Friday, July 27, 2007

CPRR-UPRR Junction Moved from Promontory to Ogden, Utah, 1870

From: S.Younger

On the website it says the act of 1870 set the meeting point of the two railroads and it was signed May 6, 1870.

The last spike was driven May 10, 1869. How did an act a year later set the meeting point? I read in other publications that it was a Joint Resolution that set the meeting point on April 10, 1869. Do you know for sure which it is?

—Sheryl Younger
Texas A&M - Aerospace Engineering '05 ... Whoop!

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." —Leonardo da Vinci


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

That 1870 law was regarding the change of the junction of the UPRR with the CPRR from Promontory Summit to Ogden, Utah, 52 1/2 miles farther east.

The Story of the Central Pacificby William F. Bailey, 1908 explains that:
"While the tracks of the two companies connected at Promontory, it was understood and agreed that this was not to be the terminus. The Central Pacific wanted Ogden and offered the Union Pacific $4,000,000 for their tracks west of there, but though they were admittedly hard up financially the offer was refused. It took a joint resolution of Congress to settle the matter. The act in question, which is attributed to Central Pacific influences, was entitled "For the protection of the interests of the United States in the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads and for other purposes."

It contained a proviso that while the common terminus should be at or near Ogden, the Union Pacific tracks west thereof should be paid for and owned by the Central Pacific. Their cost was $2,625,000.

The two companies agreed that "at or near Ogden" should be interpreted five miles west of Ogden. There they planned to build their depots, siding, yards, etc., including a large hotel for the convenience of through passengers. In fact, they proposed founding a city to be called Bonneville or Union Junction.

Before they had made any move in the matter Brigham Young, the president of the Mormon Church, got wind of it and on his suggestion the Mormon owners of the land refused to sell. The railroads did not care to tackle condemnation proceedings in the Utah courts, so arranged temporarily to make Ogden the point of interchange. This suited the Mormons exactly as, in anticipation of the city that must inevitably grow at the point where the two lines connected, they had laid out the city for a little real estate speculation of their own.

Early literature of the two roads for some time made reference to the town of Bonneville and the Wasatch Hotel that was to be erected there, but once located at Ogden and having bought from the Mormons the necessary grounds, they became fixed, the five miles of the Union Pacific west of Ogden being leased to the Central Pacific."

7/27/2007 7:54 AM  

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