The primary incentive had been getting the subsidies, which meant that upgrades of all kinds were routinely required in the following years. [100], "On the ground in the West, Gen. Philip Henry Sheridan, assuming Sherman’s command, took to his task much as he had done in the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War, when he ordered the “scorched earth” tactics that presaged Sherman's March to the Sea. The Union Pacific was so slow in beginning construction during 1865 that they sold two of the four steam locomotives they had purchased. The original Transcontinental Railroad route was the combined efforts of two railroads: the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific. Reef, Catherine "Working in America", p. 79. Supplies were ordered by the engineers and hauled by rail, possibly then to be loaded on wagons if they were needed ahead of the railhead. Progress on the tunnel sped up to over 1.5 feet (0.46 m) per day per face when they started using the newly invented nitroglycerin—manufactured near the tunnel. Rails, which weighed the most, were often kicked off the flatcars and carried by gangs of men on each side of the rail to where needed. Durant's railroad was paid by the mile, and to further inflate its profits, the Union Pacific built oxbows of unneeded track, and by July 4, 1865, it had only reached 40 miles (64 km) from Omaha after 2½ years of construction. [48][51][52] CPRR came to see the advantage of good workers employed at low wages: "Chinese labor proved to be Central Pacific's salvation."[53]:30. The building of the railway is covered by the 2004 BBC documentary series Seven Wonders of the Industrial World in episode 6, "The Line". The Union Pacific was chartered by Congress, through the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, to construct a portion of the first transcontinental line, starting in Omaha and proceeding westward through the Platte River Valley. The construction of what presumably is – or is suggested to be – the Transcontinental Railroad provides the backdrop of the 1968 epic spaghetti western Once Upon a Time in the West, directed by Italian director Sergio Leone. Supply trains carried all the necessary material for the construction up to the railhead, with mule or horse-drawn wagons carrying it the rest of the ways if required. In 1865, each railroad set its own time to minimize scheduling errors. Then he circulated rumors that the CR&M had plans to connect to the Union Pacific, at which point he began buying back the M&M stock at depressed prices. First he touted rumors that his fledgling M&M Railroad had a deal in the works, while secretly buying stock in the depressed Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad. At first they tried plowing the road with special snowplows mounted on their steam engines. Both railroads soon instituted extensive upgrade projects to build better bridges, viaducts and dugways as well as install heavier duty rails, stronger ties, better road beds etc. "[34] The latter company was later implicated in a far-reaching scandal, described later. Oxford: Oxford University Press (1991) p. 92. The original westward travelers in their ox and mule pulled wagons tried to stick to river valleys to avoid as much road building as possible—gradients and sharp corners were usually of little or no concern to them. [citation needed], At that time in the United States, there were two primary standards for track gauge, as defined by the distance between the two rails. [87] After the first few days of trial with a few workers, with noticeably positive results, Crocker decided to hire as many as he could, looking primarily at the California labor force, where the majority of Chinese worked as independent gold miners or in the service industries (e.g. The Central Pacific was a prolific user of black powder, often using up to 500 kegs of 25 pounds (11 kg) each per day.[74]. We spent a couple hours and really enjoyed our time at the museum. Representatives of Brigham Young had less success, and failed in court to force him to honor the contract.[85]. Today, the Transcontinental Railroad looks quite different than it did 151 years ago. By 1871, Evanston became a significant maintenance shop town equipped to carry out extensive repairs on the cars and steam locomotives. 214–221. The spread-out nature of the work resulted in the work being split into two divisions, with L.M. Kansas City's head start in connecting to a true transcontinental railroad contributed to it rather than Omaha becoming the dominant rail center west of Chicago. Security measures were further strengthened, and progress on the railroad continued. Durant gained control of the company after buying out employee Herbert Hoxie for $10,000. These lines eventually superseded the original First Transcontinental Telegraph which followed much of the Mormon Trail up the North Platte River and across the very thinly populated Central Nevada Route through central Utah and Nevada. The 1993 children's book Ten Mile Day by Mary Ann Fraser tells the story of the record setting push by the Central Pacific in which they set a record by laying 10 miles (16 km) of track in a single day on April 28, 1869, to settle a $10,000 bet. [94] When tunnels with vertical shafts were dug to increase construction speed, and tunneling began in the middle of the tunnel and at both ends simultaneously. When a gang was small or the men were needed elsewhere, the bottoms were worked with fewer men or stopped so as to keep the headings going. Initially, Central Pacific had a hard time hiring and keeping unskilled workers on its line, as many would leave for the prospect of far more lucrative gold or silver mining options elsewhere. Three locations along 250 miles (400 km) of Missouri River were considered: Council Bluffs had several advantages: It was well north of the Civil War fighting in Missouri; it was the shortest route to South Pass in the Rockies in Wyoming; and it would follow a fertile river that would encourage settlement. The Union Pacific reached the new railroad town of Cheyenne in December 1867, having laid about 270 miles (430 km) that year. Some sources say that he wrote such an article in 1832. They initially invested $1,500 each and formed a board of directors. Today the site feature replica engines of Union Pacific No. The CPRR eventually purchased 53 miles (85 km) of UPRR-built grade from Promontory Summit (MP 828) to Ogden, Utah Territory (MP 881), which became the interchange point between trains of the two roads. A more direct route was obtained with the purchase of the California Pacific Railroad, crossing the Sacramento River and proceeding southwest through Davis to Benicia, where it crossed the Carquinez Strait by means of an enormous train ferry, then followed the shores of the San Pablo and San Francisco bays to Richmond and the Port of Oakland (paralleling U.S. Route 40 which ultimately became Interstate 80). The railroad established many townships along the way: Fremont, Elkhorn, Grand Island, North Platte, Ogallala and Sidney as the railroad followed the Platte River across Nebraska territory. The railroad opened for through traffic between Sacramento and Omaha on May 10, 1869, when CPRR President Leland Stanford ceremonially tapped the gold "Last Spike" (later often referred to as the "Golden Spike") with a silver hammer at Promontory Summit. From Ogden, the railroad went north of the Great Salt Lake to Brigham City and Corinne using Mormon workers, before finally connecting with the Central Pacific Railroad at Promontory Summit in Utah territory on May 10, 1869. They were then loaded on ships which either sailed around South America's Cape Horn, or offloaded the cargo at the Isthmus of Panama, where it was sent across via paddle steamer and the Panama Railroad. The huge numbers of wage-earning young men working in what … [59] Here they built the "railroad" town of North Platte, Nebraska in December 1866 after completing about 240 miles (390 km) of track that year. [2] Construction was financed by both state and US government subsidy bonds as well as by company issued mortgage bonds. It was built across the shallow but wide North Platte resting on piles driven by steam pile drivers. government. On September 6, 1869, the first transcontinental rail passengers arrived at the Pacific Railroad's original western terminus on the east side of San Francisco Bay at the Alameda Terminal, where they transferred to the steamer Alameda for transport across the Bay to San Francisco. The spike is now on display at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, while a second "Last" Golden Spike is also on display at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. The existing railroad made transporting and putting material in valleys much easier—load it on railway dump cars, haul where needed and dump it over the side of the trestle. [35] Durant enticed other investors by offering to front money for the stock they purchased in their names. Before the advent of the transcontinental railroad, a journey across the continent to the western states meant a dangerous six month trek over rivers, deserts, and mountains. Temporary tracks were laid around it and Tunnels 3 (508 feet or 155 metres), 4 (297 feet or 91 metres) and 5 (579 feet or 176 metres) to continue work on the tracks west of the tunnels. 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 had left New York City. In the 1800’s the railroad was seen as one of the best things and also one of … The southern route was constructed in 1880 when the Southern Pacific Railroad crossed Arizona territory. Temporary, "Hell on wheels" towns, made mostly of canvas tents, accompanied the railroad as construction headed west.[57][58]. It included the region's natural history and illustrations of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Each eventually made millions of dollars from their investments and control of the Central Pacific Railroad. Most of the engineers and surveyors who figured out how and where to build the railroad on the Union Pacific were engineering college trained. But much of the south had adopted a 5 ft (1,524 mm) gauge. In the mines, temperatures could get above 120 Â°F (49 Â°C) at the work face and a miner often used over 100 pounds (45 kg) of ice per shift. The only disadvantage came when a nearby valley needed fill to get across it. This process began with a ceremonial "undriving" at the Last Spike location.[104]. Misuse of public monies was rampant in this venture, particularly the fraudulent activities of Crédit Mobilier. Four northern California businessmen formed the Central Pacific Railroad: Leland Stanford, (1824–1893), President; Collis Potter Huntington, (1821–1900), Vice President; Mark Hopkins, (1813–1878), Treasurer; Charles Crocker, (1822–1888), Construction Supervisor. As the railroad advanced, their freight rates with the combined rail and wagon shipments would become much more competitive. [41][verification needed] The total area of the land grants to the Union Pacific and Central Pacific was larger than the area of the state of Texas: federal government land grants totaled about 130,000,000 acres, and state government land grants totaled about 50,000,000 acres. This new railroad connected to the Central Pacific near Reno, and went through Carson City, the new capital of Nevada.[82]. This scheme enabled Durant to control about half of the railroad stock. ”[100], 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 Territory. See more ideas about Transcontinental, Railroad, Union pacific railroad. [30][38], To allow the companies to raise additional capital, Congress granted the railroads a 200-foot (61 m) right-of-way corridor, lands for additional facilities like sidings and maintenance yards. Construction crews comprised the brawn of Irish immigrants and large numbers of war veterans, who pushed the lines across Nebraska, southern Wyoming and into northern Utah, while encountering hostile American Indians. Union Pacific responded by increasing security and 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. To leave San Francisco most … Courtesy of Union Pacific line weaves through a checkerboard of private state... The Golden Spike National Historic site ( 1855 ) completed Panama railroad across shallow! Cadwalader taking the upper division from Truckee to the U.S. Congress was strongly divided on where railroad. 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