Bellevue, Neb., Awarded Membership in Union Pacific's Train Town USA Registry
Omaha, Neb., December 19, 2012 Bellevue, Neb., has been awarded a membership in Union Pacific's Train Town USA Registry as part of the railroad's year-long 150th anniversary celebration.
Bellevue received an official Train Town USA resolution signed by Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young, and Bellevue's historical connection with Union Pacific will be featured at www.up150.com.
"We are proud to recognize Bellevue as we commemorate our railroad's sesquicentennial celebration and growing up together," said Brenda Mainwaring, Union Pacific director - Public Affairs for Nebraska and Iowa. "Union Pacific has been part of the country's fabric throughout the railroad's 150-year history. That bond between us and the nearly 7,300 communities we serve continues to strengthen.
"Our shared heritage with Bellevue is a source of pride as we remember our past while serving and connecting our nation for years to come."
Bellevue, the oldest continuous settlement in Nebraska's association with Union Pacific Railroad, was born out of the pursuit to connect this nation via rail travel from sea to shining sea through the Transcontinental Railroad. When it came time to connect Union Pacific's mainline with the eastern route across the Missouri River, the crossing at Child's Mill in Bellevue, eight miles to the east of Omaha, served as a viable contender.
Land surveys initiated by Peter A. Dey, financier Thomas C. Durant's chief engineer, selected two locations specifically around Omaha and Bellevue. Though a few miles longer, Dey preferred the Bellevue location of the two sites due to the grade elevation being much more favorable to railroad building. Supporting Dey's decision, Bellevue's mayor David Leach wrote to him on December 21, 1863, offering "2,500 city lots in the city of Bellevue; 2,500 acres of land adjoining said city," for the proposed project.
This was followed by considerable discussion and deliberation by the champions of Union Pacific, Durant, executive Grenville Dodge and engineer James H. Simpson, to decide where the bridge that would eventually serve to connect the country would be built. While the strong arguments from surveyors supported the construction of the bridge in Bellevue, rather than proposed locations to the north, Omaha's bid of $250,000 was much higher than Bellevue could match and so ended the prospects to have the Union Pacific Railroad cross the Missouri River at Bellevue.
The main line through Bellevue was constructed by the Omaha Southern Railway – a subsidiary of the Missouri Pacific Railroad – in 1892. Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific merged in 1982.
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, Energy, 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.
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