The Union Pacific Railroad (or Union Pacific Railroad Company and simply Union Pacific) is a freight hauling railroad that operates 8,500 locomotives over 32,100 route-miles in 23 states west of Chicago and New Orleans. The Union Pacific Railroad system is the second largest in the United States after BNSF Railway and it is one of the world's largest transportation companies. The Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of the Union Pacific Corporation (); both are headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.
The Union Pacific legacy began in 1862 with the original company, called the Union Pacific Rail Road, which was part of the First Transcontinental Railroad project, later known as the Overland Route. Two more Union Pacific railroads were formed after that, the Union Pacific Railway (the second company) which absorbed the original company in 1880 and the Union Pacific "Railroad" (the third company) which absorbed the Union Pacific Railway in 1897-1898.
The third incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad which operated from 1897 to 1998 is referred to as Mark I and it makes up the bulk of the Union Pacific history. The third incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad produced the well known Big Boy steam locomotives such as the Union Pacific 4014 and the Union Pacific 4012. Other well known steam locomotives were also produced by the third Union Pacific Railroad such as the Union Pacific 3985, the Union Pacific 3977, and the Union Pacific 844. The third incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad also produced the Union Pacific 6936 diesel locomotive.
The current Union Pacific Railroad, the fourth incarnation, began in 1969 as the Southern Pacific Transportation Company (SP, SPTC or SPTCo), the last incarnation of the Southern Pacific railroad; the Southern Pacific Transportation Company became the fourth incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1998 with the Union Pacific-Southern Pacific merger which included SP's smaller railroads, the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, the St. Louis Southwestern Railway and the SPCSL Corporation. The current incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad inherits all operations of the third Union Pacific Railroad. The current incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad is referred to as Mark II. All together, a total of four railroads used the "Union Pacific" name; however, all four railroads are commonly grouped as one railroad.
The parent company, Union Pacific Corporation was established in 1969, the same year the current railroad (Mark II) began. Besides the Southern Pacific, the Denver and Rio Grande Western, the St. Louis Southwestern and the SPCSL Corporation, the parent company, Union Pacific Corporation, acquired other western railroads over the years such as the Provided by Wikipedia
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