We travel Missouri Pacific territory in Illinois as new owner Union Pacific was taking hold between 1986 and 1988. The Union Pacific Railroad dates back to 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Bill to authorize the construction of a railroad from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. At the dawn of the 1980s the Union Pacific was essentially the same railroad, but that was about to change. UP absorbed the Missouri Pacific in 1982 and the Western Pacific in 1983, resulting in a railroad that reached from the Pacific Northwest and southern California to Chicago and the Gulf Coast.
Between 1986 and 1988, lots of power still wore Missouri Pacific blue, but locomotives were being repainted in UP colors with Missouri Pacific lettering. Toward the end of this period, MP engines were being repainted in full UP livery. Climb aboard for a look at the newly acquired Union Pacific lines centered on Salem, Illinois, with visits to the St. Louis area at Dupo, Illinois, and Kirkwood, Missouri. We also follow one of the last train to run over the former Missouri & Illinois out of Centralia, Illinois.