WSU History Class Focuses on Transcontinental Railroad in Honor of Sesquicentennial

OGDEN, Utah – In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, Weber State University is offering a class devoted to studying and riding the railroad.

WSU Honors Program will offer Honors 4900 – Transcontinentals: Railroads and the American West. The three-credit-hour class is being held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30-2:45 p.m. in Stewart Library Room 322. The class will focus on the impact of the railroad on the American West. Students will have opportunities to participate in field trips to experience historic railroad locations, including riding the California Zephyr from Sacramento, California, to Salt Lake City.

“Ogden is Utah’s train city,” said Kathryn MacKay, history professor. “Much of Ogden’s development occurred because of the railroad. As the university in Ogden, it is particularly important for Weber State to be involved in all that is going on.”

Students will get involved with some of Utah’s commemorative events celebrating the Transcontinental Railroad Sesquicentennial. Throughout the semester, students will be asked to volunteer for Sesquicentennial events held at Union Station in Ogden.

As part of the experience, class members will also ride the Heber Creeper, tour railroad museums in Brigham City and Helper, and visit the railroad roundhouse in Evanston, Wyoming. The class will take a field trip to Promontory Summit to visit the location where the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869.

During spring break, students will be offered the opportunity to travel to Sacramento, California, to visit the California State Railroad Museum. Students who participate will fly to Sacramento and will ride the California Zephyr back to Utah to have an opportunity to experience part of the Transcontinental Railroad’s route. The California Zephyr follows the original Central Pacific Railroad route from Sacramento to Winnemucca, Nevada.

For more information about local Sesquicentennial events, visit visitogden.com/goldenspike2019

For more information about state-wide Sesquicentennial events, visit spike150.org

For photos, visit the following links.

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Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.

Contact:

Kathryn MacKay, Professor of history
801-626-6782 • kmackay@weber.edu

Author:

Ross Rosier, Office of Marketing & Communications
801-626-7948 • rossrosier@weber.edu