The Union Pacific was the last major railroad completed to Los Angeles in 1905. Its beginnings stretched back to 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act, naming and directing two companies, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, to construct a transcontinental railroad. The two lines were joined together at Promontory Summit, Utah, in 1869, creating the first transcontinental railroad in North America. Union Pacific became synonymous with the development of the West, continuing to grow as it acquired additional lines and built new routes throughout the Western US. The system reached from Kansas and Nebraska west into the Pacific Northwest and California.
In the 1930s UP introduced a fleet of yellow “streamliners”, and the classic yellow paint scheme with red and gray accents became the system’s standard colors. UP “City” streamliners operated between Chicago and the West Coast , including Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The Museum preserves 18 cars and locomotives from the Union Pacific, and has assembled a matched passenger train consist to help interpret the history of UP’s famed passenger trains. Led by flagship E-8 locomotive 942, the four car passenger train in matching UP colors is a favorite of railfans and public alike. The Museum also preserves a large UP 2-8-2 steam locomotive, No. 2564.