Union Pacific Firsts

Following are select “firsts” achieved by Union Pacific.

  • Union Pacific laid its first rail July 10, 1865, near Omaha, Neb.
  • The nation's first streamliner locomotive, the M-10000, was delivered to Union Pacific in 1934. It was the first lightweight, articulated, diesel passenger train set and established a speed record for transcontinental travel.
  • In 1936, Union Pacific invented the ski chair lift used at Sun Valley Ski Resort in Idaho.
  • Union Pacific was the first railroad to carry the Olympic flame on a rail car as part of the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay for the Atlanta Summer Games. UP also carried the flame as part of the 2002 Olympic Torch Relay for the Salt Lake City Winter Games.
  • Urged by employee sentiment, Union Pacific added the American flag to its locomotive paint scheme in the weeks following 9/11 and today remains the only railroad to do so.
  • Union Pacific pioneered Genset technology in 1996 and rolled out the industry's prototype in 2005. Compared to conventional diesel locomotives, ultra-low emissions Genset yard switching locomotives reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 37 percent, nitrous oxide emissions by up to 80 percent and particulate matter by up to 90 percent. With 165 Gensets, Union Pacific has the largest fleet in the world.
  • Union Pacific operates the industry's only ultrasonic wheel crack detection facility. Located at the company's North Platte, Neb., rail yard, the ultrasonic wheel crack detection technology identifies rail car wheel defects invisible to the human eye, making the railroad safer for employees and the communities through which the trains travel.