Railroad track had to be laid over 2,000 miles of rugged terrain, including mountains of solid granite. The new railroad was much safer and faster and finally linked the East with the West. The Panama Railroad remained the only true Transcontinental Railroad until Canadian Pacific was completed. It was built between 1863 and 1869 and it measured 1,776 miles in length. The transcontinental railroad in the latter half of the nineteenth century was typically built with substantial infusions of federal, state, and local government aid. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. The mainline was officially completed on May 10, 1869. Our First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States was built in the 1860s, linking the well developed railway network of the Eastern coast with rapidly growing California. The transcontinental railroad was built through 15 different tribal regions, in a period where land was still in dispute. Background The first talk of a transcontinental railroad started around 1830. They were paid less than American workers and … Facts, information and articles about Transcontinental Railroad, an event of Westward Expansion from the Wild West. The site offers visitors a brief history of the building of the transcontinental railroad as well as information on the history and technology of 19th century railroads. The Transcontinental Railroad was the first continuous railroad line across the United States and opened for through traffic on May 10, 1869 when Central Pacific Railroad President Leland Stanford ceremonially drove the gold "Last Spike" at Promontory Summit. The First Transcontinental Railroad was the first railroad in the United States to connect the West coast to the already existing rail system in Iowa. The next decade showed rapid growth in the number of stations and towns along the railroad as well as the completion of other lines to the north and the south of the main route. The railroads sold the land to settlers for cash. Construction of the railroad began in 1863 and was made possible by the Pacific Railroad Acts of 1862 and 1864, along with U.S. government bonds and land grants of government land. 05/10/2011 04:34 AM EDT. May 10, 1869: Transcontinental railroad completed. May 10, 2019 by Jessica MacNeil Comment 1. Before this, if a fearless Yankee wanted to go to California, he had to travel around South America for six months and had to encounter the rough seas found at Cape Horn. On this day, May 10th, in 1869, the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed with the driving of a golden spike in Promontory Summit, Utah. The building of it started when Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 into law during the American Civil War.. Much of it was built by the Central Pacific Railroad, building east from Sacramento, California, and the Union Pacific Railroad building West from Omaha, Nebraska. Asa tried hard for many years to get Congress to pass an act to build the railroad, but failed. While there was a large network of railways built in the Eastern part of the country in the 1830s and ’40s, there were few in the West and none that connected with Eastern lines. The Completed Railroad. After 39 years of hard work, the Transcontinental Railroad has finally been completed! Courtesy of Wikipedia. A Treasury of Railroad Folklore (1953); Bain, David Harward, Empire Express, Building the First Transcontinental Railroad (1999). The first public proposal for such a line was made by the New York City merchant Asa Whitney in 1844. Strategic military consequences were only secondary in consideration, as America had no neighbors it considered threats. The railroad took 7 years to complete and is a 1,907-mile contiguous line. On May 10, 1869, the Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR), met the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) at Promontory Summit, Utah (Mile 690/Kilometer 1110). It took mapmakers no time to publish maps showing the completed route. The transcontinental railroad line was completed around the north shore of Great Salt Lake, Utah, at Promontory Summit, as part of the Salt Lake Division of the Central Pacific Railroad, which became the Southern Pacific. The Linda Hall Library Transcontinental Railroad website was created with generous support from the BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) Foundation. The possibility of railroads connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts was discussed in the Congress even before the treaty with England which settled the question of the Oregon boundary in 1846. By ANDREW GLASS. In 1845, Asa Whitney presented to Congress a plan for the federal government to subsidize the building of a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific. On the tenth day of May, 1869, the last spike was hammered into the rail, connecting the East and the West in a whole new way. transcontinental railroad, in U.S. history, rail connection with the Pacific coast. The First Transcontinental Railroad was a hot topic for many years before construction began. In America, this happened May 10, 1869, with the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad… In the process, they also created a … The First Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the "Pacific Railroad" and later as the "Overland Route") was a 1,912-mile continuous railroad line constructed between 1863 and 1869 that connected the existing eastern U.S. rail network at Council Bluffs, Iowa with the Pacific coast at the Oakland Long Wharf on San Francisco Bay. Facts. The railroad was built between 1863 and 1869. [] Chief promoter of a transcontinental railroad was Asa Whitney, a New York merchant active in the China trade who was obsessed with the idea of a railroad to the Pacific. This " golden spike" is made of gold, and symbolized the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. On May 10, 1869 the transcontinental railroad was complete. On January 8th, 1863, the Central Pacific broke ground in the west. by Marshall Brain. Three competing private companies built the railroad, one starting in the East, the other two in the West, allowing the railroad to meet in the middle. Route to finish the Transcontinental Railroad through the west. The ceremony for the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah. One of the first promoters of the railroad was a merchant named Asa Whitney. This railroad connected the […] From 1863 and 1869, roughly 15,000 Chinese workers helped build the transcontinental railroad. 1863–1869: Union Pacific built west (blue line), Central Pacific built east (red line) and Western Pacific built the last leg (green line) to complete the first transcontinental railroad to the Pacific. Before highways, planes, trains and automobiles made crossing the United States a breeze, the completion of the transcontinental railroad in May 1869 was a … How To Cite This Article: "Completing the Transcontinental Railroad, 1869" EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2004). The transcontinental railroad had long been a dream for people living in the American West. The first transcontinental railroad of the United States had been completed. This was the first time that the Atlantic and Pacific coasts were connected by railroad in the United States. Most school children learned that the Transcontinental Railroad was completed May 10, 1869, at “Promontory Point,” where the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific met, and where the Golden Spike was driven. It had been suggested as early as 1832 in an article by Dr. Hartwell Carver and in 1847 he submitted a proposal to Congress. The Transcontinental Railroad's western leg was known as the Central Pacific, the vision of Theodore D. Judah. The Transcontinental Railroad, enabled by the Civil War and completed in 1869, accelerated expansion into the American West leading to opportunities … The world was put on notice: the transcontinental railroad was completed and America was moving to the forefront of the world's stage. On this day in … There were actually two grades built, both parallel and adjacent to each other. Transcontinental Railroad summary: The First Transcontinental Railroad was built crossing the western half of America and it was pieced together between 1863 and 1869. Public domain image With today's jets taking us across the United States in just six or seven hours, it is very hard to imagine travel in the mid-1800s. By Rose Kennedy “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet” isn’t true, no matter what Rudyard Kipling’s poem says. May 11, 2019 . This news just in! The Transcontinental Railroad. Transcontinental railroad is completed, May 10, 1869. Many of the Great Plains tribes, after seeing their traditional lands being taken and filled up by settlers, attacked the railroad construction crews and surveyors in hopes of stopping this new onslaught of settlers. But modern researchers and scholars have taken issue with this name. The Union Pacific wouldn't break ground until 1865, as it was more difficult for … For others, however, the Transcontinental Railroad undermined the sovereignty of Native nations and threatened to destroy Indigenous communities and their cultures as the railroad expanded into territories inhabited by Native Americans. First Transcontinental Railroad Completed. This aid took two forms: loans and land grants. The Transcontinental Railroad was completed 150 years ago, in 1869. It took 6 years to build the Transcontinental Railroad. The Transcontinental Railroad was a railroad built across the United States of America. The American Transcontinental Railroad was built largely by private industry, though not without government subsidies, for the purpose of financial gain. Today in History–May 10–the Library of Congress features the U.S. transcontinental railroad, celebrated on this day in 1869 when a symbolic golden spike was driven into the ground at Promontory Summit, in Utah Territory—approximately thirty-five miles away from Promontory Point, the site where the rails of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific were joined. Transcontinental railroad is completed, May 10, 1869. The nation’s first transcontinental railroad, completed 150 years ago today at Promontory Summit in Utah, connected the vast United States and brought America into the modern age. This completed the Pacific Railroad, as it was called, the key element in the first transcontinental railroad across the United States. This transcontinental railroad joined the North American continent in a way that had never been done before. 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