Union Pacific's Big Red Express to Connect the Railroad and University of Nebraska Coaches with Communities
A 14-car special passenger train will make whistle stops in Columbus, Grand Island, Kearney and North Platte on June 28
Omaha, Neb., May 05, 2014
Union Pacific Railroad will operate a special passenger train from Omaha to North Platte, Neb., with whistle stops in Columbus, Grand Island and Kearney, on Saturday, June 28, to celebrate the historical connection between the railroad and University of Nebraska with Nebraska communities.
"Union Pacific is a 152-year-old company with its roots in Nebraska. We are proud to support another legacy of Nebraska by operating our historic Heritage passenger equipment for the Big Red Express from Omaha -- home of our headquarters -- to North Platte -- home of the world's largest classification rail yard. The Express will host Big Red coaches and University personnel and demonstrates our pride and commitment to communities across the state of Nebraska, including the four whistle stops and others, where 8,000 of our employees live and work every day," said Donna Kush, Union Pacific's vice president - Public Affairs, Northern Region.
Union Pacific's main line track was constructed through Columbus, Grand Island and Kearney in 1866, with the main line reaching North Platte in 1867. Each of these communities evolved as a town because of their connection to the railroad, which provided a mode of transportation for people and commerce.
Whistle-stop tours were popular in the 19th century when long distance travel by passenger train was the norm. At each stop, speeches would be given from the train.
"Historically, a whistle-stop tour brought Presidents to cities where they could communicate directly with the people they served," said Nebraska's Associate Athletic Director Paul Meyers. "That's exactly what we're doing, but we're not selling ideas; we're just meeting people and thanking them for all the support they've shown to the University of Nebraska Athletics, year after year and decade after decade," said Meyers. "Union Pacific is a corporation that has helped us maintain our tradition, and we thought it was a great idea to ride their tradition to help support our own."
During the whistle stops of the Big Red Express, there will be a few short speeches, a proclamation presented to each city, and coaches representing the Huskers' 24 varsity sports will mingle throughout the crowd thanking the fans that support UNL athletic programs. UP and Nebraska Athletics will collaborate with the IMG Husker Sports Network and local affiliates on each stop.
A detailed Big Red Express schedule, including whistle stop times, will be available in the coming weeks and posted in the Big Red Express media kit.
About Union Pacific
Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP). One of America's most recognized companies, Union Pacific Railroad connects 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail, providing a critical link in the global supply chain. From 2004-2013, Union Pacific invested approximately $30 billion in its network and operations to support America's transportation infrastructure. The railroad's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers, operates 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 provides value to its roughly 10,000 customers by delivering products in a safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible manner.
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