This is the “Year of the Train” and all of Utah is buzzing with excitement about the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. In 1869, the last spike—a golden spike—was ceremoniously driven into a polished laurel tie at Promontory Summit to commemorate the joining of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific rail lines. This single event had the power to unify our nation, usher in a new era for travel and help position Utah as the Crossroads of the West—a distinction that has enabled communities, including Salt Lake City, to thrive.
To celebrate this historic event, communities in Salt Lake, and all around the Utah, are hosting Golden Spike-themed events and activities meant to educate, unify and inspire. Whether you are a train enthusiast, a history buff or just looking for something fun to do, there are events in and around the county that are sure to peak your interest.
Prior to the big celebration on May 10, head up to the Utah State Capitol to tour two historic exhibits that will take you back in time.
Spencer Fox Eccles Treasures of the Transcontinental Railroad
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view original artifacts from the Transcontinental Railroad era, including the 1862 Pacific Rail Act signed by President Lincoln, three of the last spikes driven into the railroad in 1896 and other the historic “Golden Spike” treasures. May 4–June 24
Tracing the Path Photo Exhibit
Follow the footsteps of the thousands of Chinese immigrant workers whose hard work made the Transcontinental Railroad a reality. This unique photographic exhibit is a great way to show kids the hard work and dedication of the many workers whose contributions made the Transcontinental Railroad a reality. Jan. 1–June 26
If outdoor fun is more your style, you will not be disappointed with these fun options.
Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals FC Golden Spike Games
Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike while cheering on your favorite Utah soccer teams: Real Salt Lake and the Utah Royals FC. Both teams will be hosting fun Golden Spike-themed activities outside the Rio Tinto Stadium before the event and at halftime. There will be food vendors and fun train-related activities for kids of all ages. To purchase tickets, visit https://www.rsl.com/. May 4 - RSL; May 11 - Utah Royals
Bike the Spike
Join the group biking along the S-Line through Sugar House and South Salt Lake to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad’s completion along this historic Denver-Rio Grande line. For details about this planned ride, visit https://www.nowplayingutah.com/event/bike-the-spike/. May 10
Where will you be on May 10th to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad? Not sure; no worries. There are many great places to celebrate the historic event in Salt Lake City.
Spike 150’s Golden Spike Sesquicentennial Celebration Broadcast
Enjoy Spike 150’s commemorative ceremony at Promontory Summit from the comfort of your own home. Tune into KSL channel 5 to watch a live broadcast of the celebration from noon to 1:00 p.m. May 10
Train Day at This is the Place Heritage Park
Gather up the kids and join in the fun at This is the Place. May 10
Stadler US Grand Opening – Open House
Salt Lake City is soon to be the home of Stadler US Inc.’s first passenger rail car production facility in the United States. Stop in for a tour of the facility. For more information on how to book a tour, visit https://www.nowplayingutah.com/event/stadler-us-grand-opening-open-house/. May 10
The Gateway’s Golden Spike Celebration
Head down to the Olympic Plaza at The Gateway to celebrate the Golden Spike’s 150th anniversary SLC-style. Food trucks will be onsite, and stage performances will rotate throughout the evening, including a thematic-performance by the Deseret Experimental Opera Company. The festivities will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. May 10
If you find you still have some steam and want to continue your journey to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad, head to Spike 150’s website for a full listing of events in Salt Lake and across the state.