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.