While the focus these days in American commerce is very much on emerging trends like digital media, streaming, digital payments, e-commerce, and all things partially spurred by Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report and Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report , Union Pacific, one of the country's oldest industrial giants, is celebrating the 150th anniversary one of the most dinosauric structures in American history, the transcontinental railroad's completion.
The railroad was completed on May 10 1869 by the U.S. government, and initially connected railways at Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa with the Pacific coast at the Oakland Long Wharf on San Francisco Bay. It was a 1,912 mile railroad when constructed.
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of 1862. The legislation granted each railroad 6,400 acres and as much as $48,000 in government bonds for every mile completed.
Union Pacific is celebrating the anniversary in Ogden, Utah.
"Today this town is steam town U.S.A., as we bring the 844 and the 44 team together," Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz told TheStreet. "We have a crowd of 20,000 plus. Mayor Caldwell here in Ogden has been a tremendous host, and we're very much looking forward to this celebration."
Aside from all the fun, investors in Union Pacific are looking forward to receiving a nice sum of cash from share buybacks, and Fritz broke down exactly how the company will execute that buyback program here.