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Current Search Destination:Golden Spike National Historic Site, Utah
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Thirty miles west of Brigham City via SRs 13 and 83, this site marks Promontory Summit, where Union Pacific and Central Pacific rails converged to form the nation's first transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. A golden spike and three other precious metal spikes were ceremonially placed to commemorate the connection.
Uniting the East and West coasts brought major changes to the country. The new railroad made round-trip travel a reality. Buffalo hunters took advantage of new opportunities for commerce, depleting the great bison herds that roamed the plains. The railroad also opened up settlement in California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, Wyoming and Utah.
Working replicas of the 1869 steam locomotives “119” and “Jupiter” are displayed, and demonstrations are given. The West Auto Tour, a 14-mile, self-guiding loop drive, and the 2-mile East Auto Tour follow old railroad grades. The loop road is closed during the winter months; the East Auto Tour is accessible daily 9-4:30, year-round (weather permitting). Note: Motor homes or vehicles pulling a trailer are not permitted.
The Big Fill Loop Trail is a 1.5-mile walk along the original Central and Union Pacific railroad grades. The visitor center has exhibits and films about the railroad's history. Visitor center open daily 9-5, closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Steam locomotives are displayed daily, May 1-Columbus Day (schedule varies; phone to confirm hours). A re-enactment of the driving of the golden spike ceremony is held Sat. and holidays at 11 and 1:30, May 1-late Sept. Admission is $5-$7 (per private vehicle); $3-$4 (per person arriving by other means). Phone (435) 471-2209, ext. 29, for park information or for the visitor center.
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Current Location: Golden Spike National Historic Site, Utah