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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South Pass (Wyoming)

South PassSouth Pass, Wyomingroute
The original emigrant route across Wyoming of the Oregon, Mormon and California Trails, after progressing up the Platte River valley, went up the North Platte River valley through Casper, Wyoming, along the Sweetwater River and over the Continental Divide at the 7412 ft South Pass.

Wyoming

WYState of WyomingWyoming, USA
By 1867, a new route was found and surveyed that went along part of the South Platte River in western Nebraska and after entering what is now the state of Wyoming, ascended a gradual sloping ridge between Lodgepole Creek and Crow Creek to the 8200 ft Evans pass (also called Sherman's Pass) which was discovered by the Union Pacific employed English surveyor and engineer, James Evans, in about 1864.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CaliforniaLos Angeles, CALos Angeles, United States

Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad

Hannibal & St. Joseph RailroadHannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad
In July 1869, the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad finished the Hannibal Bridge in Kansas City which was the first bridge to cross the Missouri River.

Kansas City, Kansas

Kansas CityKansas City, KSKansas
The Union Pacific's junction with the Denver Railroad with its connection to Kansas City, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri and the railroads east of the Missouri River again increased Cheyenne's importance as the junction of two major railroads.

John C. Frémont

John C. FremontJohn Charles FrémontJohn Fremont
Coal had been discovered in Wyoming and reported on by John C. Frémont in his 1843 expedition across Wyoming, and was already being exploited by Utah residents from towns like Coalville, Utah and later Kemmerer, Wyoming by the time the Transcontinental railroad was built.

Asa Whitney

One of the most prominent champions of the central route railroad was Asa Whitney.

United States Congress

CongressU.S. CongressCongressional
The U.S. Congress was strongly divided on where the eastern terminus of the railroad should be—in a southern or northern city.

Sacramento Valley Railroad (1852–1877)

Sacramento Valley RailroadSacramento Valley Railroad (1852–77)
In 1852, Judah was chief engineer for the newly formed Sacramento Valley Railroad, the first railroad built west of the Mississippi River.

Mississippi River

MississippiMississippi ValleyMississippi Basin
In 1852, Judah was chief engineer for the newly formed Sacramento Valley Railroad, the first railroad built west of the Mississippi River.

Placerville, California

PlacervilleHangtownPlacerville, CA
Although the railroad later went bankrupt once the easy placer gold deposits around Placerville, California were depleted, Judah 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.

United States Capitol

U.S. CapitolCapitolCapitol Building
He had a lobbying office in the United States Capitol, received an audience with President James Buchanan, and represented the Convention before Congress.

James Buchanan

BuchananPresident BuchananBuchanan Administration
He had a lobbying office in the United States Capitol, received an audience with President James Buchanan, and represented the Convention before Congress.

Emigrant Gap

Emigrant Passthe Truckee route
From January or February 1861 until July, Judah and Strong led a 10-person expedition to survey the route for the railroad over the Sierra Nevada through Clipper Gap and Emigrant Gap, over Donner Pass, and south to Truckee.

Truckee, California

TruckeeTruckee, CAtown of Truckee
From January or February 1861 until July, Judah and Strong led a 10-person expedition to survey the route for the railroad over the Sierra Nevada through Clipper Gap and Emigrant Gap, over Donner Pass, and south to Truckee.

Samuel Ryan Curtis

Samuel R. CurtisSamuel CurtisCurtis, Samuel Ryan
In February 1860, Iowa Representative Samuel Curtis introduced a bill to fund the railroad.

United States House of Representatives

U.S. RepresentativeU.S. House of RepresentativesUnited States Representative
It passed the House but died when it could not be reconciled with the Senate version due to opposition from southern states who wanted a southern route near the 42nd parallel.

Standard-gauge railway

standard gaugestandard-gaugestandard
The Pacific Railroad Act of 1863 established the standard gauge to be used in these federally financed railways.

Government bond

government bondsbondssovereign bond
To finance the project, the act authorized the federal government to issue 30-year U.S. government bonds (at 6% interest).

Oxbow

oxbowsagricultural implement
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 mi from Omaha after 2½ years of construction.