This Friday, May 10th, marks the 150th Anniversary of the pounding of the golden spike that completed the first transcontinental railroad connecting America from sea to shining sea. This historic event will be honored by the Union Pacific Railroad in Promontory, Utah. The ceremony will take place at the same location where, on May 10, 1869, after four years of construction, the longest railroad in the world was finished.
Simultaneously here in Duluth the North Shore Scenic Railroad will pound a golden spike of its own to celebrate its 30thAnniversary of running tourist trains along the shore of Lake Superior from Duluth to Two Harbors. The popular tourist line was inaugurated in 1989 by an act of the Minnesota Legislature forming the St. Louis & Lake Counties Regional Rail Authority. Three decades later the railroad is one of Duluth’s most popular, volunteer run, tourist attractions safely carrying over 100,000 passengers each year.
Leland Stanford, then governor of California and one of the Big Four of the Central Pacific Railroad, now a part of Union Pacific, drove in the original solid gold spike at Promontory Point. This Friday executives of the UP will return to Utah to repeat the historic event.
Here in Duluth, because the NSSR is much younger than the UP, we’ll use much younger Gandy Dancers* to pound in the railroad’s spray painted golden spike.
Parents are invited to bring their children for a free train ride from the Depot in downtown Duluth, departing at 10:30AM on Friday May 10, 2019, to a rendezvous with another train waiting near Fitger’s along the Lakewalk. There the two engines will meet to reenact the famous photo when the two steam locomotives of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific met 150 years ago. (Photo Attached on next page)
Once there everyone will get off the NSSR train for a short ceremony and youngsters will be invited to pound in a gold spike and receive a gold foil wrapped chocolate spike to take home. The train will return to the Depot by noon. The event is FREE!