On December 9, 1852 the first train ran on the Missouri Pacific Railroad in between St. Louis and Cheltenham. The locomotive arrived at the railroad from the Taunton Locomotive Manufacturing Company of Taunton, Massachusetts August 20, 1852. Expansion of the railroad continued, but in 1853, during the construction of an extension to Franklin, Missouri, the company ran out of funds and stopped construction. An effort to overcome the problem succeeded by incorporating the Southwest Branch in 1853, and was completed in 1860, connecting the town of Rolla to the railroad. Jefferson City was connected to the railroad in 1855, then came the Civil War. After the war, the railroad changed ownership several times as it continued to expand.
After several mergers, in 1997 the Missouri Pacific Railroad finally merged into the Union Pacific Railroad, which still survives as one of the largest railroads in the nation and serves 23 states in the western United States. The railroad mostly serves industry and agriculture as would be expected for the Midwest. Also, the railroad connects into Canada and is the only railroad to serve all six ports of entry from the United States and Mexico.