side of the tracks and a per-mile subsidy loaned to them by the U.S. government. Its significance is marked with a 100th meridian sign that still stands today. Union Pacific continues to operate in Cozad, hauling the raw and finished goods Americans use daily.
“Union Pacific is proud to serve the mission given to us by our founding father, President Abraham Lincoln – to connect and support this country and the communities, like Cozad, that define it,” said Kelli O’Brien, director-Public Affairs. “The shadow box presentation and steam locomotive display dually commemorate our shared past and vibrant future together.”
Steam locomotive No. 844’s stop in Cozad is part of a multi-state journey. It is scheduled to arrive at 9:15 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, at Meridian and Highway 30. Following remarks from Union Pacific and community leaders, the locomotive will depart at 9:45 a.m. to continue its trek east, which includes brief stops on Saturday in Gibbon, Belvidere and Fairbury, Nebraska. A complete schedule of 844’s journey, subject to change to the dynamic nature of train operations, is available at http://www.up.com/aboutup/special_trains/steam/details.shtml.
Details about No. 844’s restoration are available in a series of blog posts and videos available via the InsideTrack section of Union Pacific’s website at http://www.up.com/aboutup/community/inside_track/heritage/index.htm.