Union Pacific Corp.

Union Pacific Corp.
Company that extended the U.S. railway system to the Pacific Coast.

Incorporated by an act of Congress in 1862, it was built westward 1,006 mi (1,620 km) from Omaha, Neb., to meet the Central Pacific Railroad, which was being built eastward from Sacramento, Calif. The two railroads were joined at Promontory, Utah, in 1869. The Union Pacific was largely financed by federal loans and land grants, but its involvement in the Crédit Mobilier scandal left it badly in debt, and the company went into receivership in 1893. It was reorganized in 1897 by Edward H. Harriman, under whose leadership the railroad took part in the economic development of the West. In 1982 it merged with the Missouri Pacific Railroad Co. and the Western Pacific Railroad Co. Its acquisition of the Southern Pacific Rail Corp. in 1996 made it the largest railroad in the U.S., with control of almost all rail-based shipping in the western two-thirds of the country.

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Universalium. 2010.

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