Just a few years after the Civil War divided the country, the transcontinental railroad united it. At Promontory Summit, Utah Territory, the Golden Spike was driven and two brightly painted locomotives touched cowcatchers: the Central Pacific's Jupiter and the Union Pacific's No. 119. At 12:47 p.m. on May 10, 1869, the telegraphed message "DONE!" signaled an entire nation that the Pacific Railroad had joined the east and west coasts. As the former Union and Confederacy united in celebration, cannons boomed, firecrackers exploded, and the Liberty Bell and countless other bells pealed across the country. Chicago hosted a seven-mile-long parade. A coast-to-coast trip that had formerly taken months and cost over $1000 was suddenly reduced to a week, including stops, at a cost of $150 first class. The trip was said to be so fast "that you don't even have time to take a bath."
The locomotives that united the nation at Promontory Summit were, naturally, 4-4-0 Americans. The 4-4-0 was the passenger engine of the last half of the nineteenth century. Subject of dozens of Currier & Ives lithographs, the 4-4-0 carried the nation westward, transported millions of Americans out of their home towns for the first time, and hauled a good deal of freight as well. Beautifully colored and pinstriped in mid-century, and somewhat less colorfully decorated toward the end of the 1800s, the 4-4-0 steam engine became a symbol of U.S. railroading - which is why this wheel arrangement was named the "American."
Continuing with our line of Premier nineteenth-century locomotives, M.T.H. announces replicas of the Jupiter and the No. 119 in the glorious decoration they wore for the Golden Spike ceremony, as well as versions of our 4-4-0 in less flashy 1890s-era paint schemes. These Americans are fully outfitted with the industry-leading smoke, slow-speed capability, and CD-quality sound of Proto-Sound 2.0, and are available in both scale-wheeled and hi-rail versions. Each is equipped with Proto-Scale 3-2T, which allows the user to quickly convert either version for operation on 2- or 3-rail track.
Did You Know At the Golden Spike National Historic Site, in the desert of northeastern Utah, you can see where the Golden Spike was driven and enjoy a reenactment of the ceremony, performed by accurate replicas of the Jupiter and the No. 119.