Union Pacific 150th Anniversary Fast Facts

  • Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific.
  • With Union Pacific building west and Central Pacific laying track to the east, the two railroads met May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah, completing America’s first transcontinental railroad.
  • Union Pacific started trading on the New York Stock Exchange September 15, 1870, under the ticker symbol UNP.
  • The company has paid dividends on its common stock every year since 1899.
  • Union Pacific’s deep-rooted sense of patriotism is why the company’s iconic shield logo was designed to resemble the American flag.
  • Union Pacific and Southern Pacific co-founded the Pacific Fruit Express in 1906, ultimately making it possible for west coast produce to be delivered across the country and creating California’s agricultural economy.
  • The Union Pacific Foundation, which dates back to 1959, supports approximately 700 organizations across Union Pacific’s territory.
  • The Union Pacific Railroad Museum has had more than 200,000 visitors since opening in 2003.
  • Union Pacific’s “Great Big Rollin’ Railroad” ringtone has been downloaded more than 100,000 times since being introduced in 2008.
  • In the 1870s, steam locomotives could travel 25 miles between water stops. Today, Union Pacific can move one ton of freight nearly 500 miles on a single gallon of diesel fuel, the equivalent of a standard mid-sized car getting 200 mpg.
  • Union Pacific has created 14 commemorative locomotives in its history, with the most recent ones unveiled in 2010. They were the UP No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America locomotive in honor of 100 years of scouting, and the UP No. 7400 Pink Ribbon locomotive to commemorate the company’s support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
  • More than 20 percent of Union Pacific’s current employees are military veterans.
  • More than 1,000 railroads, short lines and branch lines comprise the modern Union Pacific. Many of these were small, independent operations that joined larger organizations, which subsequently became part of the Union Pacific railroad family.
  • More than 300 books have been published about Union Pacific, many including research done in Union Pacific’s vast collection of archives and photographs housed at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum located in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
  • Today, Union Pacific is part of 7,300 communities, many of which were settled as a result of their proximity to the railroad.