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Encyclopedia > First Transcontinental Railroad

Editing of this article by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled to deal with vandalism. If you are prevented from editing this article, and you wish to make a change, please discuss changes on the talk page, request unprotection, log in, or create an account. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

This article refers to a railroad built in the United States between Omaha and Sacramento completed in 1869. For other transcontinental railroads see: Transcontinental railroad.
The ceremony for the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10, 1869. Photograph by Andrew J. Russell.
The ceremony for the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10, 1869. Photograph by Andrew J. Russell.

Contents

The First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States was built across North America in the 1860s, linking the railway network of the Eastern United States with California on the Pacific coast. Ceremonially completed on May 10, 1869, at the famous "golden spike" event at Promontory Summit, Utah, it created a nation-wide mechanized transportation network that revolutionized the population and economy of the American West. This network caused the wagon trains of previous decades to become obsolete, exchanging it for a modern transportation system. The transcontinental railroad is a railway that crosses a continent, typically from sea to sea. Terminals are at or connected to different oceans. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (862x587, 313 KB) Summary Gamma corrected, temporary file for FPC. Licensing This image is in the public domain in the United States and possibly other jurisdictions. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (862x587, 313 KB) Summary Gamma corrected, temporary file for FPC. Licensing This image is in the public domain in the United States and possibly other jurisdictions. ... Promontory is a location in Box Elder County, Utah, centered approximately at 41°3707N, 112°3251W, with an elevation of 1494 meters (4902 feet) above sea level. ... May 10 is the 130th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (131st in leap years). ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... The ceremony for the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Red shows states east of the Mississippi River, pink shows states not fully eastern or western The U.S. Eastern states are the states east of the Mississippi River. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... The Pacific Ocean (from the Latin name Mare Pacificum, peaceful sea, bestowed upon it by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan)is the largest body of water on Earth – at 165. ... May 10 is the 130th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (131st in leap years). ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Ex-Virginia and Truckee Railroad No. ... Promontory is a location in Box Elder County, Utah, centered approximately at 41°3707N, 112°3251W, with an elevation of 1494 meters (4902 feet) above sea level. ... The cowboy, the quintessential symbol of the American Old West, circa 1887. ... For the TV show, see Wagon Train. ...


Authorized by the Pacific Railway Act of 1862 and heavily backed by the federal government, it was the culmination of a decades-long movement to build such a line and was one of the crowning achievements of the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, completed four years after his death. The building of the railway required enormous feats of engineering and labor in the crossing of plains and high mountains by the Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad, the two privately chartered federally backed enterprises that built the line westward and eastward respectively. The Pacific Railway Acts were passed by the United States Congress in 1862 and 1864. ... The U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1789 by a constitutional convention, sets down the basic framework of American government in its seven articles. ... Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States (March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865). ... Engineering is the design, analysis, and/or construction of works for practical purposes. ... The Union Pacific Railroad (AAR reporting marks UP) (NYSE: UNP) is the largest railroad network in the United States. ... The Gov. ...


The building of the railroad was motivated in part to bind the Union together during the strife of the American Civil War. It substantially accelerated the populating of the West by white homesteaders, while contributing to the decline of the Native Americans in these regions. In 1879, the Supreme Court of the United States formally established, in its decision regarding Union Pacific Railroad vs. United States (99 U.S. 402), the official "date of completion" of the Transcontinental Railroad as November 6, 1869. In this map:  Union states prohibiting slavery  Union territories  Border states on the Union side which allowed slavery  Kansas, which entered and fought with the Union as a free state after the Bleeding Kansas crisis  The Confederacy  Confederate claimed and sometimes held territories During the American Civil War, the Union... This article is becoming very long. ... The origins from which white Americans may come. ... Broadly, homesteading is a lifestyle of agrarian self-sufficiency. ... Native Americans are the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States, including parts of Alaska. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest judicial body in the... November 6 is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 55 days remaining. ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ...


The Central Pacific and the Southern Pacific Railroad combined operations in 1870 and formally merged in 1885. Union Pacific originally bought the Southern Pacific in 1901 but in 1913 was forced to divest it; the company once again acquired the Southern Pacific in 1996. Much of the original right-of-way is still in use today and owned by the Union Pacific. The Southern Pacific Railroad (AAR reporting mark SP) was an American railroad. ... A right-of-way (plural: rights-of-way) is an easement or strip of land granted to a railroad company upon which to build a railroad. ...


The railroad was considered the greatest technological feat of the 19th century. It served as a vital link for trade, commerce and travel that joined the eastern and western halves of late 19th century United States. The transcontinental railroad quickly ended the romantic yet far slower and more hazardous Pony Express and stagecoach lines that had preceded it. The subsequent march of "Manifest Destiny" and proliferation of the so-called "Iron Horse" across Native American land greatly accelerated the demise of Great Plains Indian culture. Pony Express statue in St. ... Stagecoach in Switzerland A stagecoach is a type of four-wheeled enclosed passenger and/or mail coach, strongly sprung and drawn by four horses, widely used before the introduction of railway transport. ... This painting (circa 1872) by John Gast called American Progress is an allegorical representation of Manifest Destiny. ... The Great Plains covers much of the central United States, portions of Canada and Mexico. ...


Route

Route of the first American transcontinental railroad from Sacramento, California, to Omaha, Nebraska.
Route of the first American transcontinental railroad from Sacramento, California, to Omaha, Nebraska.

The route followed the main trails used for the opening of the West pioneered by the Oregon, Mormon, California Trails and the Pony Express. Going from Omaha it followed the Platte River through Nebraska, crossed the Rocky Mountains at South Pass in Wyoming and then cut down through northern Utah and Nevada in the Great Basin before crossing the Sierras to Sacramento. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1000x619, 144 KB)Route of the first American transcontinental railroad, completed in 1869. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1000x619, 144 KB)Route of the first American transcontinental railroad, completed in 1869. ... The Ox Team or the Old Oregon Trail 1852-1906 by Ezra Meeker. ... The Mormon Trail or Mormon Pioneer Trail is the 1,300 mile route that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traveled from 1846-1857. ... Main route of California Trail (thick red line), including Applegate-Lassen and Beckwourth variations (thinner red lines) The California Trail was a major overland emigrant route across the Western United States from Missouri to California in the middle 19th century. ... The Platte River, showing the North Platte and South Platte The Platte River is a tributary of the Missouri River, approximately 310 mi. ... Confectionary Company, see Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. ... South Pass (elevation 7550 ft) is a mountain pass on the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Wyoming. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Drainage map showing the Great Basin in orange Various Definitions of the Great Basin (NPS) The Great Basin is a large, arid region of the western United States. ...


The route did not pass through the two biggest cities in the Great American Desert -- Denver, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah. Feeder lines were built to service the two cities. The Great American Desert was an inaccurate term that described the area west of the Missouri River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the 19th century. ... : The Mile-High City United States Colorado Denver (coextensive) 154. ... Salt Lake City is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Utah. ...


When it started, it was not directly connected to the Eastern U.S. rail network. Instead, trains had to be ferried across the Missouri River. In 1872, the Union Pacific Missouri River Bridge opened and directly connected the East and West. The Missouri River is a tributary of the Mississippi River in the United States. ... Union Pacific Bridge about 1909 The Union Pacific Missouri River Bridge is a rail truss bridge across the Missouri River connecting Council Bluffs, Iowa with Omaha, Nebraska. ...


The Central Pacific laid 690 miles (1,110 km) of track, starting in Sacramento, California, and continuing through California (Newcastle and Truckee), Nevada (Reno, Wadsworth, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, Elko, Humboldt-Wells), and connecting with the Union Pacific line at Promontory Summit in the Utah Territory. Later, the route was extended to the Alameda Terminal in Alameda, California, and shortly thereafter, to the Oakland Long Wharf in Oakland, California. Newcastle is in Placer County, in the Sacramento-Arden-Arcade metro area. ... A cabin in Truckee. ... City nickname: The Biggest Little City in the World Founded May 9, 1868 County Washoe County Mayor Bob Cashell Area  - Total  - Land  - Water 179. ... Wadsworth is a census-designated place located in Washoe County, Nevada. ... Winnemucca cemetery with a sign reading: Welcome to Winnemucca, Proud of it! Winnemucca is the county seat of Humboldt County, Nevada and the site of a September 19, 1900 bank robbery by the Wild Bunch. ... Battle Mountain, Nevada. ... Elko, Nevada Elko is a city in Elko County, Nevada, United States. ... Wells, Nevada Wells is a city located in Elko County, Nevada. ... The Utah Territory was an organized territory of the United States that existed between 1850 and 1896. ... The Alameda Terminal of the First Transcontinental Railroad, located in Alameda, California, was the western terminus of the line. ... Nickname: The Island City Location in the state of California and Alameda County County Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson (D) Area    - City 59. ... The Oakland Long Wharf was a massive railroad wharf and ferry pier (mole) in Oakland, California. ... Oakland, founded in 1852, is the eighth-largest city in California[1] and the county seat of Alameda County. ...


The Union Pacific laid 1,087 miles (1,749 km) of track, starting in Omaha, Nebraska, and continuing through Nebraska (Elkhorn, Grand Island, North Platte, Ogallala, Sidney, Nebraska), the Colorado Territory (Julesburg), the Wyoming Territory (Cheyenne, Laramie, Green River, Evanston), the Utah Territory (Ogden, Brigham City, Corinne), and connecting with the Central Pacific at Promontory Summit.
Nickname: Gateway to the West Location in Nebraska Coordinates: Country United States State Nebraska County Douglas Founded 1854 Incorporated 1857 Government  - Mayor Michael Fahey (D) Area  - City  118. ... Elkhorn was a municipality in Douglas County, Nebraska, United States. ... Image:Thumb18115. ... Grain elevator along the Union Pacific Railroad in downtown North Platte North Platte is a small city located in Lincoln County in southwestern Nebraska on I-80 where the South Platte River and the North Platte River join to form the Platte River. ... Sign for Front Street a popular Old West-themed tourist attraction in Ogallala Ogallala is a city located in Keith County, Nebraska. ... Sidney is a city located in Cheyenne County, Nebraska. ... The Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, and New Mexico territories in 1860 The Colorado Territory was a historic, organized territory of the United States that existed between 1861 and 1876. ... Julesburg is a town in Sedgwick County, Colorado, on the north side of the South Platte River. ... Wyoming Territory was an organized territory of the United States that was existed from 1868 until its admission to the Union as the State of Wyoming in 1890. ... Location in Wyoming Coordinates: County Laramie County Founded 1867 Government  - Mayor Jack R. Spiker Area  - City 57. ... Downtown Laramie Laramie is the county seat of Albany County in the U.S. state of Wyoming. ... Green River is a city in southwestern Wyoming in Sweetwater County. ... Evanston is a city in Uinta County, Wyoming, United States. ... Ogden sign over Washington Boulevard at the Ogden River; toward downtown Overlooking Ogdens George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park Ogden is the county seat of Weber County,GR6 Utah, United States. ... Brigham City is a city in Box Elder County, Utah, United States. ... Street view in Corinne, Boxelder Co. ...


History

The official poster announcing the Pacific Railroad's grand opening.
The official poster announcing the Pacific Railroad's grand opening.

Download high resolution version (419x1065, 49 KB)1869 poster advertising Transcontinental Railroad This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (419x1065, 49 KB)1869 poster advertising Transcontinental Railroad This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ...

California Developments

Asa Whitney

Main article: Asa Whitney

Talk of a transcontinental railroad to be the centerpiece of the United States manifest destiny started in 1830 shortly after railroads began wide scale operation in the United States as English-speaking settlers began settling in Mexican controlled California. Much of the early debates was not so much over whether it would ever be built but whether it would follow a "central" route, avoiding the worst of the Rocky Mountains via the Platte River in Nebraska and the South Pass in Wyoming, or whether it should follow a southern route - avoiding the Rockies by going through Texas to Los Angeles (a "northern" route which Lewis and Clark followed along the Missouri River would have gone through northern Montana to Oregon and was always considered impractical because of snow). Asa Whitney (1797 - August 1872) was one of the first backers of an American Transcontinental Railway. ... This painting (circa 1872) by John Gast called American Progress is an allegorical representation of Manifest Destiny. ... Confectionary Company, see Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. ... South Pass (elevation 7550 ft) is a mountain pass on the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Wyoming. ... Official language(s) English Capital Cheyenne Largest city Cheyenne Area  Ranked 10th  - Total 97,818 sq mi (253,348 km²)  - Width 280 miles (450 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 0. ... The Lewis and Clark expedition (1804-1806) was the first American overland expedition to the Pacific coast and back. ...


The most prominent champion of the central route railroad at this time was Asa Whitney (a distant cousin to cotton gin inventor Eli Whitney). Whitney envisioned a route from Chicago and the Great Lakes to northern California, paid for by the sale of land to settlers along the route. Asa Whitney (1797 - August 1872) was one of the first backers of an American Transcontinental Railway. ... Cotton gin A cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates the cotton fibers from the seedpods and the sometimes sticky seeds. ... Eli Whitney Eli Whitney (December 8, 1765–January 8, 1825) was an American inventor. ...


In June 1845 Whitney led a team along the route to assess its capabilities. Whitney travelled widely to solicit support from businessmen and politicians, printed maps and pamphlets, and submitted several proposals to Congress, all at his own expense. Legislation called the Memorial of Asa Whitney was first introduced to Congress by Representative Zadock Pratt to begin construction of the railroad (called the Pacific Railroad) [1] Type Bicameralism Houses Senate House of Representatives United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D, since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D, since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups (as of November 7, 2006 elections) Democratic Party Republican... Zadock Pratt (October 30, 1790 – April 5, 1871) was a tanner, banker, and Congressman in the United States House of Representatives. ...


Congress did not act on Whitney's proposal. California came under formal United States control in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the conclusion of the Mexican-American War. Settlement of California skyrocketed with California Gold Rush of 1849. The Mexican Cession (red) and the Gadsden Purchase (orange) The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was the peace treaty that ended the Mexican-American War (1846–1848). ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Zachary Taylor Winfield Scott Stephen W. Kearney Antonio López de Santa Anna Mariano Arista Pedro de Ampudia Strength 7,000 - 43,000 18,000 - 40,000 Casualties KIA: 1,733 Total dead: 13,283 Wounded: 4,152 25,000 killed or wounded (Mexican government... The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began in January 1848, when gold was discovered at Sutters Mill. ...


Concerns lingered over whether snow would make the central route to California impractical and in 1853 the United States in the Gadsden Purchase purchased what is now the southern portions of New Mexico and Arizona with the express purpose of building the first transcontinental railroad through the south to Los Angeles, California. However, federal financing did not materialize as it became a flash point in the ramp up to the American Civil War. The Gadsden Purchase (shown with present-day state boundaries and cities) The Gadsden Purchase or Gadsdena[], is a 29,640 mi² (76,770 km²) region of what is today southern Arizona and New Mexico that was purchased by the United States from Mexico in 1853. ... Capital Santa Fe Largest city Albuquerque Area  Ranked 5th  - Total 121,665 sq mi (315,194 km²)  - Width 342 miles (550 km)  - Length 370 miles (595 km)  - % water 0. ... Official language(s) English Capital Phoenix Largest city Phoenix Area  Ranked 6th  - Total 113,998 sq mi (295,254 km²)  - Width 310 miles (500 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 0. ... Nickname: City of Angels Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: State California County Los Angeles County Incorporated April 4, 1850 Government  - Type Mayor-Council  - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D)  - City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo  - Governing body City Council Area  - City  498. ... This article is becoming very long. ...


Whitney was to see the central route completed although he was not formally involved.


Theodore Judah

Main article: Theodore Judah
Theodore Judah, architect of the Transcontinental Railroad and first chief engineer of the Central Pacific.
Theodore Judah, architect of the Transcontinental Railroad and first chief engineer of the Central Pacific.

The next big champion of the central route was Theodore Judah. Theodore Judah, architect of the Transcontinental Railroad and first chief engineer of the Central Pacific. ... Image File history File links Theodore_Dehone_Judah. ... Theodore Judah, architect of the Transcontinental Railroad and first chief engineer of the Central Pacific. ...


Judah was chief engineer for the newly formed Sacramento Valley Railroad in 1852. Although the railroad was to go bankrupt he was convinced that a properly financed railroad could pass from Sacramento through the Sierra Nevada mountains to reach the Great Basin and hook up with rail lines coming from the East. The Sacramento Valley Railroad was Californias first railroad. ... Nickname: River City Location of Sacramento in California County Sacramento Government  - Mayor Heather Fargo Area  - City  99. ... The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range that is mostly in eastern California. ... Drainage map showing the Great Basin in orange Various Definitions of the Great Basin (NPS) The Great Basin is a large, arid region of the western United States. ...


In 1856 he wrote a 13,000-word proposal in support of a Pacific railroad and distributed it to Cabinet secretaries, congressmen, and other influential people.


In September 1859, Judah was chosen to be the accredited lobbyist for the Pacific Railroad Convention. The convention approved his plan to survey, finance, and engineer the road. Judah returned to Washington in December 1859, where he was given an office in the United States Capitol, an audience with President James Buchanan, and he represented the Convention before Congress. The entire front of the Capitol Building. ... James Buchanan (April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868) was the 15th president of the United States (1857–1861). ...


In February 1860 Iowa Representative Samuel Curtis introduced a bill to build the railroad. It passed the House but died when it could not be reconciled with the Senate version. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Samuel R. Curtis (1805 - December 26, 1866) was an American military officer, most famous for his role in the American Civil War. ... Seal of the House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives (or simply the House) is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress, the other being the Senate. ...


Judah returned to California in 1860. He continued to search for a more practical a pass through the Sierras suitable for a railroad. In the summer of 1860, a local miner, Daniel Strong, had surveyed a route over the Sierras for a wagon road, a route he realized would also suit a railroad. He described his discovery in a letter to Judah, and together they formed an association to solicit subscriptions from local merchants and businessmen to support their paper railroad.


From January or February 1861 until July, the party of ten led by Judah and Strong surveyed the route for the railroad over the Sierra Nevada, through Clipper Gap, Emigrant Gap, Donner Pass, and south to Truckee. Emigrant Gap or Emigrant Pass is a place on the California Trail where it crosses the Sierra Nevada (US) (mountain range), on the western side of what is now known as Donner Pass. ... Donner Pass in the 1870s Donner Pass, elevation 7,085 feet (2160 meters), is a mountain pass in the northern Sierra Nevada, located above Donner Lake about nine miles West of Truckee, California. ... A cabin in Truckee. ...


Judah was to die before major construction began after contracting Yellow Fever while returning over the Isthmus of Panama from New York where he was attempting to get financing to buy out The Big Four. The Isthmus of Panama. ...


The Big Four and Central Pacific Railroad

Main articles: The Big Four and Central Pacific Railroad
Leland Stanford's official gubernatorial portrait
Leland Stanford's official gubernatorial portrait

Collis Huntington, a hardware merchant, heard Theodore Judah lecture at the St. Charles Hotel in Sacramento in November 1860, and he invited Judah to his office to hear his proposal in detail. Huntington was to change the Judah's strategy of finding several investors and instead sought to raise the money from three partners who initially invested $1,500 each and form a board of directors: Mark Hopkins, his business partner; James Bailey, a jeweller; Leland Stanford, a grocer and the future governor of California; and Charles Crocker, a dry-goods merchant. The investors became known as the The Big Four and their railroad was called the Central Pacific Railroad. Alternate meaning: The Big Four (novel) The Big Four were the chief entrepreneurs in the building of the Central Pacific Railroad, the western portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States. ... The Gov. ... Leland Stanfords official portrate as California Governor. ... Leland Stanfords official portrate as California Governor. ... Collis Potter Huntington (October 22, 1821 – August 13, 1900) was one of the Big Four of western railroading (along with Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins and Charles Crocker) who built the Southern Pacific Railroad and other major interstate train lines. ... Mark Hopkins (September 1, 1813 – March 29, 1878) was one of four principal investors who formed the Central Pacific Railroad along with Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker and Collis Huntington in 1861. ... Amasa Leland Stanford (March 9, 1824–June 21, 1893) was an American business tycoon, politician and founder of Stanford University. ... Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis with President George W. Bush (2003) Seal of the Governor of California (without the Roman numerals designating the governors sequence) See also: List of pre-statehood governors of California, List of Governors of California The Governor of California is the highest executive authority... subject_name=Charles Crocker| image_name=ccrocker. ... Alternate meaning: The Big Four (novel) The Big Four were the chief entrepreneurs in the building of the Central Pacific Railroad, the western portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States. ... The Gov. ...


Pacific Railroad Act

Main article: Pacific Railroad Act

The Pony Express from 1860 to 1861 was to prove that the central route was viable during the winter. With the American Civil War raging and a secessionist movement in California gaining steam, the need for the railroad become more urgent. The Pacific Railway Acts were passed by the United States Congress in 1862 and 1864. ... Pony Express statue in St. ...


In 1861 Curtis again introduced a bill establish the railroad but it did not pass. The House of Representatives on May 6, 1862, and the Senate on June 20 finally approved it. Lincoln signed it into law on July 1. The act established the two main lines -- the Central Pacific from the west and the Union Pacific from the east. Other rail lines could build feeder lines. May 6 is the 126th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (127th in leap years). ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... June 20 is the 171st day of the year (172nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 194 days remaining. ... July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 183 days remaining. ...


Each was required to build only 50 miles (80 km) in the first year; after that, only 50 miles (80 km) more were required each year. Besides land grants along the right-of-way, each railroad was subsidized $16,000 per mile ($9,940/km) built over an easy grade, $32,000 per mile ($19,880/km) in the high plains, and $48,000 per mile ($29,830/km) in the mountains. The race was on to see which railroad company could build the longest section of track.


Eastern Developments

Eastern Terminus

Lincoln Memorial where Abraham Lincoln is said to have selected Council Bluffs as the eastern terminus after visiting this site in 1859 under the employ of Thomas Durant.
Lincoln Memorial where Abraham Lincoln is said to have selected Council Bluffs as the eastern terminus after visiting this site in 1859 under the employ of Thomas Durant.

Once it was decided that the railroad would follow the central route rather than the southern route, there was little question that the western terminus would be Sacramento. However, there was considerable intrigue over the eastern terminus. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2115x1390, 205 KB) Lincoln Memorial at Fairview Cemetery in Council Bluffs, Iowa looking towards Omaha, Nebraska with a jet coming into Eppley Airfield. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2115x1390, 205 KB) Lincoln Memorial at Fairview Cemetery in Council Bluffs, Iowa looking towards Omaha, Nebraska with a jet coming into Eppley Airfield. ...


The three prime candidates for the eastern terminus on 250 miles of Missouri River between Kansas City and Omaha were:

The principal advantages of Council Bluffs/Omaha was that it was well north of the Civil War fighting taking place in Missouri, was the shortest route to South Pass break in the Rockies in Wyoming, and would follow a fertile river that would encourage settlement. Missouri's advantages included that it had the only railroad to actually reach the Missouri River on its western border (H&SJ), was more centrally located for lines coming up from Texas and could offer a route servicing Denver, Colorado, the biggest city in the Great American Desert. In 1862 the closest rail lines to Omaha/Council Bluffs were 150 miles away and would take five years to reach Omaha. The Mississippi and Missouri Railroad (M&M Railroad) was the first railroad in Iowa and was chartered in 1853 to build a line between Davenport, Iowa on the Mississippi River and Council Bluffs, Iowa on the Missouri River and was to play an important role in the construction of the... The Union Pacific Railroad (NYSE: UNP) is the largest railroad in the United States. ... Saint Joseph (also known as St. ... Hannibal and St. ... Kansas City is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Wyandotte County; it is part of the Unified Government [1] which also includes the cities of Bonner Springs and Edwardsville. ... Leavenworth redirects here. ... The Kansas Pacific main line shown on an 1869 map. ... Thomas Ewing, Jr. ... John C. Frémont John Charles Frémont (January 21, 1813-July 13, 1890), birth name John Charles Fremon [Harvey, p. ... : The Mile-High City United States Colorado Denver (coextensive) 154. ... The Great American Desert was an inaccurate term that described the area west of the Missouri River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the 19th century. ...


Thomas Durant who was building the cross-Iowa railroad (the M&M) was literally banking that the Omaha route would be chosen and began buying up land in Nebraska.


In 1857, Durant hired private citizen Abraham Lincoln to represent the M&M in litigation brought by steamboat operators to dismantle Government Bridge the first bridge across the Mississippi River. In August 1859 Lincoln at the behest of M&M attorney Norman Judd travelled to Council Bluffs to inspect M&M facilities and that were to be used to secure a $3,000 loan Lincoln was to hold. On the visit Lincoln rode the SJ&H railroad and visited railroad locations in Missouri and Kansas before going to Council Bluffs. During the visit Lincoln was to spend 2 hours with M&M engineer Grenville M. Dodge at the Pacific House Hotel discussing the merits of starting the railroad in Council Bluffs and was to visit Cemetery Hill there to look over the proposed route.[2] Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States (March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865). ... The Government Bridge, or Arsenal Bridge, spans the Mississippi River connecting Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa. ... Grenville M. Dodge wearing a major generals uniform Grenville Mullen Dodge (April 12, 1831 – January 3, 1916) was a Union army officer on the frontier and during the Civil War, a U.S. Congressman, businessman, and railroad executive who helped construct the Transcontinental Railroad. ...


Lincoln's ties to Council Bluffs were furthered strengthened by the fact that he had won the 1860 Republican nomination on the third ballot when the Iowa delegation switched its vote to him.[3] In contrast, Lincoln was to get only 10 percent of the Missouri vote in the 1860 Presidential Election. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ...


While the Pacific Railroad Act was to award the eastern contract to the newly formed Union Pacific, it was left up to then President Lincoln to formally choose the location for the railroad to start and Lincoln in 1862 was to follow the advice of his former client.


The H&SJ and LP&W were not totally shut out of the contract though. The H&SJ was to be allowed to build a feeder line from Atchison, Kansas while the LP&W could build a feeder line out of Kansas City, Kansas. The feeder lines were supposed to meet the Union Pacific main line somewhere around the 100th meridian in central Nebraska and the feeder lines were to get the same land grant incentives as the Union Pacific. Atchison is a city situated along the Missouri River in the eastern part of Atchison County, located in northeast Kansas, in the central United States. ... Kansas City is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Wyandotte County; it is part of the Unified Government [1] which also includes the cities of Bonner Springs and Edwardsville. ... (Redirected from 100th meridian) Sign marking the 100th meridian in Cozad, Nebraska The 100th meridian west is a line of longitude passing through North America and the Pacific Ocean. ...


Thomas Durant and the Union Pacific

Thomas Clark Durant
Thomas Clark Durant
Main articles: Thomas C. Durant and Union Pacific

In contrast to the relatively straight forward arrangements for the Central Pacific, the Union Pacific which was to ultimately build nearly 2/3 of the track was to be mired in controversy and scandals while its controlling partner Thomas C. Durant got rich as he took advantage of lax or non-existent government oversight during the Civil War. Image File history File links Thomas_C_Durant. ... Image File history File links Thomas_C_Durant. ... Thomas Clark Durant Dr. Thomas Clark Durant, 1820–1885, was an American financier and railroad promoter. ... The Union Pacific Railroad (NYSE: UNP) is the largest railroad in the United States. ...


The enabling legislation for the Union Pacific required that no partner was to own more than 10 percent of the stock. However, the Union Pacific had problems selling its stock. Durant enticed investors with a scheme where he would put up the money for the stock if they would just put their names on it. Then Durant wound up taking the stock from the investors and was to end up controlling about half the stock of the railroad.


The initial construction of railroad went over land that Durant owned around Omaha. Being paid by the mile, the railroad built oxbows of extraneous track never venturing further than 40 miles from Omaha in the railroad's first 2 1/2 years. An oxbow is a U-shaped wooden frame that fits under and around the neck of an ox, with its upper ends attached to the bar of the yoke. ...


Durant manipulated market prices on his stocks by spreading rumours about which railroads were to be connected to the Union Pacific. First he ran up the stock of his M&M Railroad while secretly buying stock in the depressed Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad (CR&M), then running up CR&M stock with new plans to connect the Union Pacific to it at which point he began buying back the M&M stock at depressed prices. The gambit is estimated to have raised $5 million for his cohorts and him.[4] The Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad was a railroad chartered to run from Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Council Bluffs, Iowa on the Missouri River. ...


Durant was to keep a low public profile in his mechanizations as he was only a vice president. He was to install a series of respected men such as John Adams Dix as president of the railroad.[5] John Adams Dix (July 24, 1798–April 21, 1879) was an American politician. ...


On July 4, 1865, the Union Pacific had not gone further than 40 miles from Omaha -- even as the Central Pacific had been working away for 2 1/2 years. With the end of the Civil War and increased government supervision in the offing, Durant hired his former M&M engineer Grenville M. Dodge to build the railroad and the Union Pacific began a mad dash. Grenville M. Dodge wearing a major generals uniform Grenville Mullen Dodge (April 12, 1831 – January 3, 1916) was a Union army officer on the frontier and during the Civil War, a U.S. Congressman, businessman, and railroad executive who helped construct the Transcontinental Railroad. ...


Construction

The Jupiter, which carried Leland Stanford (one of the "Big Four" owners of the Central Pacific) and other railway officials to the Golden Spike Ceremony.
The Jupiter, which carried Leland Stanford (one of the "Big Four" owners of the Central Pacific) and other railway officials to the Golden Spike Ceremony.

Because of the nature of the way money was given to the companies building the railroad, they were sometimes known to sabotage each other's railroads to claim that land as their own. When they first came close to meeting, they changed paths to be nearly parallel, so that each company could claim subsidies from the government over the same plot of land. Fed up with the fighting, Congress eventually declared where and when the railways should meet. Survey teams closely followed by work crews from each railroad passed each other, eager to lay as much track as possible. The leading Central Pacific road crew set a record by laying 10 miles (16 km) of track in a single day, commemorating the event with a signpost beside the track for passing trains to see. Download high resolution version (871x628, 48 KB)The train pictured is the Jupiter which carried Leland Stanford, one of the big four owners of the Central Pacific, and other railway officials to the Golden Spike Ceremony. ... Download high resolution version (871x628, 48 KB)The train pictured is the Jupiter which carried Leland Stanford, one of the big four owners of the Central Pacific, and other railway officials to the Golden Spike Ceremony. ...


Laborers

Chinese railroad workers perform their duties in the snow.
Chinese railroad workers perform their duties in the snow.

The majority of the Union Pacific track was built by Irish laborers, veterans of both the Union and Confederate armies, and Mormons who wished to see the railroad pass through Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah. Mostly Chinese built the Central Pacific track. Even though at first they were thought to be too weak or fragile to do this type of work, after the first day in which Chinese were on the line, the decision was made to hire as many as could be found in California (where most were gold miners or in service industries such as laundries and kitchens), plus many more were imported from China. Most of the men received between one and three dollars per day, but the workers from China received much less. Eventually, they went on strike and gained a small increase in salary. Chinese railroad workers for transcontinental railroad in the snow. ... Chinese railroad workers for transcontinental railroad in the snow. ... Navvy is a shorter form of the word navigator and is particularly applied to describe the manual labourers working on major civil engineering projects. ... Motto: Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem: God Save the South (unofficial) Dixie (traditional) The Bonnie Blue Flag (popular) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Government Republic President... The term Mormon is a colloquial name, most-often used to refer to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). ... Ogden sign over Washington Boulevard at the Ogden River; toward downtown Overlooking Ogdens George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park Ogden is the county seat of Weber County,GR6 Utah, United States. ... Salt Lake City is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Utah. ...


In addition to track laying (which employed approximately 25% of the labor force), the operation also required the efforts of hundreds of blacksmiths, carpenters, engineers, masons, surveyors, teamsters, telegraphers, and even cooks, to name just a few of the trades involved in this monumental task.


Central Pacific

Six months later, on January 8, 1863 Governor Leland Stanford ceremoniously broke ground in Sacramento, California, to begin construction of the Central Pacific Railroad. The Central Pacific made great progress along the Sacramento Valley. However construction was slowed, first by the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, then by the mountains themselves and most importantly by winter snowstorms. Consequently, the Central Pacific expanded its efforts to hire immigrant laborers (many of whom were Chinese). The immigrants seemed to be more willing to tolerate the horrible conditions, and progress continued. The increasing necessity for tunnelling then began to slow progress of the line yet again. To combat this, Central Pacific began to use the newly invented and very unstable nitro-glycerine explosives—which accelerated both the rate of construction and the mortality of the laborers. Appalled by the losses, the Central Pacific began to use less volatile explosives and developed a method of placing the explosives in which the Chinese blasters worked from large suspended baskets which were then rapidly pulled to safety after the fuses were lit. Construction began again in earnest. January 8 is the 8th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Amasa Leland Stanford (March 9, 1824–June 21, 1893) was an American business tycoon, politician and founder of Stanford University. ... Nitroglycerin (also nitroglycerine, trinitroglycerin, or glyceryl trinitrate) is a chemical compound, a heavy, colorless, poisonous, oily, explosive liquid obtained by nitrating glycerol. ...


Union Pacific

Grenville M. Dodge wearing a major general's uniform
Grenville M. Dodge wearing a major general's uniform

The major investor in the Union Pacific was Thomas Clark Durant [1], who had made his stake money by smuggling Confederate cotton with the aid of Grenville M. Dodge. Durant chose routes that would favour places where he held land, and he announced connections to other lines at times that suited his share dealings. Durant paid an associate to submit the construction bid who then handed it over to another company controlled by Durant, Crédit Mobilier. Durant then manipulated the finances and government subsidies, making himself another fortune. Durant hired Dodge as chief engineer and Jack Casement as construction boss. Image File history File links Grenvilledodge. ... Image File history File links Grenvilledodge. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Thomas Clark Durant Dr. Thomas Clark Durant, 1820–1885, was an American financier and railroad promoter. ... Grenville M. Dodge wearing a major generals uniform Grenville Mullen Dodge (April 12, 1831 – January 3, 1916) was a Union army officer on the frontier and during the Civil War, a U.S. Congressman, businessman, and railroad executive who helped construct the Transcontinental Railroad. ... The Crédit Mobilier of America scandal of 1872 involved the Union Pacific Railroad and the Crédit Mobilier of America construction company. ... John Stephen Jack Casement was a Union general during the American Civil War and directed the constructional phase of the Transcontinental Railroad. ...


In the east, the progress started in Omaha, Nebraska, by the Union Pacific Railroad proceeded very quickly because of the open terrain of the Great Plains. However, they soon became subject to slowdowns as they entered Indian-held lands. The Native Americans living there saw the addition of the railroad as a violation of their treaties with the United States. War parties began to raid the moving labor camps that followed the progress of the line. Union Pacific responded by increasing security and by hiring marksmen to kill American Bison—which were both a physical threat to trains and the primary food source for many of the Plains Indians. The Native Americans then began killing laborers when they realized that the so-called "Iron Horse" threatened their existence. Security measures were further strengthened, and progress on the railroad continued. The Great Plains covers much of the central United States, portions of Canada and Mexico. ... Binomial name Bison bison (Linnaeus, 1758) Subspecies B. b. ...


Golden Spike

Gold-plated Golden Spike that was donated by the governor of Arizona Territory
Gold-plated Golden Spike that was donated by the governor of Arizona Territory
Main article: Golden Spike

Six years after the groundbreaking, laborers of the Central Pacific Railroad from the west and the Union Pacific Railroad from the east met at Promontory Summit, Utah. It was here on May 10, 1869 that Stanford drove the Golden Spike or The Last Spike, which is now located at Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, that symbolized the completion of the transcontinental railroad. In perhaps the world's first live mass-media event, the hammers and spike were wired to the telegraph line so that each hammer stroke would be heard as a click at telegraph stations nationwide—the hammer strokes were missed, so the clicks were sent by the telegraph operator. As soon as the ceremonial spike had been replaced by an ordinary iron spike, a message was transmitted to both the East Coast and West Coast that simply read, "DONE." The country erupted in celebration upon receipt of this message. Complete travel from coast to coast was reduced from six or more months to just one week. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (675x1763, 111 KB) Golden Spike gift from Arizona on loan at Union Pacific Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (675x1763, 111 KB) Golden Spike gift from Arizona on loan at Union Pacific Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa. ... Ex-Virginia and Truckee Railroad No. ... Promontory is a location in Box Elder County, Utah, centered approximately at 41°3707N, 112°3251W, with an elevation of 1494 meters (4902 feet) above sea level. ... May 10 is the 130th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (131st in leap years). ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Ex-Virginia and Truckee Railroad No. ... The Last Spike refers to the final spike used in the construction of a major railway project. ... The Burghers of Calais in the Main Quad Carved tree trunks, Stanford New Guinea sculpture garden. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Optical Telegraf of Claude Chappe on the Litermont near Nalbach, Germany Telegraph and telegram redirect here. ...


Aftermath

Railroad developments

When the golden spike was driven, the rail network in reality was not connected to the Atlantic or Pacific. It merely connected Omaha and Sacramento. In November 1869 the Central Pacific finally connected Sacramento to San Francisco Bay at Oakland, California. San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, and the Golden Gate San Francisco Bay is a shallow, productive estuary through which water draining approximately forty percent of California, flowing in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers from the Sierra Nevada mountains, enters the Pacific Ocean. ... Oakland, founded in 1852, is the eighth-largest city in California[1] and the county seat of Alameda County. ...


The Union Pacific would not connect Omaha to Council Bluffs until completing the Union Pacific Missouri River Bridge in 1872. Union Pacific Bridge about 1909 The Union Pacific Missouri River Bridge is a rail truss bridge across the Missouri River connecting Council Bluffs, Iowa with Omaha, Nebraska. ...


With the completion of the Civil War, the competing railroads coming from Missouri took advantage of their initial strategic advantage for a building boom. The H&SJ finished the Hannibal Bridge which was the first bridge to cross the Missouri River in July 1869 in Kansas City. This in turn connected to Kansas Pacific trains going from Kansas City to Denver which had built the Denver Pacific Railway connecting to the Union Pacific. In August 1870 the Kansas Pacific laid the last spike connecting to the Denver Pacific line at Strasburg, Colorado and the first true Atlantic to Pacific United States railroad was completed. Hannibal and St. ... Original Hannibal Bridge from 1908 postcard The Hannibal Bridge is a rail bridge over the Missouri River in Kansas City, Missouri that formerly served as dual-purpose bridge with automobile traffic on the top. ... The Kansas Pacific main line shown on an 1869 map. ... The Denver Pacific Railway was historic railroad that operated in the western United States in the late 19th century. ... Strasburg is a census-designated place located in Adams County, Colorado. ...


Kansas City's head start in connecting to a true transcontinental railroad was to contribute to it rather than Omaha being the dominant rail center west of Chicago.


The Kansas Pacific became part of the Union Pacific in 1880.


On June 4, 1876, an express train called the Transcontinental Express arrived in San Francisco via the First Transcontinental Railroad only 83 hours and 39 minutes after it left from New York City. Only ten years before the same journey would have taken months overland or weeks on ship. June 4 is the 155th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (156th in leap years), with 210 days remaining. ... 1876 (MDCCCLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... As a publicity stunt, the express train called the Transcontinental Express arrived in San Francisco, California, via the First Transcontinental Railroad on 4 June 1876, only 83 hours and 39 minutes after having left New York City. ... New York, NY redirects here. ...


The Central Pacific was absorbed by the Southern Pacific in 1885. The Union Pacific initially took over the Southern Pacific in 1901 but was forced by the U.S. Supreme Court to divest it because of monopoly concerns. The Union Pacific completed the take-over of the Southern Pacific in 1996. The Southern Pacific Railroad (AAR reporting mark SP) was an American railroad. ... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States...


The Promontory Summit rails were dug up in a ceremonial "undriving" to be recycled for the World War II effort. In 1957, Congress established the Golden Spike National Historic Site. On May 10 2006, on the anniversary of the driving of the spike, Utah announced that its state quarter design would be a representation of the driving of the spike. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Golden Spike National Historic Site is a U.S. National Historic Site located at Promontory Summit, north of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. ...


Credit Mobilier

Oakes Ames
Oakes Ames
Main article: Credit Mobilier

Despite the transcontinental success and millions in government subsidies, the Union Pacific faced bankruptcy less than three years after the golden spike as details surfaced about overcharges Credit Mobilier had billed Union Pacific for the formal building of the railroad. The scandal hit epic proportions in the United States presidential election, 1872 which saw the re-election of Ulysses S. Grant and became the biggest scandal of the Gilded Age. It would not be resolved until the congressman who was supposed to have reined in its excesses but instead wound up profiting from it was dead. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (3296x3896, 861 KB) (This summary was created using Commons SumItUp) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): First Transcontinental Railroad Oakes Ames ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (3296x3896, 861 KB) (This summary was created using Commons SumItUp) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): First Transcontinental Railroad Oakes Ames ... The Crédit Mobilier of America scandal of 1872 involved the Union Pacific Railroad and the Crédit Mobilier of America construction company. ... Summary Incumbent President Ulysses S. Grant was easily elected to a second term in office despite a split within the Republican Party that resulted in a defection of many key Republicans to opponent Horace Greeley. ... Ulysses S. Grant[2] (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was an American general and the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877). ... The Breakers, a gilded-age mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. ...


Durant had initially come up with the scheme to have Credit Mobilier subcontract to do the actual track work. Durant gained control of the company after buying out employee Herbert Hoxie for $10,000. Under Durant's guidance the company was charging Union Pacific often twice or more the customary cost for track work (thus in effect paying himself to build the railroad). The process was to mire down Union Pacific work.


Lincoln asked Massachusetts Congressman Oakes Ames, who was on the railroad committee, to clean things up and get the railroad moving. Ames got his brother Oliver Ames, Jr. named president of the Union Pacific and Ames himself became president of Credit Mobiler.[6] Oakes Ames (January 10, 1804 - May 28, 1873) was an American manufacturer, capitalist, and member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts. ... Oliver Ames, Jr. ...


Ames in turn gave stock options to other politicians while at the same time continuing the lucrative overcharges. The scandal was to implicate Vice President Schuyler Colfax (who was cleared) and future President James Garfield among others. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... James Abram Garfield (November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881) was the 20th President of the United States (1881) and the second U.S. President to be assassinated (Abraham Lincoln was the first). ...


The scandal broke in 1872 when the New York Sun published correspondence between Henry S. McComb and Ames detailing the scheme. In the ensuing Congressional investigation, it was recommended that Ames be expelled from Congress but this was reduced to a censure and Ames died within three months. The modern New York Sun is a daily newspaper published in New York City. ...


Durant was to leave the Union Pacific and a new rail baron Jay Gould was to become the dominant stockholder. Jay Gould (1836-1892) Jason Gould (May 27, 1836 – December 2, 1892) was an American financier. ...


Visible remains

Visible remains of the historic line are still easily located—hundreds of miles are still in service today, especially through the Sierra Nevada Mountains and canyons in Utah and Wyoming. While the original rail has long since been replaced because of age and wear, and the roadbed upgraded and repaired, the lines generally run on top of the original, handmade grade. Vista points on Interstate 80 through California's Truckee Canyon provide a panoramic view of many miles of the original Central Pacific line and of the snow sheds which make winter train travel safe and practical. Interstate 80 (abbreviated I-80) is the second-longest Interstate Highway in the United States. ... The Big Hill on the Canadian Pacific Railway main line passes through a timber snow shed. ...


In areas where the original line has been bypassed and abandoned, primarily in Utah, the road grade is still obvious, as are numerous cuts and fills, especially the Big Fill a few miles east of Promontory. Promontory was bypassed and that portion of the route closed in 1942 and the site ignored for over two decades. In 1965, the site was established as the Golden Spike National Historic Site with a National Park Service visitor center. The sweeping curve which connected to the east end of the Big Fill now passes a Thiokol rocket research and development facility. Golden Spike National Historic Site is a U.S. National Historic Site located at Promontory Summit, north of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. ... The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. ... A Trident C-4 FBM launches and fires its Thiokol solid rocket first stage Thiokol (variously Thiokol Chemical Company, Morton-Thiokol Inc. ...


Current passenger service

Amtrak runs a daily service from Emeryville, California (San Francisco Bay Area) to Chicago, the California Zephyr. The Zephyr consistently uses the original First Transcontinental Railroad track from Sacramento to Winnemucca, Nevada. The Zephyr usually uses the original track on the westbound runs from Winnemucca to Wells, Nevada. The eastbound runs between these towns usually use tracks built by the Western Pacific Railroad. This is because the Union Pacific Railroad now owns both tracks, and it routes trains on either track. Acela Express in West Windsor, NJ Amtrak Cascades service with tilting Talgo trainsets in Seattle, Washington Amtrak train in downtown Orlando, Florida For other uses, see Amtrak (disambiguation). ... The city of Emeryville highlighted within Alameda County Emeryville is a city located in Alameda County, California. ... USGS satellite photo of the San Francisco Bay Area. ... Nickname: The Windy City, The Second City, Chi Town, City of the Big Shoulders, The 312, The City that Works. Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in Chicagoland and Illinois Coordinates: Country United States State Illinois County Cook & DuPage Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government... Two California Zephyr express trains meet at a railroad siding (Grizzly) in Garfield County, Colorado beside the Colorado River on March 21, 1949. ... Winnemucca cemetery with a sign reading: Welcome to Winnemucca, Proud of it! Winnemucca is the county seat of Humboldt County, Nevada and the site of a September 19, 1900 bank robbery by the Wild Bunch. ... Wells, Nevada Wells is a city located in Elko County, Nevada. ... Drumhead logos such as these often adorned the ends of observation cars on the Western Pacific Railroad. ...


Popular culture

Poster for Union Pacific
Poster for Union Pacific

The feat is depicted in various movies including the 1939 film Union Pacific directed by Cecil B. DeMille which portrayed the fictional Central Pacific investor Asa Barrows obstructing attempts by the Union Pacific from reaching Ogden, Utah. The investigator, played by Joel McCrea, saves the railroad and gets the engineer's girl, played by Barbara Stanwyck. Image File history File links 369842. ... Image File history File links 369842. ... Plot Summary (1939)One of the last bills signed by President Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad across the wilderness to California. ... Cecil B. DeMille on August 27, 1934 cover of Time Magazine Cecil Blount DeMille (August 12, 1881 – January 21, 1959) was one of the most successful filmmakers during the first half of the 20th century. ... Joel McCrea in Foreign Correspondent Joel Albert McCrea, (November 5, 1905 - October 20, 1990) was an American film actor. ... Barbara Stanwyck (July 16, 1907 – January 20, 1990) was an American film/television actress. ...


The 1962 film How the West Was Won has a whole segment devoted to the construction; one of the movie's most famous scenes, filmed in Cinerama, is of a buffalo stampede over the railroad. For other articles named How the West Was Won, see the disambiguation page, How the West Was Won. ... Cinerama is the trademarked name for a widescreen process which works by simultaneously projecting images from three synchronized 35 mm projectors onto a huge, deeply-curved screen, subtending 146° of arc, and for the corporation which was formed to market it. ...


See also

The establishment of Americas transcontinental rail lines securely linked California to the rest of the country, and the far-reaching transportation systems that grew out of them during the century that followed contributed to the state’s social, political, and economic development. ... Chin Lin Sou Chin Lin Sou was an influential leader in the Chinese American community and prominent figure in Colorado, USA. He immigrated to Colorado from Guangzhou, China, in 1859 at the age of 22. ... The phrase Hell on Wheels was originally used to describe the itinerant collection of flimsily assembled gambling houses, dance halls, saloons, and brothels that followed the army of Union Pacific railroad workers westward as they constructed the American transcontinental railroad in the 1860s. ... The transcontinental railroad is a railway that crosses a continent, typically from sea to sea. Terminals are at or connected to different oceans. ...

References

  1. ^ PBS American Experience - Transcontinental Railroad - Whitney Biography
  2. ^ Abrahamlincolnclassroom.org - Abraham Lincoln and Iowa
  3. ^ PBS American Experience - Transcontinental Railroad - Transcript
  4. ^ PBS American Experience - Transcontinental Railroad - Durant Biography
  5. ^ Famous Americans Biography
  6. ^ People & Events: Oakes Ames (1804-1873) - American Experience Transcontinental Railroad
  • Ambrose, Stephen E. (2000). Nothing Like It In The World; The men who built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-84609-8. 
  • Bain, David Howard (1999). Empire Express; Building the first Transcontinental Railroad. Viking Penguin. ISBN 0-670-80889-X. 
  • Beebe, Lucius (1969). The Central Pacific & The Southern Pacific Railroads: Centennial Edition. Howell-North. ISBN 0-8310-7034-X. 
  • Lee, Willis T., Ralph W. Stone, and Hoyt S. Gale (1916). Guidebook of the Western United States, Part B. The Overland Route. USGS Bulletin 612. 

Stephen Ambrose, at the 2001 premier of Band of Brothers Stephen Edward Ambrose (January 10, 1936 - October 13, 2002) was a popular historian and biographer of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. ... Lucius Beebe (r), with Charles Clegg at the office of the Territorial Enterprise newspaper, Virginia City, Nevada. ...

External links

  • Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum
  • Union Pacific Railroad History
  • The Transcontinental Railroad
  • Pacific Railway Act and related resources at the Library of Congress
  • Collections Canada: History of the Grand Trunk Railroad
  • Chinese-American Contribution to transcontinental railroad

  Results from FactBites:
 
railroad. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05 (2229 words)
In 1917 the federal government took over the railroads for the duration of World War I. Although the Transportation Act of 1920 returned the railroads to their private owners, it also granted the ICC general control over the lines, including the right to mediate labor disputes, which had become an important factor.
Railroads of historical importance include the Baghdad Railway, the Trans-Caspian Railroad, the Chinese Eastern Railway, the Transandine Railway, and the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
Although the railroad played a significant role in the transportation of both passengers and freight during the 19th and early 20th cent., in the latter part of the 20th cent., the automobile and the aircraft eroded the railroad’s importance for passenger travel until the introduction of high-speed rail.
transcontinental railroad: Information from Answers.com (1919 words)
The transcontinental railroads immeasurably aided the settling of the west and hastened the closing of the frontier.
A transcontinental railroad is a railway that crosses a continent, typically from "sea to sea".
The First Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, after track was laid over a 1,756 mile (2,826 km) gap between Sacramento and Omaha in six years by the Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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