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TILE OMAHA SUNDAY BEE: MAY 9, 1009. IKrW HA ri.Nf t N hh.W N(i AC n t vr.M r N rS OF THE NEW f Jw I &ULDMG THF LANE CUT OFF THE four greatest engineering achievements of the Dew Union Pacific are these: Sherman Hill tunnel, 1,800 feet through solid granite, and the Sherman Hill line 168 miles lone, costing; innrml. mately 16.000.000. Aspen tunnel, 6,900 feet long, and Aspen cut-off, twenty-two miles long, the two, with other western cut-offs, saving thirty miles in distance, costing approximately $12,000,000. The Luoln-Ogden cut-off serous Great Sale lake, 102.5 miles long, cutting off forty-three miles distance, costing $6,000,000. The Lane cut-off, eleven miles long, saving nine and one-half miles, costing $3,000,000. When the old Union Pacific was built the distance rrom Omaha to Ogden over Its tracks was 1,042; when these Harriman Improve ments were completed the distance was 1,000. The Sherman Hill line, as a matter of fact, increased the distance three miles, but the others, exclusive of the Lucin-Ogden cut-off, reduced it, leaving the net reduction forty-two miles. Technically speaking, the Lutln-Ogden cut-off is not a part of the Union Pacific, for It begins where the Union Pacific ends, at Ogden, but practically it Is a part of the Union Pacific, or, while It is .the first 100 miles of the Southern Pacific tracks on the eastern end, the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific are to all practical purposes of travel one road, stretching from Omaha to California. But In reducing the distance of the Union Pacific between Omaha and Ogden the Lucia cut-off, of course, has no part. Stupendous in their undertaking, accomplishment and results, these engineering feats stand out in the history of railroad making the world over as monuments to the skill and daring of the men who conceived the thought and directed the construction. But It is not necessary to select these or any other specific pieces of work from the building oi the new Union Pacific to show that great engineering achievements have been wrought along that railroad. The road itself, taken as a whole, represents the most Intrepid spirit of enterprise and marvelous engineering achievements. Its physical reconstruction under the roglme of Harriman has chal lenged universal admiration. The Empire Which the Road Serves . . . What this reconstruction has done for the earning power of the iv w isuuvwm iu mw nil wot iiui i luiuu jiuiu me Bvernineui. Virtually $60,000,000 at auction for the road and today its capital stock is valued at $295,000,000. Its annual grosB earnings far exceed the amount Mr. Harriman paid for it. What this reconstruction hat done for the vast empire stretch ing out from the Missouri river to the Pacific coast may be reflected In the boundless prosperity of the towns, cities and states along its line. Communities have been planted and developed and enriched, real estate and farm values have been multiplied, industries have been established, streams hav? been harnessed, power plants con verted from natural resources that before this era of railroad in genuity went unused. Volumes might be written upon the commer cial and industrial Influence of the physical reconstruction of the Union Pacific upon the country it traverses. Mr. Harriman bought the road from the government November 1, 1897, at auction sale in Omaha. The road was bankrupt. It owed the government over $46,000,000. Its rolling stock was run down, its roadbed had deteriorated and its condition was so bad that noth ing except complete reconstruction could save it. Harriman employed Horace 0. Burt, then with the Northwest ern, for president, and Mr Burt took with him from the North western J. B. Berry. It was not for his ability as a financial manager hat Harriman wanted Burt. Harriman was the financier; he could take care of that end of it. He was rot concerning himself first with the earning power of the road. He knew that in its old condition it had very little earning power, as earning power of railroads goes. What Harriman wanted and what he hot in Burt was a groat railroad engineer, and Burt, got an able lieutenant in Berry. The mission of these men was to rebuild that road. They did it. and when Burt left the road in January, 1904, he left a now Union Pacific behind him. The new Union Pacific is forty-two miles shorter than the old line. Mr. Burt clipped off that much In the reduction of grades and curves. So today you travel an even 1,000 miles from Omaha to Ogden. whereas if you traveled It before the reconstruction you made 1,041 miles. This, of course, reduced the time somewhat, but the laying of a new roadbed, the best in the west, did more to reduce time than the reduction of distance did. It was not safe, If possible, to make the time over the old roadbed that is made over tho new. Superior Engineering Skill It required a superior skill in engineering to cut off these forty two miles. The original engineers had done their work so well that It took thirty-five years to find a way to reduce the distance, and the best engineers of the world have admitted long ago, and events have justified their admission, that it will not ever be possible to find a way to improve on the route. The line they run was the best that could be run. Mr. Harriman himself, upon the occasion of his visit a year and a half ago to the Omaha Field club, paid a stout tribute to these old pioneer engineers when he said: "After all these years of experimenting and Investigating it has been found impossible to run a more direct general line of survey from Omaha to Ogden than the original engineers of the Union Paclfllc drew. Their work cannot be improved on." ! Sherman Hill and Dale Creek bridge these were names to Conjure with In the days of the old Union Pacific. But those land marks of a frontier railroad are gone. Yesterday you were dragged with nerve-raklng anxiety over a bridge 600 feet long and 135 feet high. Today you glide smoothly over embankments which experts pronounoe the most remarkable in the world. The roadbed Is as olid as rock and as smooth as a floor. You pass over Sherman Hill with the same easy comfort that you skirt the level, sweeping prairies of Nebraska. Instead of mountlng the summit of that granite-ribbed spur of the Black Hills, you pass through a cut 236 feet lower than the summit on the old line. West of Dale Creek through a spur of the same mountains you pass through a tunnel 1.800 feet long, bored through solid granite, of which Sherman Hill was the backbone. Lifting huge locomotives and trains over high hills and moun tain! at immense cost for fuel and power struck Harriman, the hard headed Yankee, as an impractical and useless proposition. It aroused his spirit of conquest and drove him to these marvelous feata of engineering, and his first was Sherman Hill. Mr. Burt found it would be necessary to shoo; a tunnel through Sherman Hill, solid granite, 1,800 feet long ana of ample dimensions for the largest load to pass through. Precautions were taken to reduce the grade through the tunnel, thus avoiding inconvenience from smoke or foul air and insuring comfort to the travelers. To get an idea of the immensity oi the work, understand first IT v an lit I-1 i I II L UNION PAGIFIG r ' .! Oil' ft:. ' u . ,, a.- t. OPENING THE GREAT dflLTUKE CUTOFF lfe-t' 'I . - 'li I ! BULDING THE L7MF CUT OFF cM iiAVvV! .... ' that Dale Creek la 900 feet long, 120 feet high and that 600,000 cubic yards of Sherman gravel was used In constructing the em bankment; that the crossing of Lone Tree Creek Is about 800 feet long, 125 feet high, with 290,000 cubic yards of fill In the embank ment. This Sherman Hill line crosses the Rocky mountains at a summit 247 feet lower than the old crossing, thus making the highest ele vation reached by the Union Pacific Just 8,000 feet above sea level, instead of 8.2 47 feet, as formerly. Millions of dollars were expended In this enterprise. Millions more were expended in the construction of the Aspen tunnel, or cut-oft. It was the largest single piece of work ever un dertaken by the Union Pacific up to that time and it has been sur passed in magnitude and prodigious technique only by the Lucin Ogden cut-off, completed several years later. Aspen cut-off was begun November 18, 1899, and completed April 2, 1900. while the Luctn-Ogden cut-off was completed and dedicated in November, 1903, after more than two years of the most arduous toil railroad builders ever exerted. Aspen extends from Leroy to Beai river, Wyoming. It avoids the great Tapioca hill and Is a very difficult piece of track to op erate, especially In winter. It penetrates Aspen ridge, one of the eastern foothills of the Wasatch range, and Is 5,900 feet In length. The construction of the tunnel was of partjrular interest in the rail road world because of the peculiar character of earth encountered and large quantities of water. To hasten work of construction a central shaft was sunk, the top of which was 331 feet above grade. From the bottom of this the work was prosecuted east and west. The greatest depth below the surface of the earth is 456 feet and the highest point above sea level is 7,296 feet. The tunnel was fin- Historic Golden Spike Celebration in Omaha T kHREE epochs In the early history of Omaha are the birth of the city in May, 1854, breaking ground for the Union Pacific railroad, December 2, 1863, and the celebration of the completion of the Overland Route. May 10, 1869. The first epoch was speculation, the second anticipation, the third realization. Naturally, the last was celebrated with a greater degree of public rejoicing than was possible on the previous occasions. There were more people to pull off a celebration, and there were more reasons for a genuine outburst of popular Joy. The spirit animating the people of Omaha on May 10, 1869, forty years ago, was reflected In the terse exclamations of the Omaha Republican of a preceding date. The Omaha city council having appropriated a sum of money foi the celebration of "the grandest affair which the annals of Omaha have ever shown," the Republican exclaimed: "Go ahead, boys! Set off youx fireworks! Ftre all your big guns! Shut up your shops! Get up the largest and most imposing procession you can, and crown all with the grandest festiv ities known! Dance, sing and shout until you make it distinctly known that you will run Omaha against the world as the headquar ters of enterprise." Omaha had the celebration goods and delivered them. Preparations for the Event Anticipating the event by several weeks, committees were ap pointed to make the necessary arrangements. Dr. George L. Miller, George W. Frost and Patrick O. Hawes constituted the committee on invitations, and B. Harford, chairman, and J. C. Cowin, secretary, of the parade committee. They secured the attendance of the offi cers of the Department of the Platte, all the local railroad officials, city, county and state functionaries, several distinguished citizens of Nebraska and adjoining states, and delegations of paraders and cele brators from nearby cities. As ont chronicler of the time says, "No labor or expense was spared to make the celebration worthy of the occasion." The morning of the glorious day opened fair, and continued so throughout the day and night. The weather seemed to enter Into the spirit of the event and contributed materially to the enjoyment of the people. Two gentle showers sprinkled the dust on nature's pavements, making the highways most agreeable for the marchers. Reception of visitors and assembling of the various divisions of the procession occupied the forenoon, the noon hour was devoted to re freshments and at 1 o'clock were leady for the signal. At 1:12 p. ni. the telegraph ticked off the strokes of the hammer driving the golden spike at Promontory Point, and at the same Instant a salute of 100 guns thundered the Joyful tidings to the waiting multitude. Church bells and Are bells rang out between shots, steam whistles increased the din and the bands blow and drummed a note of har mony Into the convulsion of noise. ' The Procession The procession formed in, th vicinity of Ninth and Harney streets and moved over a ilg-zag route west and north to Capitol square, the present site of the High school. E. A. Allen was mar shal and his assistants were Colonel H. Litchfield, Colonel C. S. Chase, Captain W. H. Hollls, Lieutenant George O. Williams and P. J. McNamara. At the head of the marchers rode Brevet Major General C. C. Augur and his staff. Generals Switzer, Ruggles, Alvord. Barrlger and Colonel Emery, followed by the troops at the post. The distinguish ing feature of the procession wap iu representative character. Local lodges of Masons, the Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and delega tions of these Lodles from Frent. Belleyue and Council Bluffs; the Turner societies, the United Ir.u society and other fraternal or ganizations turned out their full strength. Another division con sisted of the Omaha Are department, a fire company from Fremont, the Durant Steam Fire Engine company and Union Pacific employes. Heading the division of vehicles were a number of stage coaches which had seen active service on plains, and whose doom was sealed by the completion of the railroad. Public officials, invited guests and unaffiliated citizens filled carriages, buggies and less imposing vehicles, the tail-end of a procession two miles long and "the most enthusiastic that ever passed over the streets of the city." Eleven thousand people is the estimate of the crowd that packed Capitol Square, in front of and around the old capltol building and on the roof. The unique pagoda which adorned the building opened a way for young America, to obtain choice seats on the roof. Scores of youngsters occupied Imposing vantage points, their shoeless ex tremities hanging over the eaves. When the procession reached the square some wise watchman, knowing the Insecurity of eaves, halted rectly In front of the building. The stand was lavishly decorated with the national colors and bunting, several appropriate mottoes and the names of the railroad builders Casement, Hoxle, Durant, Snyder, Frost and Reed. "Omaha and San Francisco," "The Day We Celebrate Begins a New Era in the World's Commerce," "What God Hath Joined Together Let No Man Put Asunder," "The Atlantic and the Pacific Blessed Be the Tie That Binds," were the senti ments and fluttered before the eyes of the multitude and expressed their feelings. Governor Alvln Saunders presided. Three formal addresses were delivered. "The Day We Celebrate," by General Clinton B. Flsk of Missouri; "Westward the Course of Empire Has Ceased to Take Its Way," by General O. F. Manderson; "The Pacific Railroad," by Hon. B. Wakeley. Illuminations at Night The night illuminations, we are informed, "alnrost turned night Into day." The business sections of Far nam and Douglas streets were a blaze of flame, gas jets being conspicuous, with tens of thou sands of candles flickering In the windows. The Metropolitan, the Wyoming and the St. James hotels were particularly brilliant. Mil ton Rogers and HelLman's stores in Central block were splendidly illuminated. Dr. Ish's store windows were draped with tissue paper Ished for a single-track and lined with timber and concrete, making it one of the most perfect pieces of work on the continent. This cut-off, like all the others of the Union Pacific, conserves the one basic purpose of the reconstruction, elimination of curve and reduction of gradea as mucii ae poHsible. On this Aspen cut-off there is no grade greater than forty-three feet per mile and no curve of more than 3 degrees and 36 minutes. The grade through the tunnel Is twenty-one feet per mile. This tunnel is electric-lighted and ventilated upon the most modern basis. The Aspen cut-off and tunnel together make a line of track twenty-two miles In length and cut off ten miles from the distance of the original route. In many respects tho little old Lane cut-off, which Vice Presi dent Mohler has brought to completion with such signal triumph, is the most remarkable of these remarkable enterprise. It did not penetrate any granite mountains, nor involve any deep and lengthy tunnels, but it did involve some tremendoua fills and cuts and ac complished a purpose of Immense Importance. But the most re markable feature of it 1b that it cuts off In distance nearly as much as its actual length and. though 11.64 miles long, it cost $3,000,000. To be exact, It saved 8.94 miles on a distance of 20.68 miles between connecting pointB on the old main line. Mr. Harriman himself is very partial to this cut-off.' He re gards it one of the engineering triumphs of the age. The excavation of this cut-off was entirely In earth. It in volved the removal of nearly 3,600,000 cubic yards of dirt. Every particle of this dirt was utilized in the formation of embankment and about 4,000,000 cubic yards of these embankments were built. They were necessary to form a crossing over the deep, wide valleys. The roadway proper in excavation haa one and one-half to one side slopes and a maximum width of thirty leet; the embankments have a minimum width of thirty-five feet and one and one-half to one side slopes. The tracks, like othera of the Union Pacific, are laid with ninety-pound steel raila oa tie plates, with treated ties of Ore gon and southern pine. To give some idea of the herculean task conf. outing the build ers of this cut-off it is well to note that at one place there Is a cut with a depth of 85.5 feet, a width of 437 feet and a total length of 6,200 feet. It must be understood that the Big and Little Papplo rivers have something to say about the lay of land out In that sec tion and they must be dealt with if anything like this Is to be dona. A deck plate-girder viaduct spans the Little Papplo with forty foot towers, with one 100-foot and three 80-foot spans, the total length of the bridge being 460 feet. The uncertain character of the soil at the crossing of the Big Papplo made it wise to carry the tracks on a timber trestle until the settlement of the embankment. Both freight and passenger trains use this cut-off. All the great limited trains go over it on their way to the Pacific coast and it is about as big a single factor in this flood of human and Inanimate trafflo that flows back and forth from east to west as there is. Matchless Feat in Lucin-Ogden Cut-Off And now we come to the matchless Lucln-Ogaen cut-off. All banners bearing the words, "U. P. R. R. Through tickets all over of these other enterprises are great and are serving great purposes Dut for boldness of conception and skill of execution it has been eert ously questioned if these or any other similar achievements in the line of railroad building can half compare with this piece of work. It 1 the embodiment of the intrepid Harriman spirit. The Lucin-Ogden cut-off is a line of track crossing Great Salt Lake at its deepest portion. It is 102.6 miles in length and saves in distance forty-tfiree miles. But this saving In distance Is a small matter aB compared to the saving in motive power and coBt of opera tion. It avoids Promontory Point, the highest point on the line of the Southern Pacific railroad until you reach the summit of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. This evasion of Promontory Point means simply that engines and trains, with their thousands of tons of weight, no longer have to be lifted to the elevation of aproxlmately 7,000 feet. ' This cut-off leaves the main line at Ogden and darts across Great Salt Lake, striking Lucln, its western terminus, 102.5 miles away, making almost a bee line. Between Ogden and the lake it traverses a level strip of country for fourteen and a half miles. la this distance the line crosses Weber river twice and makes threa short curves. In all, the line' is composed of seventy-two miles oa land and twenty-nine and a halt of trestle on water. Twelve mile and 600 feet of this trestle is permanent; the remainder filled with material from Little mountain, on Promontory Point. j ' Across Promontory Point, a distance of five miles, the lint skirts along on land. An almost insuperable obstacle encountered .by the builders was a rock 3,000 foet In length and averaging twenty jfeet in depth. It was necessary to cut dtrectjy through this rock. Some of the best engineers in the world pronounced this cut-off jlmpracticable. Mr. Harriman himself had to be won over lo the scheme before he would adopt it. When he came Into possession of the Southern Pacific railroad, superseding Colllg P. Huntington, ha 'determined, as Mr. Huntington bad determined before him. that the world for sale here." Jordan & Graff's hardware store bore an Illuminated acrostic made of the initials of the railroad and the builders' names Durant, Snyder, Frost, Dillon, Train. Portraits cf the builders were prominent In all the decorations. The gas office was Illuminated with a star "throwing jets of lurid flame," and the court house, Brewer & Bemls brewery, the capltol, Vlsscher's block, C. H. Nichol & Co., Barkalow Bros., the Herald and Repub lican offices were noticeably brilliant. Among the private residences illuminated were those of J. A. Morrow, Henry Yates, J. R. Mere dith, Dr. Lowe, O. F. Davis, E. Rosewater, George W. Frost, John I. R'edlck, Clinton Brlggs, A. D. Jones, Dr. Peabody, J. H. Lacey, R. K. Taft, Dr. George L. Miller, John McCormlck, Will Brown and Thomas Swift. The day's festivities closed with a grand ball in the large audi ence chamber of the capltol. All the decorations from the speakers' stand were transferred to the hall, transforming the bare walls into a bower of beauty. The quadrille band of the Omaha Choral union "discoursed sweet music, while a hundred merry feet tripped th light fantastic." But there is a limit to all festivities and th Omaha of forty years ago was not an exception. Even newespapei space had a limit. "We are sorry," the weary scribe of the Repub lican concludes, "lack of space prevents a more extended notice ol the affair. Taking it all In all, the citizens of Omaha have much cause to remember the 10th of May, 1869. as the greatest day in its. history, and one long to be remembered with pride." In an editorial discussion of the constructive energy of the. builders of the railroad and the greatness of the achievement, the old Republican says: Energy of the Builders "Five years ago, when the ceermony of breaking ground was per formed in this city, the writer of this article was a quiet spectator, thr.Vr.rni "ltuuJ""' insecurity of eaves, halted the corporation, or been the recipient of any special favors and we unlucky younLt hado H r00, he,d Ur'e,V" " wha deeVed was uniucky youngsters had to content themselves with tnrHn rm j . . . ii-usurcu wnai wo conceived was wrong. vuuicui lueuiseives Wltn atanainr rnnm only on the fringe of the crowd The exercises on the square took place on a stand erected dl- and listened with lively Interest to the remarks of the sneakers: and Bonie other Ilne should be built so as to avoid Promontory Point uui air. narriman neuevea me sciution of the problem was to run a line around the southern end of the lake. . . Where Credit for Great Undertaking Belongs Chief Engineer Hood of the Southern Pacific has been credited? with the original idea of a cut-off across Salt Lake. Mr. Hood pre lented the scheme to Julius Kruttschnitt, who became Mr. Harrl man's right hand man when he took control of the property. Mr. Kruttschnitt was soon converted and he. In turn, after considerable time, converted Mr. Harriman tc the cause of the Lucin-Ogden cut-off. Those men, however, who felt that the undertaking was not feasible because of Its excessive hazard, had some grounds, as events disclosed, for their views. While the construction work was in progress at least one solid construction train was swallowed up and completely lost in the quagmire of the lake. Engine, cars and their load of ballast brought from Bear mountain, together with the train men, were lost. Another illustration of the peril of this undertak ing was shown when they began to drive their piles. One pile on top of another was driven before any apparent foundation was struck. Expert engineers did not pretent to say how deep this quag mire was and for some time there was serious question it the under taking would not, after all, have to be abandoned. Even after tha ut-off was completed and In operation it sunk to an appreciable de gree and train service was temporarily abandoned while more ballast was thrown In, and also to give time for the settlement process. But no accidents have occuried on the cut-off since it was placed permanently in operation and it 1b regarded today Just as safe as any other portion of track. Its champions have been vindicated and it has come to be known as or.d of the great scenes along the sinuous trail of this master transcontinental line and one of the unique features of American railroading. It saves millions to ft owners. Part of the line on this cut-off is single, but most of it is double-tracked. we remember vividly the misgivings and doubts with which we re ceived the oft-repeated declaration of the sanguine friends of the great enterprise that ten years would witness the completion of the work. Precisely one-half of that period has elapsed and the great est and grandest enterprise of this or any other age is an accom-j plished fact. The wonderful energy which has characterized the management of the Union Pacific railroad, from the inception of the! great work till its ultimate completion, has been the marvel of the age, not only in this country, but throughout the civilized world. Eleven hundred miles of railway, constructed through a country 1,500 miles from the great iron manufacturing districts, in the pres ence of bands of hostile Indians, who opposed its progress at every step and all this within the brief period of five years, is an achieve ment without parallel In the annals of time. No man who has not witnessed the progress of the work from beginning to end who has failed to observe the thousands of obstacles to its progress which have arisen and been surmouuted, will ever rightly appreciate the men to whose care the immense Interests of this great work hav been entrusted." As a silencer for carping critics the writer, further on, declare with italicized emphasis: "We have not enjoyed the patronage ol And yet candor compels us to say that In our best Judgment the road has been hon estly built, and wisely, ably and honestly managed throughout."