Jupiter Train | Spike 150

Jupiter Train

A prominent symbol from one of the most momentous events in history, the Jupiter train wasn’t always as noticeable. In fact, Jupiter’s special history was slated for an entirely different locomotive, Stanford’s Special. While en route to the “wedding of the rails”, an incident occurred when rail workers missed a green flag, to signal another train coming. Rail workers placed a log upon the tracks, and sure enough, the train came barreling through to the Golden Spike ceremony. Unrepairable, Jupiter was called out to take its place and secured a spot at this historic happening. Nearing the end of the 18th century, the proud backup train was repainted and sold, now renamed “Ol’ One Spot”. Despite the changes, her loyal following remained until the early 1900s, where engineers had several attempts at saving Jupiter but failed to do so in the end.


The Jupiter train and UP #119 who originally met at Promontory Summit, are both available at the Golden Spike National Historical Park. You can see both trains, and watch special reenactments during the steam demonstrations which run May 1st through mid-October.

Additional Questions and Discussions for Your Students

  • If you had to name a train, what would you name it, and why?
  • Where else in Utah can you ride a train?
  • How do we celebrate big events today?