Transcontinental Railroad - HISTORY
Before the transcontinental railroad, travel from the East to the West Coast so they didn't dictate just how, when, or where the rails must meet. At Promontory Summit, Utah, the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad met on May 10, after miles of track had. Transcontinental railroad completed. On this day in , the presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads meet in Promontory.
Background The first talk of a transcontinental railroad started around One of the first promoters of the railroad was a merchant named Asa Whitney. Asa tried hard for many years to get Congress to pass an act to build the railroad, but failed.
However, in the s Theodore Judah began to lobby for a railroad. He surveyed the Sierra Nevada Mountains and found a pass where the railroad could be built. The Route There were two main routes along which people wanted the first railroad to be built.
Where the Transcontinental Railroad finally joined
One route was called the "central route". It followed much the same route as the Oregon Trail. It would begin in Omaha, Nebraska and end up in Sacramento, California.
The other route was the "southern route". The central route was eventually chosen by Congress.
The act said that there were two main railroad lines. The two railroads would meet somewhere in the middle. The act gave the railroad companies land where they could build the railroad.
It also paid them for each mile that they built. They were paid more money for miles of track built in the mountains versus miles of track built on the flat plains. Weather conditions were especially tough in the mountains during the winter.
A lot of times the only way to travel over the mountains was to go through the mountains by blasting a tunnel. The longest tunnel built was feet long. It took a long time to build the tunnels. To communicate easily up and down the line, the railroads built telegraph lines alongside the railroad. These lines eventually superseded the original First Transcontinental Telegraph which followed much of the Mormon Trail up the North Platte River and across the very thinly populated Central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 telegraph lines along the railroad were easier to protect and maintain. Many of the original telegraph lines were abandoned as the telegraph business was consolidated with the railroad telegraph lines. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. May Learn how and when to remove this template message Route of the first American transcontinental railroad from Sacramento, California, to Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Omaha was chosen by President Abraham Lincoln as the location of its Transfer Depot where up to seven railroads could transfer mail and other goods to Union Pacific trains bound for the west. Trains were initially transported across the Missouri River by ferry before they could access the western tracks beginning in OmahaNebraska Territory.
The river froze in the winter, and the ferries were replaced by sleighs. Durantone of the chief financiers of the Union Pacific. Dodge to build the railroad, and the Union Pacific began a mad dash west. He equipped several railroad cars to serve as portable bunkhouses for the workers and gathered men and supplies to push the railroad rapidly west.
Among the bunkhouses Casement added a galley car to prepare meals, and he even provided for a herd of cows to be moved with the railhead and bunk cars to provide fresh meat. Hunters were hired to provide buffalo meat from the large herds of American bison. In response, the U. Army instituted active cavalry patrols that grew larger as the Native Americans grew more aggressive.
History: First Transcontinental Railroad
Temporary, " Hell on wheels " towns, made mostly of canvas tents, accompanied the railroad as construction headed west. Building bridges to cross creeks and rivers was the main source of delays. It was built across the shallow but wide North Platte resting on piles driven by steam pile drivers. In lateformer Major General Grenville M. Dodge was appointed Chief Engineer on the Union Pacific, but hard working General "Jack" Casement continued to work as chief construction "boss" and his brother Daniel Casement continued as financial officer.
The original westward travellers 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.
Where the Transcontinental Railroad finally joined - CNET
The ox and mule pulled wagons were the original off-road vehicles in their day, since nearly all of the Emigrant Trails went cross country over rough, un-improved trails. The route over South Pass's main advantage for wagons pulled by oxen or mules was a shorter elevation over an "easy" pass to cross and its "easy" connection to nearby river valleys on both sides of the continental divide for water and grass.
The emigrant trails were closed in winter. The route along the North Platte was also further from Denver, Coloradoand went across difficult terrain, while a railroad connection to that City was already being planned for and surveyed. Efforts to survey a new, shorter, "better" route had been under way since Evans Pass was located between what would become the new "railroad" towns of Cheyenne and Laramie. This "new" route had never become an emigrant route because it lacked the water and grass to feed the emigrants' oxen and mules.
Steam locomotives did not need grass, and the railroad companies could drill wells for water if necessary. Coal had been discovered in Wyoming and reported on by John C. Union Pacific needed coal to fuel its steam locomotives on the almost treeless plains across Nebraska and Wyoming.
Coal shipments by rail were also looked on as a potentially major source of income—this potential is still being realized. They paused over the winter, preparing to push the track over Evans Sherman's pass.
About 4 miles 6.