SALT LAKE CITY — 2019 is officially train time in Utah.
With a flurry of activity and celebrations associated with Spike 150 approaching, Gov. Gary Herbert declared 2019 the “Year of the Train” during a Friday press conference at the Union Pacific Depot in Salt Lake City.
Spike 150 is state initiative aimed at commemorating the completion of first transcontinental railroad across the United States, which was finished in Northern Utah on May 10, 1869.
Built between 1863 and 1869, the line connected the Pacific Coast at San Francisco Bay with the existing Eastern U.S. railway. The railroad revolutionized the American West with a dependable transportation system that brought Western states economic prosperity through the relatively inexpensive and speedy movement of both goods and people.
The railroad played a major role in the history of Northern Utah, specifically Ogden. The ceremonial last Golden Spike was driven at Promontory Summit in Box Elder County 150 years ago.
“We are the crossroads of the west,” Herbert said on Twitter. “And here’s to another 150 years of bringing the country together.”
Several exhibits are on display around the state and sporadic events will be held up until a formal three-day celebration across the state, set to take place May 10-12. For more information on events, go to spike150.org/events.
At the press conference, officials also announced musical performances that will be part of the celebration. Those include:
The O.C. Tanner Gift of Music Concert, featuring The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and Utah Symphony; two musicals, which include an original musical production and ceremonial reenactment the driving of the Golden Spike; and presentations from the Utah Symphony and Opera.
Details on the musical performances can be found on the website.