Celebrate the 150th Anniversary in your community. We anticipate more than 150 events and activities will occur throughout the state in 2019. Find an event and connect with those celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad. There is still time to become a Spike 150 Partner and submit your event or activity.
Through Toil and Labor : the Forgotten History of Utah’s Chinese Railroad Workers Through photographs, historical documents, and excavated fragments of imported Chinese ceramics, this traveling exhibit seeks to explore the unique history of the Transcontinental Railroad’s Chinese workers in Utah, discuss their daily lives, and share what’s been learned from the artifacts they left behind. The exhibit is currently at the Early Light Academy in Daybreak.
A World Transformed : the Transcontinental Railroad and Utah Utah State University and the Utah State Division of History have partnered to create an exhibit which shares the personal stories of the people who built it and those whose lives were forever changed in both big ways and small.
Classic Railroad Film Peery’s Egyptian Theater will be showing the classic film – Union Pacific to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the railroad. Read More
MAY 9 – 11, 2019
Steam Locomotives Exhibit See the iconic “Big Boy” and historic No. 119 steam locomotives at Ogden’s Union Station. Presented by Union Pacific. Read More
May 11, 2019
Ogden Musical Theatre “Melodrama” Ogden Musical Theatre presents the Melodrama, “Ride the Rails” A 40 minute, historical play interspersed with songs and music accompanying the action. This will be preformed multiple times throughout the day and evening during the street festival. Come be a part of the Melodrama as you “BOO” the villain as he ties his victim to the tracks, and “CHEER” for the hero who rescues her. Read More
June 6 – 9, 2019
54th Conference of the Mormon History Association The 54th conference of the Mormon History Association will be held June 6–9, 2019, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 2019 conference theme “Isolation and Integration” highlights a continuing tension in the Mormon experience and commemorates the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad and John Wesley Powell’s first Colorado River exploration. When Latter-day Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847, they crossed an international boundary in search of religious liberty, something they hoped to find in the isolation of the desert expanses of northern Mexico. As MHA returns to Salt Lake City in 2019, we remember historical moments which reflect the Mormon desire for isolation as well as a corresponding pull toward integration represented by the laying of the Golden Spike in northern Utah on May 10, 1869, and, two weeks later, the beginning of Powell’s charting of the mighty Colorado. In addition, the 1869 national discussion over granting Utah women suffrage led to their becoming the first to vote in the modern nation in early 1870, pulling them into the center of the national suffrage movement. Moreover, the Mormons’ imagined sense of isolation in the Great Basin did not account for the reality of their settlements being built on land already claimed by the region’s Native American inhabitants, thus perpetuating Native American dislocation and marginalization. Read More
July 7 – 13, 2019
2019 NMRA Convention and Train Show The National Train Show® was established in 1988 by the National Model Railroad Association as a nationally sponsored combined industry trade show and public train show to promote the hobby of model railroading. The 2019 National Train Show is held in conjunction with the national convention of the NMRA in Salt Lake City, UT. It will be held in the Mountain America Exposition Center (formerly known as Southtowne Expo Center) in Sandy, UT. Read More
November 2, 2019
Crossroads Ogden Ogden Friends of Acoustic Music has commissioned modern American composer Jens Kruger for a composition based on the unique town of Ogden and its unique history as a train town for strings, brass and percussion. Premiere performance by the Kruger Brothers in concert with Chamber Orchestra Ogden and original dance by Imagine Ballet Theatre. Read More
Life Relegated: An Epic Rock Opera Deseret Experimental Opera is producing a new, interdisciplinary rock opera where audiences will be guided over a massive map of Utah, beginning at Promontory Summit, following the path of Union Pacific Railroad’s 1922 “Circle Loop Tour” of National Parks.
Spike 150 Community Celebration The Friends of Territorial Statehouse State Park will collect, compile, authenticate, tell and record railroad stories and histories within the boundary of the Utah Territory.
Digital Exploration of the Transcontinental Railroad Preservation Utah is developing a self-guided tour of sites and their history along a portion of the historic Transcontinental Railroad in Utah.
The Chinese Railroad Workers Names and Faces Film Project Spy Hop Productions and the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association will produce a short film that honors the nameless and faceless Chinese workers of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Transcontinental Railroad from a Mountain Man’s Point of View: Celebrating the Cultures that Made it Possible through Stories Story Crossroads will commission professional Storyteller Karl Behling to share two performances as if he were a Mountain Man observing and connecting with the different cultures of people responsible for the development and building of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Remember the Rails Tooele Valley Railroad Museum is adding interpretive panels to their park that provide the history of the railroad and describe their new “Remember the Rails” Historic Walk.
Spike 150 Commemorative Mural The Utah Arts Alliance, in conjunction with their Mural Fest, will create a large scale public art mural on one of the walls that line the S-Line corridor in South Salt Lake, which will be dedicated to the Transcontinental Railroad and the transportation legacy and role it played in impacting the city’s industry, infrastructure, and social and economic impact.
Through the Lens The Utah Film Center, KUER, Radiowest and Utah Film Commission will provide a free film screening of the historic Union Pacific Film, a radio interview, and post film discussion by a local expert.
Transcontinental Railroad Radio Documentary Utah Public Radio will be creating a sound-rich documentary for radio, web, and podcast that documents the history and progress of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Spike 150 Lecture Series Acclaimed guest historians including two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough.
New Curriculum for Kindergarten – 8th Graders Lessons, activities and resources to help students discover the engineering triumphs that propelled westward expansion. Read More
Commemorative Monuments, Sculptures, Art Performances and Exhibits Recognition of the important contributions made by railroad workers of Chinese, Irish, and African descent, plus the labor of Mormon-pioneer graders.
Spiral Jetty Tours See Robert Smithson’s earthwork on the Great Salt Lake, 15-miles from Golden Spike National Historic Site.
Arts and Music
Become a Spike 150 Partner
Let Spike 150 increase awareness about of your activity or event connected to the 150-year anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad.