Sherman Hill

by Fiedler Law Firm

Sherman Hill

Looking for a thrilling train ride? Look no further than Sherman Hill, one of the most famous and challenging train routes in the United States.

Located in southeastern Wyoming, Sherman Hill has a rich history and continues to be an important part of the country’s transportation infrastructure.

Since the late 1800s, trains have been making the ascent up the steep grade of Sherman Hill, facing challenges like high altitude, intense weather, and steep inclines.

But with these challenges come breathtaking views and a sense of adventure that can’t be found anywhere else.

Whether you’re a train enthusiast or just looking for a unique travel experience, Sherman Hill is a must-see destination.

Early History of Sherman Hill

You’re about to learn about the fascinating early history of this iconic neighborhood, so sit back and get ready to be transported back in time!

Sherman Hill was founded in the late 19th century as a residential area for Des Moines’ elite. The neighborhood’s high elevation provided stunning views of the city, and its proximity to downtown made it a popular choice for wealthy businessmen and politicians.

As Sherman Hill grew, so did its reputation for being a desirable place to live. The neighborhood’s tree-lined streets, ornate Victorian homes, and well-manicured lawns attracted some of the city’s most prominent citizens.

Many of these homes have been preserved to this day, giving visitors a glimpse into the neighborhood’s rich past. From the very beginning, Sherman Hill has been a symbol of luxury and prestige, and it continues to be one of Des Moines’ most beloved neighborhoods.

Challenges of the Steep Grade

You’ll face some tough challenges navigating this steep grade, but don’t worry, we’ll give you some tips to make it through.

The Sherman Hill climb is known for being one of the steepest in the United States, with a maximum grade of 1.55%. This means that the climb is not only steep, but it’s also long, covering over 5 miles of track.

One of the main challenges of the Sherman Hill climb is the strain it puts on your locomotive and train. With the steep grade, your locomotive will have to work extra hard to pull your train up the hill. This can lead to overheating and other mechanical issues if you’re not careful.

To combat this, it’s important to make sure your locomotive is well-maintained and that you’re not overloading your train. You’ll also want to make sure you’re using the right gear and speed to climb the hill without putting too much strain on your locomotive.

With the right preparation and technique, you can make it up Sherman Hill without any issues.

Famous Trains That Have Traveled Over Sherman Hill

Many famous trains have traveled over this steep grade, adding to the rich history and lore of this challenging climb.

One of the most famous trains to traverse Sherman Hill was the Union Pacific’s Big Boy. This massive steam locomotive was specifically designed to handle the harsh terrain of the western United States and made regular trips over Sherman Hill during its time in service.

Another iconic train that crossed Sherman Hill was the Overland Limited. This passenger train was one of the fastest and most luxurious trains of its time and was a symbol of the opulence and glamour of train travel in the early 20th century.

The Overland Limited was known for its speedy trips across the country, including over the challenging terrain of Sherman Hill.

Today, these trains and their journeys over Sherman Hill continue to captivate train enthusiasts and historians alike.

Modern Developments and Upgrades

There’ve been some recent upgrades and modern developments made to improve the train travel experience through this challenging terrain.

These developments include the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) technology, which is a safety system that automatically stops a train if it’s going too fast or if there’s a risk of collision.

This technology has been implemented on the Union Pacific line that runs through Sherman Hill, ensuring safer and smoother train travel.

Additionally, the Union Pacific has also invested in infrastructure upgrades and maintenance to ensure the tracks are in top condition.

This includes replacing old rails and ties, upgrading bridges, and improving drainage systems to prevent erosion.

These improvements not only enhance safety but also contribute to faster and more efficient train travel through Sherman Hill.

With these upgrades and modern developments, the Union Pacific is ensuring that Sherman Hill remains a vital and reliable transportation route for years to come.

Visiting Sherman Hill Today

If you’re planning a trip out west, don’t miss the chance to see the beautiful and historic railway route that runs through this challenging terrain.

Sherman Hill is a must-see destination for train enthusiasts and history buffs alike. The hill is located in southeastern Wyoming and is part of the Union Pacific Railroad’s main line between Cheyenne and Laramie.

Today, visitors to Sherman Hill can experience the thrill of watching massive freight trains climb the steep grades and navigate tight curves. The hill offers several viewing areas, including the popular overlook at the summit.

You can also take a drive on the nearby Old Lincoln Highway, which follows the original route of the Transcontinental Railroad. Be sure to stop at the Ames Monument, a towering granite pyramid that honors the two brothers who helped build the railroad over Sherman Hill.

Whether you’re a train fan or just appreciate the natural beauty of the American West, Sherman Hill is a must-see destination that will leave a lasting impression.


So, if you’re a train enthusiast or just looking for a unique adventure, make sure to add Sherman Hill to your travel itinerary.

With its rich history, challenging terrain, and modern developments, there’s something for everyone to appreciate.

Take a scenic drive along the old Lincoln Highway or hike the trails to get a closer look at the trains climbing the hill.

You can even book a ride on the Union Pacific’s historic steam engine, Big Boy, for an unforgettable experience.

Whatever you choose to do, Sherman Hill is a must-see destination for any train lover.