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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Then and Now: Transcontinental railroads

Since the 1890s, Spokane was often touted as a hub for four transcontinental railroads, the implication being that it was a good place to do business and ship goods across the U.S. continent.

Then and Now: Union Pacific rail yard

Now the site of the Kendall Yards mixed use development, the area northwest of downtown Spokane and the river was once home to the Union Pacific rail yard. The railroad moved out of the area in 1955, but development of new housing, retail and commercial businesses did not proceed in earnest until after the economic downturn of 2008.

Descendants ensure Chinese rail workers aren’t forgotten

Michael Kwan can’t help but think about what life was like on a daily basis for his great-great-grandfather in the 1860s, working 12-hour days in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range on the Transcontinental Railroad that would reshape the American landscape.

‘Big Boy’ steam locomotive makes post-restoration debut

The Big Boy No. 4014 steam locomotive rolled out of a Union Pacific restoration shop in Cheyenne over the weekend for a big debut after five years of restoration. It then headed toward Utah as part of a yearlong tour to commemorate the Transcontinental Railroad’s 150th anniversary.

23-car derailment by Ritzville shuts down Union Pacific line

SEATTLE – The Union Pacific line that runs through Eastern Washington has been shut down since Friday by a 23-car derailment that included a hazardous cargo spill of sodium chlorate and subsequent fire that flared over the weekend. The Seattle Times reports no one was injured in the Friday incident that Union Pacific reports was triggered by a rock slide and left 11 of the 23 cars derailed inside a tunnel near Ritzville.

Then and Now: The First Transcontinental Railroad

The first white settlers came to Spokane on horseback in the 1870s but it was the railroad that filled the city with entrepreneurs, miners, loggers, farmers, tradesmen and other new residents. And modern trains still follow the route of that first rail line through town.

Then and Now: Union Station

Bob Strahorn planned the downtown Spokane Union Station, opened in 1914, to compete with the Great Northern depot, built in 1902.

Asarco, Union Pacific RR back in court over CdA Basin cleanup $$

Eight years after paying out $482 million to fund cleanup from a century of mining contamination in North Idaho’s Silver Valley, the copper mining firm Asarco is back in court, demanding that Union Pacific Railroad pay it $130 million because it contends the railroad caused a big piece of the damage. The railroad is furiously denying the claim...

Officials say man critically injured in Rathdrum Prairie train crash was trying to ‘beat the train’

The driver of a car hit by a Union Pacific train on the Rathdrum Prairie Thursday remains in critical condition at Kootenai Health hospital, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said. Austin C. Wiseman, 18, of Hayden, was westbound on a service road parallel to the Union Pacific tracks. As the train approached, he accelerated the 2003 Chevrolet TrailBlazer he was driving in what appeared to be an attempt to “beat the train,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. When Wiseman reached Huetter Road, he turned south in front of the train without stopping, and the train crashed into his driver’s side.

Track inspectors on front lines of safe shipment of crude oil, state says

Since trains began hauling flammable crude oil from the Northern Plains to Western Washington ports and refineries, state and local attention to rail infrastructure has increased. Track inspectors are on the front lines of safety. Most of them are employed by the railroads.