World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Union Pacific No. 119

No. 119
No. 119 replica at Golden Spike N.H.S.
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works (original)
O'Connor Engineering Laboratories (replica)
Build date November 1868 (original)
1979 (replica)
Configuration 4-4-0
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Operator(s) Union Pacific Railroad
Number(s) 119, renum 343 in 1885
Official name Union Pacific No. 119

Scrapped in 1903 (original)

Operational at the Golden Spike N.H.S. (replica)

The No. 119 was a 4-4-0 steam locomotive which made history as one of the two locomotives (the other being the Jupiter) to meet at Promontory Summit during the Golden Spike ceremony commemorating the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad.

No. 119 was built by Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey in 1868 along with numbers 116, 117, 118 and 120.

This engine was scrapped in 1903, and a replica was built in 1979, 76 years after the scrapping.


  • Promontory Summit 1
  • Later career 2
  • Replicas 3
  • Media 4
  • References 5

Promontory Summit

No. 119 was stationed in Ogden, Utah, when a call came from Thomas C. Durant, traveling to Promontory, who needed an engine. Similar to Leland Stanford and the Jupiter, previous misfortunes allowed No. 119 to take her place in history. Durant, the vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad was traveling on the so-called Durant Special for the ceremony at Promontory. A swollen river had washed away some supports to the Devil's Gate Bridge. Durant's engineer refused to take the current engine across but did consent to nudge the lighter passenger cars across the bridge. The bridge held, the cars made it across but Durant and his entourage were left without an engine. Durant's plight was answered when No. 119 was sent from Ogden to take the Durant Special the short distance to Promontory where it came nose to nose with the Central Pacific's Jupiter.


  1. ^ Dowty, Robert R., Rebirth of the Jupiter and the 119: Building the Replica Locomotives at Golden Spike, pp. 12–15, 35, Southwest Parks & Monuments Association, Tucson, AZ, 1994.
  2. ^ "Promontory Locomotive Project: Plans for the Jupiter and No. 119," DVD, Western National Parks Association,
  3. ^ Pentrex, 1997.
  4. ^ "Colored Steam Locomotives," ( Retrieved 8-17-2011.
  5. ^ "Question: Engineering Drawings for the Jupiter and No. 119," CPRR Discussion Group ( , Retrieved 8-17-2011.
  6. ^ "Golden Spike," National Park Service, Dept. of the Interior, Golden Spike National Historic Site, Brigham City, UT ( , Retrieved 8-17-2011.
  7. ^ "Union Pacific's 119" Golden Spike Pictures ( , Retrieved 8-17-2011.
  8. ^ Best, Gerald M., Promontory's Locomotives, pp. 12-43, Golden West Books, San Marino, CA, 1980.
  9. ^ "Central Pacific Jupiter and Union Pacific 119 at Promontory, UT, 6-8-09" YouTube video ( , Retrieved 11/24/11.
  10. ^ Dowty, Robert R., Rebirth of the Jupiter and the 119: Building the Replica Locomotives at Golden Spike, pp. 5-46, Southwest Parks & Monuments Ass'n., 1994.
  11. ^ "Promontory Locomotive Project: Plans for the Jupiter and No. 119," DVD, Western National Parks Ass'n.
  12. ^ Lego Ideas - Golden Spike Ceremony
  13. ^ Salt Lake Tribune - How this Utah monument could become a new Lego set
  14. ^ TV Recap: "The Big Bang Theory:The Communication Deterioration"


In "The Communication Deterioration" episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon shows a photo of the locomotive to Penny.[14]

In 2015, a Lego model depicting the No. 119 locomotive was submitted to the Lego Ideas website.[12][13]


In 1975, the National Park Service embarked on a project to reproduce the Union Pacific No. 119 and Central Pacific Jupiter exactly as they appeared in 1869. Initially, the Park Service had approached Walt Disney Studios, who had previously built two steam engines from scratch for their Disneyland park's railroad, for the project. Disney declined, but recommended Chadwell O'Connor's firm, the O'Connor Engineering Laboratories in Costa Mesa, CA, for the task. Noted railroad historian and steam engine owner Gerald M. Best served as engineering consultant to the Park Service for the project. Over 700 detailed engineering drawings were recreated, based almost entirely on the photographs taken of the engines during the ceremony, as the original drawings had not been preserved. Disney animator and steam engine owner Ward Kimball did color matching and original artwork for the Jupiter and No. 119.[1][2] The replicas began operating on May 10, 1979, and continue to make demonstration runs.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

The First Transcontinental Railroad, the National Park Service's Golden Spike site at Promontory, Utah, had exhibited representations of the 119 and Jupiter on a portion of restored trackage where the original ceremony was held. In this instance, the 119 was portrayed by the Virginia and Truckee Railroad's Dayton locomotive, (which is ironic because The Dayton was built by the Central Pacific Railroad's shops in Sacramento) and was displayed here until it and the Jupiter, which was portrayed by that railroad's Inyo locomotive, were sold to the state of Nevada in 1974.

In 1968, the Union Pacific sponsored the construction of the Omaha Zoo Railroad in the Henry Doorly Zoo, including a narrow gauge replica of the 119, built by Crown Metal Products.

The Omaha Zoo Railroad's replica of no. 119.

As was the case with the Jupiter, the Union Pacific had only begun to acknowledge the 119's historical significance well after it was scrapped. In 1948, a reenactment of the Golden Spike ceremony was staged at the Chicago Railroad Fair. For this event, the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad's locomotive number 35 was cosmetically altered to resemble the 119, and the engine's pilot met with that of the Jupiter, which was also represented by a stand-in.

Union Pacific 119 in a Golden Spike reenactment at the Chicago Railroad Fair. This "Union Pacific 119" engine is actually Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad's locomotive no. 35.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.