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Union Pacific Railroad Employees Carry On Omaha Holiday Tradition

40-Foot Colorado Blue Spruce is Holiday Centerpiece in The Durham Museum’s Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall

Omaha's Christmas Tree


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    Union Pacific Railroad employees harvest Omaha’s official Christmas tree.

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    Omaha’s official Christmas tree passes Union Pacific Center on its way to The Durham Museum.

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Omaha, Neb., November 12, 2012 – Union Pacific Railroad employees today cut and transported a 40-foot Colorado Blue Spruce from the home of Donald and Phyllis Norskov in Omaha, Neb., to The Durham Museum.

"This is our 21st year to harvest the tree locally and Union Pacific employees look forward to helping bring this holiday symbol to the former Union Station each year, just like their fellow employees did so many years ago," said Brenda Mainwaring, Union Pacific Railroad director – Public Affairs for Nebraska and Iowa. "The expressions on the faces of young and old alike when they first walk into the museum great hall and see the decorated tree for the first time are priceless."

Union Pacific began the tradition more than 75 years ago by cutting a Christmas tree from along its right of way in the Pacific Northwest and transporting it to Omaha's Union Station. The tree greeted the thousands of passengers arriving on trains during the holiday season in the heyday of passenger rail service.

After this year's tree is placed in The Durham's massive, art-deco-patterned, terrazzo-floored main great hall by Union Pacific employees, it will be sprayed with a chemical fire retardant prior to being decorated by volunteers as well as employees from Mangelsen's, an Omaha-area craft store.

The fully decorated tree will be ready for the lighting ceremony which begins at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23.

About the Tree

When Donald and Phyllis Norskov purchased their home in 1990, the tree was only two feet tall. Donald believes the previous owner planted the tree in 1988 or 1989. The Norskovs offered the tree to the museum two years ago, but it wasn't quite large enough. Now, two years later, the 40-foot Colorado Blue Spruce is ready to be a part of the Christmas at Union Station festivities. 

About The Durham Museum

The Durham Museum, making its home in Omaha's beautiful art deco Union Station, is home to permanent exhibits that preserve Omaha's vibrant history, traveling exhibits covering subjects ranging from history and culture, to science and industry, and many entertaining, educational, family-oriented activities. The Durham Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and has strong ties with the Library of Congress, National Archives and the Field Museum. Admission is free for members and children ages 2 and under; $8 for adults; $6 for seniors; and $5 for children ages 3-12. For information about The Durham Museum, please visit the museum's website at

About Union Pacific

It was 150 years ago that Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. One of America's iconic companies, today, Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain. From 2000 through 2011, Union Pacific spent more than $31 billion on its network and operations, making needed investments in America's infrastructure and enhancing its ability to provide safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and emphasizes excellent customer service. Union Pacific operates competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.

Union Pacific media contact: Mark Davis, 402-544-5459 or

The Durham Museum media contact: Shawna Forsberg,  (402) 444-5071 ext. 560 or

The statements and information contained in the news releases provided by Union Pacific speak only as of the date issued. Such information by its nature may become outdated, and investors should not assume that the statements and information contained in Union Pacific's news releases remain current after the date issued. Union Pacific makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update any of this information.