Description : Pocatello was founded as a station on the narrow-gauge Utah and Northern Railway in 1878, and it has been a railroad town ever since. Passenger and freight trains arrived and departed in all four directions of the compass, 24 hours a day. The Union Pacific also built extensive shops at Pocatello, where railroad equipment was serviced, maintained, and repaired. In addition, refrigerator cars were iced from a large icehouse, and railroad ties were treated with preservative at a tie plant. The advent of the automobile, improved roads, new technologies, and the introduction of the diesel-electric locomotives all combined to change the railroad industry, affecting Pocatello in many ways. Passenger trains were discontinued, the steam-locomotive-servicing facilities were closed, and shop buildings were torn down. However, the railroad in Pocatello remains a vital part of the local scene today, with freight trains continuing to run through the city day and night.
Description : Pocatello, named in honor of a Shoshoni tribal chief, began as a stage station between Salt Lake City and the gold mines in Montana. By 1878, tracks of the Utah & Northern Railway were laid through the valley, and a narrow strip of shops and living quarters built alongside them became known as Pocatello Junction. From its beginnings, Pocatello demonstrated its distinction as an economic hub after the Oregon Short Line Railroad moved its main operations there from Eagle Rock (now Idaho Falls). This further facilitated the growth of Pocatello, which incorporated as a city in 1893. The establishment of the Academy of Idaho (now Idaho State University) signaled the growing importance of Pocatello as a center of learning. The town's influence as a cultural headquarters is evidenced by the top-level talent that was attracted to local theaters. The continued growth of Pocatello, fueled by its significance as a rail junction, led to the city becoming the major metropolitan area in southeastern Idaho.