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Golden Spike 150th Anniversary, May 10, 2019 By Carl Morrison,

Golden Spike 150th Anniversary

"Spike 150" is Utah's celebration of the 150-year anniversary of the Golden Spike.

May 10, 2019

Report by Carl Morrison -




An Amtrak/automobile trip from Fullerton, California, to the Golden Spike National Historical Park, Utah.

For the
150th Anniversary of the joining of the rails at Promontory Summit on May 10, 1869

Photos and Text by Carl Morrison,


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Sections to this report for

Click the Section you want to see/read in order of your interest or follow below in chronological order.

I.  Travel to the Celebration via Amtrak Coast Starlight Train 14 and Amtrak California Zephyr Train 6, May 6 to May 10, 2019

II.  Pre-Celebration Events -  Golden Spike National Historical Park, May 9, 2019

III.  May 10, 2019 150th Anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike.

IV.  May 11, 2019  Ogden Station - Union Pacific locomotives 4014 and 844 in static display with Spike 150 Festival photos in the station and on 25th Street

Travel back to Fullerton, California on Amtrak California Zephyr Train 5 and  Amtrak Coast Starlight Train 11 May 12 - 13, 2019.

VI.  Standard-Examiner newspaper coverage of the 150th Anniversary events.

VII.  The best, brief history of the Jupiter and No. 119 was this LGB model booklet.

VIII.  Monochrome photographs of 1896 period actors and locomotives.


Travel to the Celebration via Amtrak Coast Starlight Train 14 and Amtrak California Zephyr Train 6, May 6 to May 10, 2019

With a ticket for a Bedroom on the Coast Starlight No. 14, then on the California Zephyr No. 6 to Salt Lake City, I took Amtrak Surfliner No. 763 Business Class (included in ticket) from my home station, Fullerton, to Los Angeles Union Station. There I received a nice electric cart ride, including luggage, to the Amtrak Lounge to await a trip back to the platform to board the Coast Starlight No. 14The Lounge in LA is a nice place to spend a few minutes with restrooms, coffee, juice, muffins, and soft drinks.

Goodbye LaLa Land.  Coast Starlight  leaving Los Angeles Union Station May 6, 2019.

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Peter, the 1430 Car Attendant for this segment to Emeryville.

Peter is from San Diego and has worked for Amtrak about 2 years.  He has learned to be a coach car attendant, sleeping car attendant, and Surfliner Business Car attendant.  He is on the Extra Board and works any of these positions that are opened.  He says that Diner car attendants make the most income in a year since all the train employees make the same hourly rate, the tips are very good in the diner.  He also likes the diner because you get the most sleep on that job.  Otherwise, the coach attendants have the least beds to make!

Once onboard, before the train leaves, I like to show you some of the cars on a standard Amtrak long-distance train.  I was in the 3rd sleeper, next one back was the diner, then Business Class (A guaranteed seat and perhaps quieter), then Sightseer/Lounge with Cafe downstairs, then 3 coaches.

Diner, set up for Lunch starting at 11:30, before Santa Barbara. 
Monica was the Dining Car Steward and gave me my reservation for lunch and dinner in my room before Bob Hope Airport.

Business Class

Half of the Sightseer/Lounge top deck is tables.

The other half are the outward facing seats, with a nice Asian couple ready for the ride.  The Café is on the lower level of this car.

Finally, 3 coaches bring up the end of the Coast Starlight.

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While walking back through the Diner, I made copies of the multi-page menu (Which was the same on the California Zephyr.)
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This poster was in one of the sleeper cars.

Back in my room, I set up my Command Center.  If you have more than one electrical device, take a power bar.  One Outlet in Roomettes, three in Bedrooms.

Bob Hope Airport Train Station

There is now a pedestrian walkway all the way from the airport to a new parking garage next to the train station.


Bob Hope Airport is the closest commercial airport to an Amtrak Station that I know of.  The best airport to LA

This is what you do on the train when you are bored.

See any bullet holes?  This is where they shot many Western Movies

Lots of food products harvested in California.

Uncrowded Refugio Beach north of Santa Barbara.

Bluffs above the ocean are just out your train window

Since the track goes around/west of Vandenburg AFB, this is unmolested California coast, only visible to train passengers.

Each peninsula has a little different character.



Former Lifesaving Station.  When Queen Elizabeth visited the Reagan Ranch nearby, she came ashore at this point.

Nearing Point Conception where the northbound Mexican Current meets the southbound Alaskan Current.

Some outcroppings could use names, I'd call this one Scotty Dog.

Just when you think you've rounded the last peninsula, there is another one in the distance.  We may have cut inland before that far one.

Not much fresh water entering the ocean at this point.

Very large assembly building in Vandenburg, like the one at Cape Canaveral, may now be part of Space X.

Space Shuttle landing strip in Vandenburg was never used to land a space shuttle to my knowledge.

A launch pad

We eventually turn inland, away from the ocean, past wild mustard plants.

We start seeing "America's Salad Bowl"

New farm implements allow picking up to 12 rows of crops, and the conveyor belt takes them to center, they are boxed and stacked on a truck bed for shipment.

The world is losing so much flat farm land to housing that farm land is becoming scarce, perhaps leading to a future world food shortage.

Next stop, San Luis Obispo, then Questa Grade, the last section of railroad tunnels to connect northern and southern California by train.

Crew change allows time for passengers to stretch and take in some fresh air.


The Old Town Historic District abuts the train station.

A peek inside the SLO Station.


A horseshoe curve above SLO allows for a photo of the front and back of your train. (Sorry about the brown tint on the Surfliner windows.)

Mens Colony (prison) whose most notable guest was car maker DeLoreon

We crossed this bridge approaching the horseshoe curve.  Avocado trees beyond.


California Oak tree

Graffiti adorns freight cars nation wide, some is pretty good.

Miles of sloughs with Eucalyptus trees.

Oakland Amtrak Station is a night stop.

Emeryville Amtrak Station to Salt Lake City.

Lead locomotive to Salt Lake City.

Richmond, California Amtrak Station is adjacent to the BART Station

Along this bay view section was when I noticed that we had 3 private cars with us.


Thought this grounded tug boat might make an interesting art photograph.



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C&H, California and Hawaii, Sugar Mill

Martinez Amtrak Station

The Conductor, Tom Jones, to Reno was very congenial and didn't mind my asking questions,  He is a 26-year veteran on Amtrak.  He knew all about the three private cars on the back and said Sacramento would be a good place to get photos of them.

North of Martinez, California, had been a very large mothball fleet, but is now reduced to fewer than 10 ships from what I could see.

Next stop, Davis.

Use a burst of photos to get a good image on the bridge entering Sacramento, since the steel versicle structures are very close together.

The California State Railway Museum is adjacent to the tracks and within walking distance from the Amtrak Station.

External photos of the 3 private cars of the Trains magazine excursion to Promontory, Utah.  This was a former American Orient Express, then Grande Luxe car, Berlin.

This was the Milwaukee Road car, Super Dome.

The Pacific Union

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The Pacific Union carried the Trains magazine drum head.

Union Pacific yards.


These rotaries got some use in the snow last winter.

Driver less trains preceded driverless cars.

California Zephyr lunch friends, traveling from Berkley to Denver, then on to Golden for grandson's graduation.  Also at our table was a fellow from Illinois.  On may 1 he traveled from LA to Seattle, now going from Emeryville to Princeton, Illinois.


Some majestic scenery from my California Zephyr window (right/south side).

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Water high and low, from snow melt.


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Looks like every Amtrak Station has one or more of this style of sign now.  Evidently one of the private cars had these guys assigned to take photos at various places along their route.  I saw the same guys and truck many times.


On the south side of the train, going downhill from Truckee to Reno, along the Truckee river, there are many former railroad bridges, abandoned or turned into trails.


This "upside down" bridge was for a second track down the hill to Reno.

This was a system for diverting some of the Truckee's water into a water chute that ran very far along the hillside.IMG_8655.jpg
Nice looking horses grazing along the Truckee River.  Not wild Mustangs that I saw east of Reno.

Some very nice properties facing the Truckee and tracks.

Very large barn, still in use as an implement shed, but perhaps livestock judging for the fencing on the left.

However, this lodge and accompanying rooms has been vacant for years.

The Truckee runs between this building and the houses beyond.

An unused barn that is still good structurally, the roof is the first to go, then it falls in.  Siding could use some help, but solid otherwise.

The tracks do into a trench in Reno so all street traffic goes over the trains.  Therefore, this is all one can see from the train of downtown Reno hotels and casinos.

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Below downtown Reno.

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Our lead locomotive and view east toward Sparks, Nevada.

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Conductor Tom Jones unloading bags at the Reno Station, the end of his eastbound run.  Tom is an informative Conductor/Railfan.

Back to the Sections Listing

May 8, 2019, Ogden Union Station

By Carl Morrison,

Since Ogden is only about a 40 minute drive north on I-15 from Salt Lake City, I decided to go there and back on the day I rented a car in SLC.

The south gate to this outdoor area of the Ogden Station was open, so it was easily accessible from where I parked.  I especially liked the 833 as well as other, more modern Union Pacific Locomotives.

Union Pacific No. 833 at Ogden Union Station



This 1939 "Northern" No. 833 could go 110 mph pulling passengers, freight, express, or mail.

(Click any photo with a blue border, as above, for a much larger copy.)

It is hard not to take many photos of such a magnificent piece of railroad history. Those drive wheels are over 6 ft. tall.


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1961 "Big Blow" Turbine/Electric (Only other one on display is at the Illinoid Raiway Museum.)


Murals inside the station's large waiting room.

On the north side of the museum is this No. 4436 which was open for climbing.


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You could buy a "Golden Spike" for only $17

Promontory May 9, 2019, the day before the Golden Spike Ceremony

By Carl Morrison,

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First "sign" that I was getting near Golden Spike National Historical Park.


Friends had said that it was in the middle of nowhere, and it is.

This is the kind of sign that I expect at a National Park Service.


Must be a new sign because I learned it just moved to "Park" from "Site" before this celebration.

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As you can see, on a "normal" day, one can be near the locomotives without much distracting background.


On the north side of the locomotives, you can get back far enough, and without people, take a panorama shot.


I was pleasantly surprised to see the final dress rehearsal of the excellent song and dance program that would happen tomorrow.

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Nino Reyos was an actor standing by for his cue.  We talked a bit and I agreed to send him some photos.  Find out more about Nino at and
Listen to some of his music.


Several actresses had their families on set.

Several staff were in period dress, as they probably always are when at work. Several of these made for good black and white photos.

They were doing the final rehearsal of the song and dance show to be in the program tomorrow.


They did the old "they arrived by ships on the sea" skit.



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They had two of these live screens set up on both sides of the live stage so all could see what was being presented.

Nino Reyos in action, more about him later in this report.


Even the steam engines had a part when the last spike was driven in the production, they set off bells and steam whistles.

Boxing up the life sized sculpture by Michael Coleman which would be revealed tomorrow.

Since the actors were in period costumes, this made for a good panorama, perhaps in black and white.

Plaques around the park gave historic information.




Not the "Champagne Toast" seen in most photographs.




This telegraph line was actually the second transcontinental telegraph line.

After the development of efficient telegraph systems in the 1830s, their use saw almost explosive growth in the 1840s. Samuel Morse's first experimental line between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore – the Baltimore-Washington telegraph line – was demonstrated on May 24, 1844. By 1850 there were lines covering most of the eastern states, and a separate network of lines was soon constructed in the booming economy of California.

California was admitted to the United States in 1850, the first state on the Pacific coast. Major efforts ensued to integrate California with the other states, including sea, overland mail pioneered by George Chorpenning, the Pony Express, and passenger services such as Butterfield Overland Mail. Proposals for the subsidy of a telegraph line to California were made in Congress throughout the 1850s, and in 1860 the U.S. Post Office was authorized to spend $40,000 per year to build and maintain an overland line. The year before, the California State Legislature had authorized a similar subsidy of $6,000 per year.

Construction of the first transcontinental telegraph was the work of Western Union, which Hiram Sibley and Ezra Cornell had established in 1856 by merging companies operating east of the Mississippi River.  A second significant step was the passing of the Telegraph Act by the Congress in 1860, which authorized the government to open bids for the construction of a telegraph line between Missouri and California and regulated the service to be provided. Eventually, the only bidder would be Sibley, because all competitors—Theodore Adams, Benjamin Ficklin and John Harmon—withdrew at the last minute. Later they joined Sibley in his effort.

Similar to the First Transcontinental Railroad, elimination of the gap in the telegraph service between Fort Kearny in Nebraska and Fort Churchill in Nevada was planned to be divided between teams that would be advancing the construction in opposite directions. The Pacific Telegraph Company would build west from Nebraska and the Overland Telegraph Company would build east from Nevada's connection to the California system.  James Gamble, an experienced telegraph builder in California, was put in charge of the western crew, and Edward Creighton was responsible for the eastern crew. From Salt Lake City, a crew in charge of James Street advanced westward, and W.H. Stebbins’s grew eastward toward Fort Kearny. Creighton’s crew erected its first pole on 4 July 1861. When the project was completed in October 1861, they had planted 27,500 poles holding 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of single-strand iron wire over a terrain that was not always inviting.  California Chief Justice Stephen Field sent one of the first messages from San Francisco to Abraham Lincoln, using the occasion to assure the president of California's allegiance to the Union. Note that the construction took place while Civil War fighting was taking place to the southeast. The entire cost of the system was half a million dollars.

Route of the first transcontinental telegraph Operation

Double-click this map for a very large version.

Difficulties did not stop with the completion of the project. Keeping it in operation faced multiple problems: (a) inclement weather in the form of lightning bolts, strong winds and heavy snow damaged both poles and the wire; (b) rubbing on the poles by bison from time to time sent down sections of the telegraph, eventually contributing to their demise; (c) the system had to be rerouted through Chicago to avoid Confederate attempts to cut the line in Missouri to disrupt communications among Union forces; (d) Native Americans soon started to do the same further west as part of their hostilities with the Army.[9]

Financially, the First Transcontinental Telegraph was a big success from the beginning. The charge during the first week of operation was a dollar a word, which was higher than the 30 cents specified by the Telegraph Act of 1860.[8]

The telegraph line immediately made the Pony Express obsolete, which officially ceased operations two days later. The overland telegraph line was operated until 1869, when it was replaced by a multi-line telegraph that had been constructed alongside the route of the First Transcontinental Railroad.










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 Commemorative Stamps, pens, and prints were available in adjoining booths to the visitor's center.

I walked out onto the "Food Trucks and Beer Garden" area to find them finishing setting up this wonderful Spike 150 "Faces from the Past" historical  photographic display of perhaps 10 ft. tall reproduced photographs.  I tried to copy the best I could, the panels that interested me and the descriptions.  Remember to click any photograph with a blue border to get a 1024 pixel wide image.

(Any photo with a blue border, like the one below, can be clicked for a larger copy.  Then click BACK in your browser to return to this page)

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Right side of historic "East and West Shaking Hands" photo


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I left this image of Union Pacific track layers circa. 1866-68 large so you can see how it had been enhanced for a post card.

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Driving of the Last Spike ceremony, May 10 1869, Andrew J. Russell, photographer.  From Utah State Historical Society.
(Note the difference from other images of the same day.)

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Enlarge the left photo above and notice the entire lack of motor vehicles, yet the town would look the same when automobiles and trucks would arrive. 
What 1855 business do you believe became gasoline stations?


another different photograph from May 10, 1869.  Notice also the parallel track.  Both companies, not having direct instructions from Congress, built 200+ miles of track past the connecting point.


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For me, this had been a wonderful education, thank you to Spike 150s reproducing these photographs.

Notice how authentic these Shoshone Village tee pees look compared to the 150 year old ones in the photograph above.

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These "Hell on Wheels" encampment adjacent to the large photographs had authentic covered wagons, tents, and storefronts as well.


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These two "camps" were authentic as could be.  Many who occupied these had been on a wagon train in previous weeks.  I don't believe the "Railroad Workers Camp" was anything this nice, nor the "Hell on Wheels" camp in comparison to vintage photographs.

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Susy Epperson,, was "on duty" even on this day prior to the big event, explaining that "Hell on Wheels" was the name of the camps that followed the train track layers proving goods and services to the railroad workers.  She had been on the wagon train earlier.

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I was impressed with this matched mule team 4-hitch pulling a covered wagon, with threatening rain clouds in the distance.

Didn't know if you saw this young wagoneer peeking out in the previous photo.

Both locomotives did some runs west of tomorrows ceremonial meeting spot before returning to the train barn for the night.

The Jupiter looked colorful whistling for the park entry road crossing against the threatening clouds and heading for the barn for the night.

Typical view of this Utah high-desert area as I returned eastward along "Golden Spike Drive" and 7200 N. Rd. to exit 365 on I-15.

I meet the owner of the 17- to 20-thousand acre spread around the park, and assume his name began with "M".

Several spots along the road had informative plaques and turnoffs of historical railroad importance.

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Thus ended my photography for this day, May 9, 2019, the day before the 150th Celebration of the driving of the golden spike at Promontory,Utah.

Back to the Sections Listing  or continue to May 10, 2019 150th Celebration of the driving of the golden spike.

150th Anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike, May 10, 2019

By Carl Morrison,

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May 10, 2019, the 150th Anniversary of the driving of the golden spike at Promontory, Utah, by the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads, began at 5:00 a.m. for me.  From my motel in Brigham City, it was a 38 minute drive from the I-15 Exit 365 to Golden Spike Historic Park.  My media credentials qualified me for a 6:30 a.m. entry to the park before the 7 a.m. opening for the general public.  As it turned out, I was in the park and parked at 6:28.  As forewarned, all cars and buses needed a parking ticket (or media pass) to get through 3 checkpoints on the way.  At those points, I did see some cars turned away.

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My rear view mirror showed many pre-dawn drivers headed for the same desolate place.  Flags lined the entry road once the historic area was in sight.

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ADA parking was available, but the terrain was not easy to navigate on this day with 15,000 vehicles and 80 buses expected.  (I later saw these two courageous ladies and took their cell phone camera behind the locomotives and took some photos for them.)  "Hell on Wheels" encampment members were out at sunrise splitting wood for campfires and making coffee.

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It has frosted here during the night, but was in the 40s at sunrise.

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The "Hell on Wheels" village (which followed the track builders to provide services to the workers) was still silent, as well as the Indian tee pees.

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Silent also were the covered wagon roundup and Marshfield U.S. Mail Stagecoach

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The volunteers at the Media Check in were the happiest folks I've ever seen at 6:30 am, probably glad the years of planning are finally over.


ADA Parking was on the left, Media Check in was at "No Access" (except media and volunteers), I spent most of the day at the bottom right corner of the Train Stage.

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Local families, dressed in timely apparel, and KSL TV station personnel were recording promo runs announcing film at 11:30.

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Several "serious" fellow photographers were asking where the "Champagne Toast" would take place.
They may have worked for big name news agencies, but none had more fun than myself for!
(If someone knows the reporter/photographer in the middle, let me know.)


Since I knew from the previous evening where the locomotives were stored, a few minutes before the 8:15  "Arrival of locomotives Jupiter and No. 119"  I walked east down the adjacent track to get some photos with uncluttered background.  The poles are simulated telegraph poles.


To make the alignment work, the Jupiter had to back in from the east to be set looking east for the photos.  I thought the young boy was timely standing by himself, without a parent pushing him up front, looking like Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn watching a mid 1800s locomotive.


It was amazing how quiet the locomotive was when it was coasting on level ground. I don't think the cars entering the general parking area made it in time for the meeting of the locomotives.


Soon the No. 119 came by under power with steam whistle blowing.



My press pass allowed me to go behind the locomotives, on the shade side, to take photos.  This is where I used the ADA wheelchair lady's iPhone for some photos for her.


Again, I took 3 photos with my DSLR and Lightroom stitched the 3 together without blurring any of the 8 people who were moving in the photo.




There were an estimated 20,000 people there, this was part of them and others sat on each side and watched on large screens.  80 buses plus cars eventually arrived.


Nino Reyos of  I had talked with Nino while he was awaiting his cue in the dress rehearsal the previous day.

Nino Reyos- Ute / Pueblo, an enrolled member of the Pueblo Tribe,  is a Native American Music Award Nominee and a current Grammy Voting Member.  His flute music has been heard on KRCL radio in Salt Lake City, Rez Radio in Fort Duchesne, Utah an through out the Country.  He can provide solo school, flute, dance, and educational workshops along with organizing large groups of Native American dancers for a wide variety of events. Nino is an accomplished flute maker, and Veteran of the United States Military. He has spoke at numerous schools and provided Native American presentations to tens of thousands of students.   Listen to some of his music.



Naoma Tate was the sponsor of the bronze "Distant Thunder"



Ms. Tate, Sculptor Michael Coleman and grand child.

Coleman is a Provo, Utah native.  He used to ride his bike near Utah Lake where he would watch and sketch the bison.  "The first painting I ever sold was a herd of bison."  "Distant Thunder" took nearly a year to create.  The 12-foot-long sculpture started as a 12-inch clay "mockette" used to create a 3-D foam form.  The form was covered with 600 pounds of clay and then cast using "lost wax" method by expert metal finisher Ed Conder of Quality Metal Works in Lehi Utah.  Called bi"Distant Thunder" in recognition of the ground-shaking sounds made by both a herd of galloping bison and the "iron Horse" locomotives that rumbled across the high desert terrain of the Utah Territory.


Ceremony on Main Stage


Reenactment of Champagne Toast of May 10, 1869
with Spike 150 Commission and dignitaries.


Champagne Toast


Chinese Lion Dance for Good Luck and Happiness


Spike 150 Children's Chorus

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Remarks by Connie Young Yu and Superintendent of Golden Spike National Historical Park, Leslie Crossland.

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Welcome - U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Native American Prayer and Blessing - Rios Pacheco


Front row of VIP Section.  You might recognize Mitt Romney second from right.

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Remarks by Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert and Congressman Rob Bishop Unveiling of new Golden Spike National Historical Park sign.


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Unveiling and Driving of the Utah Copper Spike by Governor Herbert and Leader of the Mormon Church.

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Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and by Union Pacific President Lance Fritz

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Wreath-Laying Ceremony


Keynote speech by Jon Meacham.


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Golden Spike Association Historical Reenactment

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Telegraph message across the country, "DONE"       -.. --- -. .


Fireworks and flyover, ended my participation.

May 11, 2019  Ogden Station - Union Pacific locomotives 4014 and 844 in static display with Spike 150 Festival photos in the station and on 25th Street

Parked as close to the station as I could get, at the Front Runner station just north.

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 Michael Krebs, from Illinois.  I met Julie King, Executive Director of the National Railroad Hall of Fame at 311 E. Main St. Suite 513, Galesburg, IL  61401 and her card also had her e-mail address:

Live performance put on by National Railroad Hall of Fame, Galesburg, Illinois.

Big Boy No. 4014 and the Living Legend No. 844

No lack of folks who wanted their first or another look at the Big Boy's on display here for 3 days.  Some had chased these guys from Cheyenne or in Echo Canyon.


Union Pacific 844 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Union Pacific 844 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Union Pacific 844 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

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Union Pacific 844 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Union Pacific 4014 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Union Pacific 4014 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Union Pacific 4014 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Union Pacific 4014 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Union Pacific 4014 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Union Pacific 4014 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Me with the Union Pacific 4014 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

A size indicator in a red shirt with the Union Pacific 4014 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Union Pacific 4014 4-8-8-4 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Union Pacific 4014 4-8-8-4 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019.

Union Pacific 4014 4-8-8-4 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Union Pacific 4014 4-8-8-4 at Ogden Union Station, May 11, 2019

Inside Ogden Union Station and 25th Street in Ogden


Robert West, Railroad Illustrator, and his son.  When Robert saw me he said, "We've met!  I never forget a face."  I too remember seeing Robert, perhaps at an AAPCO convention.  Check his work at and his e-mail:

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This young hat maker from Utah picked out 4 hats from the original Champagne Toast photo and recreated them.  He says in the video that he usually charges $650 per hat, but he would sell one of these for $350.  I saw them here priced at $250 and asked him about that.  He said Spike150 bought a bunch of them and had him come out and promote them.  To contact the hat maker, go to, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I spotted "Abe Lincoln" in street clothes and spoke with him a bit, telling him how much I liked his performance.  He said he was sure happy to get out of  "those shoes"!  He also mentioned the hat maker.  Abe had bought a hat by a hat maker in Chicago earlier for $650.  He ordered a new one from the hat maker above and it was going to be made by the same hat maker in Chicago, for $450.  He confirmed he was from Illinois himself.

Lots of people enjoying all the activity inside and outside of Ogden Union Station, on this beautiful day.

Outside Ogden Union Station, I spotted J. Craig Thorpe, another artist I had met in La Plata, Missouri, where we both had art on display at the Silver Rails Gallery there.  His current art commemorating the golden spike anniversary was "Ambassador", above. Craig is signing a purchased print beyond the "Ambassador".  He remembered our meeting as well and mentioned that he is doing a rendering of the Santa Fe Railroad Outlook in La Plata, MO, for Bob Cox, the Amtrak station keeper there. will have the Ambassador prints for sale.

Click Here:

The moving LGB models of the Jupiter and No. 119 caught my eye.  I asked for the catalog in the foreground and found it to be the best brief history available about the Golden Spike Anniversary.  Beautiful photos of the models at:  Ask them for their catalog "Golden Spike Steam Locomotive Set Item: 2900.

Free water was a popular stop on 25th St.  The guy on the left was from Kentucky.

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Many cities have an animal model they have an artist paint and are placed around the town.  I guess a horse is Ogden's mascot.


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The street festival has several vendors of food, but not wanting to eat my lunch on the curb with my feet in the gutter, I chose a permanent establishment - Rovali's Italian Ristorante.  I would highly recommend Rovali's, not only for the food, but the decor and music.

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Did anyone notice that the "champagne toast", above, was flipped in the printing?

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Oh, I had a chicken Parmesan sandwich and a glass of wine.

Just when I thought I couldn't walk back to my car, this fellow showed up with an electric cart for old codgers like me.

It seems any part of I-15 around Salt Lake City affords beautiful scenery.


My Days Inn in Brigham City/Parker at Exit 362 had served me well for 3 nights...a good central location for trips to Promontory and Ogden.

Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah newspaper coverage of the 150th Anniversary events.
with photos by Ben Dorger and Samantha Madar of the same newspaper
Standard-Examiner Web Page:
Standard-Examiner Facebook:

(Remember to click any image with a blue border, as below, to see a readable-sized image.)

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The best, brief history of the Jupiter and No. 119 was this LGB model booklet.  Front above, Back below.


Price and information at:

Historical information within the brochure, copied in black and white for easier readability - remember to click the image for a 1024 pxl sized image:

No. 6
P. 13
Check the details above...the Jupiter was not scheduled to be the CP's show engine on May 10, 1869.
The No. 119 was not expected to be the representative locomotive from the UP on May 10, read above.

An excellent part of this LGB brochure was the centerfold of the entire Transcontinental Railroad's route.  Left above; Right below.



The Golden Pike Historical Park's brochure had this more closeup of their part of the route.

May 12, 2019, Time to head south on Amtrak

First SLC to Emeryville on the California Zephyr then overnight there and, May 14, take the Coast Starlight south to LA and Surfliner on to Fullerton, California and home sweet home.

My accommodations in Salt Lake City were at the Holiday In Express.  Very modern hotel.

This site is 1 block north of the Holiday Inn Express in Salt Lake City.

Two blocks northeast of the Holiday Inn Express in Salt Lake City.

The Salt Lake City street car runs one block east of the Holiday Inn Express.

Since I boarded the California Zephyr westbound in Salt Lake City at 11:30 p.m. this is the first photo I took the next day, east of Reno, Nevada.



Almond processing plant north of Martinez, California.

This mothball fleet in Grizzly Bay, north of Martinez, used to have many, many ships.  Now about 10 are left.


Upon seeing these from the outside only, I used to wonder how many levels of vehicles were inside.  Evidently either 2 for larger vehicles or 3 for shorter vehicles.


There were many, many new cars to be shipped; perhaps unloaded from a ship.


I-680 Bridges across Carquinez Bay.

We crossed the older bridge into Martinez, California.

Railroad bridge across Carquinez Bay.

Looking back at I-680 bridge.

This may have been the ship on which these cars arrived, photo taken last Tuesday May 7 on the way up to Salt Lake City.


This tug, near Lone Tree Point, had better light than when I passed it earlier in the week.

I arrived in Emeryville, California, about 4 pm and my Coast Starlight would not leave until about 9 a.m. the next morning, so I had an unhurried overnight to spend in Emeryville and time to work on the photos for this report.

 I met friendly Station Host, Rodney Wong in the Emeryville Station.  He had a busy time managing the departure of the California Zephyr (from the Oakland Maintenance Facility) and the southbound Coast Starlight from Seattle arriving about the same time.

Some interesting murals trackside in Emeryville.


Sue and I had stayed at the Waterfront Hotel in Oakland the week previous for the California Passenger Rail Summit.  As seen from the Coast Starlight.


Lots of commuter trains in this area.

Even though we had record rain in California last winter, the grass had already turned brown for these feeder cattle so extra feed had to be brought to them.

Much irrigation takes place in this "Salad Bowl" of America

Rivers were nearly dry even in May.

Powered wind blades have replaced smudge pots for frost protection.

The Angus calves were scared by the train north of Paso Robles, but the cows knew there was no danger from this noisy thing.

North of San Luis Obispo Highway 101 takes a steeper grade than our train coming down to SLO.

I wanted a lone California Oak photo.

I liked the "S" shape of that road.

Some curves down Questa Grade above San Luis Obispo are sharp enough to catch a glimpse of the locomotive.

As well as the coaches bringing up the rear of the train.


We again see the trestle below the horseshoe curve.

In San Luis Obispo, I believe this is the train that was to take Coast Starlight travelers on to stations south of LA.  However, it had to have a different engine swapped in, so we were delayed in LA about 40 minutes.

"A long row to hoe" in the "Salad Bowl of America."

The "yet-to-be-used" space shuttle landing strip at Vandenburg AFB.

Very large Vehicle Assembly Building in Vandenburg.

SpaceX building

"Largest garage door in America."

Old Highway bridge, now unused, on which I have walked before.  Hwy. 101 beyond.

Refugio Beach.  Up the valley to the left was Ronald Reagan's ranch.

Thus ends my report on returning from Salt Lake City to Fullerton, California.

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Some of the locomotives and period-dressed folks made some nice monochromes.

May 9, 2019

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May 10, 2019


"Hell on Wheels" morning fire.






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Educational Resources:

Golden Spike National Historical Park, (
(This site has the sharpest photo of the original champagne toast)

Promontory Summit, Box Elder County, Utah, United States.

    Latitude: 41.62653  Longitude: -112.51019  Mountain Daylight Time Zone

Newsletter, "Spike 150 News & Updates," sign up at or contact

The joining of the rails at Promontory Summit on May 10, 1869, marked the beginning of a new era for the nation, the West, and for Utah. These resources for teaching the Transcontinental Railroad explore this rich history and the many ways the railroad transformed life in Utah:

THEATRICAL PRODUCTION video by KSL Television ( : 

(I was on the right side of the stage.)

At this site, look for the 3rd video:  "Promontory

Promontory is a documentary by Ken Verdoia that answered the question, "Why wasn't Brigham Young at Promontory on May 10, 1869?" The program was first broadcast on KUED, Channel 7, in May 2002. (57 minutes)

Difference between  the Jupiter and No. 119?

Both locomotives are American type 4-4-0 engines.  The No 119 was built by the Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works for the Union Pacific Railroad and burned coal.  The Jupiter was built by the Schenectady Locomotive Works for the Central Pacific Railroad and burned wood.  Its number was 60 but in those days some engines were also given names.

Jon Meacham’s Keynote Speech Summary by

Meacham: 'The story of the transcontinental railroad is the story of America'

Author Jon Meacham rounded out Friday’s speakers. Meacham thought of the boldness of President Abraham Lincoln to think of the transcontinental railroad while in the middle of the Civil War. The fact that it could be accomplished within the same decade was a feat in itself, he added.
"The story of the transcontinental railroad is the story of America for better and for worse," he said. "Both are stories of ambition and of drive, of vision and of unity, of hope and of history."

He continued to say it seemed fitting that Friday’s ceremony came at a time of political division yet again.

"That’s why this is a good moment and good place to reflect on who we’ve been, who we are and where we might go in the next 150 years," Meacham said. "To know
what’s come before is to be armed with despair."

While Friday was a celebration of the accomplishment, Meacham added we “should be honest” about its history, such as what the railroad meant for Native Americans.
We should not sentimentalize the American experience. The nation has been morally flawed — often egregiously so — from the beginning. We must be honest about that — honest about the plights of African-Americans, Native Americans, of women who have not yet voted for a century in this country, of immigrants and our honesty should lead us to do all that we can to be about the work of justice.”

Spike 150 Facebook Page:

Map and directions from I-15 Exit 365 to Promontory Golden Spike Historic Park


Slide Show of all photos useable from the many I took.  Many are not in this report,


[ | Other reports by Carl Morrison | | | Photos by Carl Morrison ]

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