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The Driving of The Golden Spike, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia. (Links Added)
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The enthusiasm to mark the centennial of the transcontinental railroad grew during the next few years. Searches were made for old engines, a commission to plan the reenactment was organized, the Golden Spike Monument was moved 150 feet to the northwest, and the National Park Service began the reconstruction of the two railroad grades, the lines of track, and two telegraph lines, as well as switches and siding connections.

The engines used in the 1969 ceremonies were modified to resemble the originals. From 1970 to 1980 the annual reenactment used two vintage locomotives on loan from Nevada. But, in 1980, with water from Liberty Island in New York Harbor and Fort Point in San Francisco Bay, two replica steamers constructed by Chadwell O'Connor Engineering Laboratories of Costa Mesa, California, were dedicated. Built with $1.5 million in federal funds, these were the first steam engines constructed in the United States in twenty-five years. They now run daily from May to August and from Christmas to New Year's Day. Park Service personnel at the Golden Spike Information Center, also dedicated in 1980, can direct visitors to walking and driving tours along the old grades, as well as to photo and other exhibits celebrating the transcontinental railroad.

See: Utah Historical Quarterly (Winter 1969).

Deborah Blake

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