New Map of the Union Pacific Railway

The only known example of an incredible Union Pacific Railway pocket map.

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Description

This marvelous map of the Union Pacific shows the system in operation across the United States less than two decades after the Golden Spike was driven in at Promontory Point, Utah, completing the nation’s first Transcontinental Railroad. The network has grown precipitously in the intervening years, most notably in 1880 when it was consolidated with the Kansas Pacific Railway and Denver Pacific Railway and transformed into Jay Gould’s Union Pacific Railway (formerly the Union Pacific Railroad)- “The Short, Quick, and Safe Line to All Points West.”

More recent additions seen within the map include extensions into the Pacific Northwest, Kansas, and California. Subsidiary railways and competitor’s lines are also noted throughout, along with county outlines, geographic features, forts, and more. Taken as a whole, the image provides a fascinating and detailed overview of the United States at a period when the vast spaces of the West were becoming settled at an increasingly rapid pace.

The map was published in Chicago by Rand McNally & Company on behalf of the Union Pacific Railways, likely in 1887 based on the depiction of the network. It was issued as a pocket map and is now disbound from the original covers, which are rubberstamped ‘Compliments General Passenger Agt. Union Pacific Railway, Omaha, Neb.”

This is the only known copy to be issued in this format (though it’s likely there were others), but a slightly different color edition with a decorative border was also published, first in 1883 and later in 1887. WorldCat identifies four examples of these alternate versions.

Sources: Union Pacific Timeline, Alternate Example at the LoC, Previous Listing at Barry Ruderman Rare Maps  Alternate Example at the Library of Congress, Previous Market Listing at BLR,

Map Details

Publication Date: 1887

Author: Union Pacific Railway

Sheet Width (in): 45.5

Sheet Height (in): 27.25

Condition: A-

Condition Description: Printed on a somewhat thin sheet that was formerly folded into 48 segment and affixed to brown gilt cloth boards. Now separated, with light wear and faint discoloration along fold lines. About 3" of separation along the horizontal centerfold has been repaired on the verso with archival tape. Remains in very good condition overall.

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