Navigation Menu
Golden Spike Sesquicentennial

Golden Spike Sesquicentennial

  • Author: Alison
  • Date Posted: May 11, 2019
  • Category:
  • Address: Golden Spike Historical Park

Today we went to Promontory Point to see a reenactment of the driving of the “Golden Spike” that joined the Transcontinental Railroad 150 years ago. At the time, completing on the rails from east to went meant that people could suddenly travel across the country in 6 days instead of 6 months. They reenacted the whole ceremony as if we were there in May of 1869, right down to attaching a wire to the final spike so that the strike of the maul hitting it would be transmitted across the telegraph wires from coast to coast, signaling the tracks were joined. It was an engineering feat that was celebrated far and wide, and one that ushered in a whole new era of transportation and commerce.

The celebration extended beyond Promontory Point to other towns, including Ogden, UT which hosted two huge restored Union Pacific locomotives, the “Big Boy 4014” and the “844”. We visited those yesterday on our way north. Really amazing to see how many people turned out at these events. Thousands and thousands! It was fun to be able to shift around a few things on our itinerary to be able to take it all in. Off to Idaho tomorrow!

Golden Spike!

Engine 119 making its way to the rendezvou

Joining of the rails!

Need to do a little more research on how to include a video, but for now, you can download if you wish. Shows the approach and the HUGE crowd gathered to watch: Golden Spike Video.


And a few pics from Union Station in Ogden, UT yesterday…

The Big Boy 4014

Engine 844 – the “elephant ears” were designed to keep the steam out of the engineer’s compartment.

Engine 833 – the same “elephant ears” model on permanent display in Ogden. You can really get the scale of how huge they are!


Next PostPrevious Post


  1. Such a wondrous event enjoyed by masses. Dad Roy would have relished the sight, as his passion for trains is well known. So glad that you experienced the engineering magic!

  2. There are so many people there!!

    • It was officially crazy!

  3. I really wish I paid attention in history class. This is really interesting!

  4. They are HUGE, The wheels are taller then Scott!!

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *