Trains through Laramie

The railroad remains a constant mover of life and goods to keep the connections between east and west United States.  Sure, aircraft can move people and goods faster, but think about the train – the volume of goods moved, support to towns and communities, the direct connection of those on the ground.  The railroad continues to develop and maintain a unique way of life, particularly out west. 

The clanging, rattling of the tracks, engines roaring, rails came alive in May 1868, the historic day when a train whistle marked the arrival of the first train in Laramie, Wyoming, on the newest section of the Union Pacific Railroad. 

Builders kept at the task and inched along, achieving milestones little by little. The west was being explored, although with hardship, and there would be success.

There is a remarkable difference from the trains and railroad operations of years past to the modern trains of today.  There remains still a little bit of the old western feel though.  Thankfully, the Laramie Railroad Depot helps preserve the past. 

In 1924 the Laramie depot was built to replace the town’s original Union Pacific Depot and Hotel that was destroyed by fire in 1917.  The depot served as Laramie’s Union Pacific passenger depot until 1971, and as an Amtrak depot until 1983. In 1985, the Union Pacific Railroad gave the Depot to the Laramie Plains Museum, which then transferred ownership to the Laramie Railroad Depot Association in 2009.

Postcard image of the 1924 Laramie Railroad Depot (https://laramiedepot.org/history)

โ€œThe Depot is the only remaining building left from the once large Union Pacific presence in Laramie and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The railroad is the reason for the cityโ€™s original existence, and the Depot is an important part of Laramieโ€™s historic legacy.โ€ More history is located at https://www.laramiedepot.org/history.

I enjoyed standing on the railroad walkway watching the trains move along, thinking of the history, and wondering what people from 1868 would say about these trains today. 

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

12 thoughts on “Trains through Laramie

  1. Fun to think that thoughts of steam locomotive at one time evoked an experience associated with excitement of the progress toward the future, but today, it’s recollection of defined memories of times past when steam locomotives are mentioned.

    As a youngster, I recall a retired engine on the Anchorage Delaney Park Strip where my mother took us to play before we were of school age. Growing up on the Alaska southcentral coast, rail trips to the interior north were accessed by hailing a train, though rides on the Alaska Railroad were usually arranged to depart from the station.

    Had passenger services developed for more extensive routes, safety, and dependability, I’m sure that there’d be more ridership than only for the limited pleasure travel available here in the US. When we moved to the midwest, I used the railroad to travel back and forth to Chicago, but public funding is rather non-existent, and private donations to keep the lines open are scarce. Which is rather sad, because rail travel is even extensive is areas of the world where funds are tight for public transportation, or the government supports efficiency. I have been lulled to sleep on the train from Warsaw to Berlin starting in Moscow, and whisked quickly and effortlessly from Vienna to Budapest, as family members were able to commute on the bullet train to night classes in Tokyo from towns 35 km away.

    I wish rail trips were still able to bring about memories of long rides across the countryside, but most railways are limited to freight and not human passengers.

    1. Sorry for the delayed response Dan. Had to divert to various projects. I figured you would like these. I enjoyed standing over the trains and watching them move under me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. A lovely historical insight into the trains through Laramie. Looks like there are some older rains there on the tracks. These days modern trains are so different since most of them are powered electrically and with computers. Where I live in the state of Victoria in Australia, we have something called the Puffing Billy Train. It’s an old heritage steam train and these days it operates as a train to carry tourists around the Dandenong Ranges.

    1. Thank you Mabel. Each generation of trains certainly have their uniqueness. Maybe one day you can post a photo of the Puffing Billy. Thatโ€™s interesting. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Maybe one day I will do a post on Puffing Billy. It’s been a while since I visited, maybe I will visit again at some point. Have a good week, Ron ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks so much. There have been floods for weeks now and I’m sure this latest system moving up from the Gulf will take additional toll on the entire area. I’m out of the affected area now. Now the work of gathering the images and writing posts of the visits to Yellowstone and other neat places. Blessings to you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Cool Photos. Trains are fun to watch. My neighbor, who is a retired railroad machinist, started working on steam locomotives in the Rail Yards here in Albuquerque in 1959 when he was 17 or 18 years old. The electric diesel locomotives soon replaced the steam locomotives, forcing the railroads to abandon the largest steam locomotive facility in the country. The rail yards still stand several blocks from my office in downtown Albuquerque. There are efforts underway to redevelop it, but it’s a slow process. In the meantime, it gets used for movie sets quite a bit. The sad thing is the roundhouse was torn down in the 1960’s.

    1. Excellent insight Timothy, and history information about the rail system in New Mexico. I imagine your neighbor has some good stories. My dad rode on steam engines years ago and lastly the electric ones. I hope folks can preserve the history there. Itโ€™s worth it. Railroads are a major part of our overall history. Thanks so much. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hello there. I appreciate your thoughts - let's talk.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.