First Transcontinental Railroad

transcontinental railroadPacific Railroadrailroadtranscontinentalrailroadstranscontinental railwayFirst American Transcontinental RailroadFirst Transcontinental Railroad (North America)original transcontinental railroadtranscontinental railroads
The First Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the "Pacific Railroad" and later as the "Overland Route") was a 1,912 mi 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.wikipedia
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Steam locomotive

steam locomotivessteamsteam train
Due to the lack of transportation alternatives from the manufacturing centers on the east coast, virtually all of their tools and machinery including rails, railroad switches, railroad turntables, freight and passenger cars, and steam locomotives were transported first by train to east coast ports.
As part of the 50 State Quarters program, the quarter representing the US state of Utah depicts the ceremony where the two halves of the First Transcontinental Railroad met at Promontory Summit in 1869.

Lucin Cutoff

Southern Pacific Railroad: Ogden-Lucin Cut-Off Trestle
The railroad was originally routed along the north shore, and later with the Lucin Cutoff directly across the center of the Great Salt Lake, passing through the city of Ogden instead of Salt Lake City. In areas where the original line has been bypassed and abandoned, primarily due to the Lucin Cutoff re-route in Utah, the original road grade is still obvious, as are numerous cuts and fills, especially the Big Fill a few miles east of Promontory.
The cutoff was originally built by the Southern Pacific Railroad as a means of shortening the First Transcontinental Railroad.

Oakes Ames

AmesOakesAmes family
Lincoln asked Massachusetts Congressman Oakes Ames, who was on the railroad committee, to clean things up and get the railroad moving.
As a congressman, he is credited by many historians as being the single most important influence in the building of the Union Pacific portion of the transcontinental railroad.

Thousand Mile Tree

1000 Mile Tree
While building the railroad along the rugged Weber River Canyon, Mormon workers signed the Thousand Mile Tree which was lone tree alongside the track 1000 mi from Omaha.
In January 1869, graders of the railroad found a similar tree standing next to the line they were constructing, which by coincidence marked the western progress of exactly one thousand miles of road from Omaha, Nebraska/Council Bluffs, Iowa, the eastern terminus of the First Transcontinental Railroad.

Western Pacific Railroad

Western PacificWestern Pacific RailwayOakland Subdivision
To get from Sacramento to the Pacific, the Central Pacific purchased the struggling Western Pacific Railroad (unrelated to the railroad of the same name that would later parallel its route) and in summer 1869 resumed construction on it, which had halted in 1866 due to funding troubles.
The original Western Pacific Railroad was established in 1865 to build the westernmost portion of the Transcontinental Railroad between San Jose, California (later Oakland, California), and Sacramento, California.

Gilded Age

The Gilded AgeGilded EraGilded-Age
The scandal hit epic proportions in the 1872 United States presidential election, which saw the re-election of Ulysses S. Grant and became the biggest scandal of the Gilded Age.
In 1869, the First Transcontinental Railroad opened up the far-west mining and ranching regions.

Schuyler Colfax

ColfaxSchuyler M. Colfax17th Vice President of the United States
The scandal was to implicate Vice President Schuyler Colfax (who was cleared) and future President James Garfield among others.
An 1872–73 Congressional investigation into the Crédit Mobilier scandal identified Colfax as one of several federal government officials who in 1868 accepted payments of cash and discounted stock from the Union Pacific Railroad in exchange for favorable action during the construction of the transcontinental railroad.

Oliver Ames Jr.

Oliver Ames, Jr.Oliveralso named Oliver
Ames got his brother Oliver Ames Jr. named president of the Union Pacific, while he himself became president of Crédit Mobilier.
Oliver Ames Jr. (November 5, 1807 – March 9, 1877) was president of Union Pacific Railroad when the railroad met the Central Pacific Railroad in Utah for the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in North America.

Wyoming Territory

Territory of WyomingWyomingearly statehood
From North Platte, Nebraska (elevation 2834 ft), the railroad proceeded westward and upward along a new path across the Nebraska Territory and Wyoming Territory (then part of the Dakota Territory) along the north bank of the South Platte River and into what would become the state of Wyoming at Lone Pine, Wyoming.

Kansas Pacific Railway

Kansas Pacific RailroadKansas PacificUnion Pacific Eastern Division
After the transcontinental railroads were completed, many other railroads were built to connect up to other population centers in Utah, Wyoming, Kansas, Colorado, Oregon, Washington territories, etc. In 1869, the Kansas Pacific Railway started building the Hannibal Bridge, a swing bridge across the Missouri River between Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas which connected railroads on both sides of the Missouri while still allowing passage of paddle steamers on the river.
The Kansas Pacific began in 1855 as the Leavenworth, Pawnee and Western Railroad, and was later reorganized in 1863 as the Union Pacific Eastern Division. The UP Eastern was authorized by the United States Congress as part of the Pacific Railway Act, in order to create a second southerly branch of the transcontinental railroad, alongside the Union Pacific.

Nebraska Territory

NebraskaTerritory of NebraskaNebraska State Constitution
From North Platte, Nebraska (elevation 2834 ft), the railroad proceeded westward and upward along a new path across the Nebraska Territory and Wyoming Territory (then part of the Dakota Territory) along the north bank of the South Platte River and into what would become the state of Wyoming at Lone Pine, Wyoming. Trains were initially transported across the Missouri River by ferry before they could access the western tracks beginning in Omaha, Nebraska Territory.

Big Fill

In areas where the original line has been bypassed and abandoned, primarily due to the Lucin Cutoff re-route in Utah, the original road grade is still obvious, as are numerous cuts and fills, especially the Big Fill a few miles east of Promontory.
The Big Fill was an engineering project on the First Transcontinental Railroad in the U.S. state of Utah.

San Francisco Bay Area

Bay AreaSan FranciscoBay Area, California
Amtrak's California Zephyr, a daily passenger service from Emeryville, California (San Francisco Bay Area) to Chicago, uses the First Transcontinental Railroad from Sacramento to central Nevada.
Construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad from the Oakland Long Wharf attracted so many laborers from China that by 1870, eight percent of San Francisco's population was of Asian origin.

Hell on Wheels (TV series)

Hell on WheelsHell on Wheels'' (TV series)Cullen Bohannon
The construction of the Transcontinental Railroad provides the setting for the AMC television series Hell on Wheels.
Hell on Wheels is an American/Canadian Western television series about the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States, which broadcast in the United States and Canada on the cable channel AMC, from November 6, 2011 to July 23, 2016.

Jupiter (locomotive)

Jupiter60, ''JupiterCentral Pacific Jupiter
Today the site feature replica engines of Union Pacific No. 119 and Central Pacific Jupiter.
It made history when it joined the Union Pacific No. 119 at Promontory Summit, Utah, during the Golden Spike ceremony commemorating the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869.

History of rail transportation in California

California and the railroadsRail transport in Californiarailroads
When California was admitted as a state to the United States in 1850, and for nearly two decades thereafter, it was in many ways isolated, an outpost on the Pacific, until the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869.

Port of San Francisco

San FranciscoSan Francisco Port AuthoritySan Francisco Harbor
On November 8, 1869, the Central Pacific finally completed the rail connection to its western terminus at Oakland, California, also on the East Bay, where freight and passengers completed their transcontinental link to San Francisco by ferry.
The opening of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 halted harbor development and the building of the Seawall.

Oakland Long Wharf

Oakland PierOakland MoleLong Wharf
The First Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the "Pacific Railroad" and later as the "Overland Route") was a 1,912 mi 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.
Local commuter trains also used the pier, while trains of the Pacific Railroad (aka: "First Transcontinental Railroad") used another wharf in nearby Alameda for about two months in 1869 (September 6 - November 7), after which the Oakland Long Wharf became the western terminus of the Pacific Railroad as well.

Union Pacific No. 119

No. 119119Union Pacific ''No. 119
Today the site feature replica engines of Union Pacific No. 119 and Central Pacific Jupiter.
119' was a 4-4-0 steam locomotive made famous for meeting the Central Pacific Railroad's Jupiter'' at Promontory Summit, Utah, during the Golden Spike ceremony commemorating the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869.

Around the World in Eighty Days

Around the World in 80 DaysnovelLe Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours
The joining of the Union Pacific line with the Central Pacific line in May 1869 at Promontory Summit, Utah, was one of the major inspirations for French writer Jules Verne's book entitled Around the World in Eighty Days, published in 1873.
In San Francisco they board a transcontinental train to New York, encountering a number of obstacles along the way: a massive herd of bison crossing the tracks, a failing suspension bridge, and the train being attacked by Sioux warriors.

Transcontinental railroad

transcontinentaltranscontinental railwaytranscontinental rail line
The first of these, the 1928 mi "Pacific Railroad", was built by the Central Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad to link the San Francisco Bay at Alameda, California, with the nation's existing eastern railroad network at Council Bluffs, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska, thereby creating the world's first transcontinental railroad when it opened in 1869.

The Iron Horse (film)

The Iron HorseThe Iron Horse'' (film)
While not exactly accurate, John Ford's 1924 silent movie The Iron Horse captures the fervent nationalism that drove public support for the project.
The film is about the construction of the American first transcontinental railroad.

Cheyenne, Wyoming

CheyenneCheyenne, WYCheyenne, Wyoming Territory
Evans Pass was located between what would become the new "railroad" towns of Cheyenne and Laramie.

Laramie Plains

On December 4, 1868, the Union Pacific reached Evanston, having laid almost 360 mi of track over the Green River and the Laramie Plains that year.
In 1868 the plains were traversed by the route of the Union Pacific Railroad as part of the First Transcontinental Railroad.

Golden Spike National Historical Park

Golden Spike National Historic SiteGolden Spike N.H.S.Golden Spike National Historic Site (Promontory Summit, Utah)
In 1957, Congress authorized the Golden Spike National Historic Site.
It commemorates the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad where the Central Pacific Railroad and the first Union Pacific Railroad met on May 10, 1869.