Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nebraska / News: Union Pacific license plate leaves the station

Rail fans and plate aficionados, unite! Nebraska-based fans of the Union Pacific Railroad Museum can officially purchase license plates advertising the institution, the state having just received their 500th pre-order for the proposed design. The good news comes just in time to help celebrate Union Pacific's 150th anniversary this year.

The plate does not provide any revenue to the museum itself (which is located just across the river from Omaha in Council Bluffs, Iowa) and also does not benefit Union Pacific financially. Rather, the plate is being used solely as a promotional tool by fans and friends of the museum to celebrate UP's sesquicentennial. In fact, employees of the railroad were given the first shot at ordering the new design.

Union Pacific has been an extremely important fixture in Nebraska history since its founding under the aegis of an act originally signed by Abraham Lincoln, helping to move new residents and raw materials into the state during its territorial days. The railroad's hub in Omaha has always been a major source of business income for Nebraska, especially now that UP is the nation's largest rail carrier.

Following Nebraska's long-awaited passage of specialty plate laws two years ago, the new UP plate is only the second such issue (excepting the separately-legislated University of Nebraska "Huskers" plates) to reach the 500-order mark following Creighton University's successful effort. Creighton now has over 900 plates on the roads since their issuance began last year.

Sources: Omaha World-Herald March 10 article, UPRRM news post.

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