Trans continental railroad history-Central Pacific Railroad - Wikipedia

Congress in to build a railroad eastwards from Sacramento, California , to complete the western part of the " First Transcontinental Railroad " in North America. Following the completion of the Pacific Railroad Surveys in , several national proposals to build a transcontinental railroad failed because of the energy consumed by political disputes over slavery. They passed legislation in authorizing the central rail route with financing in the form of land grants and government railroad bond, which were all eventually repaid with interest. Stanford was elected president at the same time he was elected governor , Huntington vice-president in charge of fund raising and purchasing, and Hopkins treasurer. Crocker was in charge of construction, which began officially in when the first rails were laid in Sacramento.

Trans continental railroad history

Trans continental railroad history

Trans continental railroad history

By earlythe companies were working only miles from each other, and in March the newly inaugurated President Ulysses S. Central Pacific Union Pacific. To speed completion of the Kansas Pacific Railroad to Denver, construction started east from Denver in March to meet the railroad coming west from Kansas city. By the decade's end, the railroad would be completed. Damage from anal sex was especially true on the Central Pacific Railroad, which owned its own nitroglycerin plant to ensure it had a steady supply of the volatile explosive. Thomas Edison In his 84 years, Thomas Edison Trans continental railroad history a record number of 1, patents singly or jointly and was the driving force behind such Fuck babineau as the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb and one of the earliest motion picture Trans continental railroad history. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our. Follow NBC News. Inthe U.

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First Published Collis Huntingtona Sacramento Hike to beaver falls merchant, heard Judah's presentation about the railroad at the St. By then the railroad had already been prebuilt down the Truckee River on the much flatter land from Reno to Wadsworth, NevadaTrans continental railroad history they bridged the Truckee for the last time. No railroad company Trans continental railroad history a drunken employee endangering the safety of passengers or fellow employees. This "new" route had never become an emigrant route because it lacked the water and grass to feed hisyory emigrants' oxen and mules. The increasing necessity for tunneling as they histoty up the mountains then began to slow progress of the line yet again. The Union Pacific's junction with the Denver Railroad with its connection to Kansas City, KansasKansas City, Missouri and the railroads east of the Missouri River again increased Cheyenne's importance as the junction of two major railroads. By spanning the isthmus, the line thus became the first railroad to completely cross any part of the Americas and physically connect ports on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. At the time, it was the largest rescue package ever granted by the U. Both companies picked up the pace.

In the s, the United States embarked on an ambitious project that would change the course of the country's history.

  • The resulting coast-to-coast railroad connection revolutionized the settlement and economy of the American West.
  • A transcontinental railroad is a contiguous network of railroad trackage [1] that crosses a continental land mass with terminals at different oceans or continental borders.
  • Transcontinental Railroad summary: The First Transcontinental Railroad was built crossing the western half of America and it was pieced together between and

Congress in to build a railroad eastwards from Sacramento, California , to complete the western part of the " First Transcontinental Railroad " in North America. Following the completion of the Pacific Railroad Surveys in , several national proposals to build a transcontinental railroad failed because of the energy consumed by political disputes over slavery.

They passed legislation in authorizing the central rail route with financing in the form of land grants and government railroad bond, which were all eventually repaid with interest. Stanford was elected president at the same time he was elected governor , Huntington vice-president in charge of fund raising and purchasing, and Hopkins treasurer.

Crocker was in charge of construction, which began officially in when the first rails were laid in Sacramento. Construction proceeded in earnest in when James Harvey Strobridge, the head of the construction work force, hired the first Cantonese emigrant workers at Crocker's suggestion. The construction crew grew to include 12, Chinese laborers by , when they constituted eighty percent of the entire work force.

It was reorganized in as the Central Pacific "Railway". The original right-of-way is now controlled by the Union Pacific , which bought Southern Pacific in Working conditions were harsh, and Chinese were compensated less than their white counterparts.

Chinese laborers were paid thirty-one dollars each month, and while white workers were paid the same, they were also given room and board. Government Bonds, which constituted a lien upon the railroads and all their fixtures, were repaid in full and with interest by the company as and when they became due. Such company-issued securities had priority over the original Government Bonds.

This materially slowed early construction efforts. This grant was apportioned in 5 sections on alternating sides of the railroad, with each section measuring 0. Although the Pacific Railroad eventually benefited the Bay Area, the City and County of San Francisco obstructed financing it during the early years of — On May 19, , the electors of the City and County of San Francisco passed this bond by a vote of 6, to 3,, in a highly controversial Special Election.

The City and County's financing of the investment through the issuance and delivery of Bonds was delayed for two years, when Mayor Henry P. Henry P. Coon, Mayor; Henry M. Hale, Auditor; and Joseph S. Nearly all the company's early correspondence is preserved at Syracuse University , as part of the Collis Huntington Papers collection. It has been released on microfilm reels. Alfred A. Hart was the official photographer of the CPRR construction. The Central Pacific's first three locomotives were of the then common type, although with the American Civil War raging in the east, they had difficulty acquiring engines from eastern builders, who at times only had smaller or types available.

Until the completion of the Transcontinental rail link and the railroad's opening of its own shops, all locomotives had to be purchased by builders in the northeastern U. The engines had to be dismantled, loaded on a ship, which would embark on a four-month journey that went around South America's Cape Horn until arriving in Sacramento where the locomotives would be unloaded, re-assembled, and placed in service.

It is not clear as to the cause of this dispute, though some attribute it to the builder insisting on cash payment though this has yet to be verified. Consequently, the railroad refused to buy engines from Baldwin, and three former Western Pacific Railroad which the CP had absorbed in engines were the only Baldwin engines owned by the Central Pacific. The Central Pacific's dispute with Baldwin remained unresolved until well after the road had been acquired by the Southern Pacific.

In the s, the road opened up its own locomotive construction facilities in Sacramento. Central Pacific's was rebuilt by these shops and served as the basis for CP's engine construction. The locomotives built before the s were given names as well as numbers. By the s, it was decided to eliminate the names and as each engine was sent to the shops for service, their names would be removed. However, one engine that was built in the s did receive a name: the El Gobernador.

Construction of the rails was often dangerous work. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: First Transcontinental Railroad. See also: List of preserved Southern Pacific Railroad rolling stock. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.

March Railways portal. Retrieved January 17, Railroad Reorganization PDF. Harvard University Press. Retrieved December 13, United States , U. World Digital Library. May 10, Retrieved July 20, Retrieved April 28, Retrieved April 7, Nothing Like It in the World.

Retrieved May 15, October 9, Archived from the original on March 5, Charles Crocker Mark Hopkins, Jr. Collis Potter Huntington Leland Stanford. History of the United States — Defunct California railroads Defunct Nevada railroads Defunct Utah railroads Predecessors of the Southern Pacific Transportation Company Rail lines receiving land grants Railway companies established in Railway companies disestablished in s in California American frontier American companies established in establishments in the United States.

Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Sacramento, CA - Ogden, Utah. June 28, —April 1, , but continued as an SP leased line until June 30, Southern Pacific.

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Interest in building a railroad uniting the continent began soon after the advent of the locomotive. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Time was not standardized across the United States and Canada until November 18, For maps and railroad pictures of this era shortly after the advent of photography see:. Thomas Clark "Doc" Durant was nominally only a vice president of Union Pacific, so he installed a series of respected men like John Adams Dix as president of the railroad. They often lived in the tunnels as they worked their way through the solid granite, saving precious time and energy from entering and exiting the worksite each day. New York: McGraw-Hill,

Trans continental railroad history

Trans continental railroad history

Trans continental railroad history. Navigation menu

A fleet of Union naval ships had just seized control of the Mississippi River. It was already clear that the war wouldn't end swiftly. President Abraham Lincoln was somehow able to look beyond the urgent needs of the country at war, and focus on his vision for the future.

He signed the Pacific Railway Act into law on July 1, , committing federal resources to the ambitious plan to build a continuous rail line from the Atlantic to the Pacific. By the decade's end, the railroad would be completed. When it was passed by Congress in , the Pacific Railway Act permitted two companies to begin construction on the Transcontinental Railroad.

The Central Pacific Railroad, which had already built the first railroad west of the Mississippi, was hired to forge the path east from Sacramento. Where the two companies would meet was not predetermined by the legislation. Congress provided financial incentives to the two companies to get the project underway, and increased the funds in As the terrain got tougher, the payouts got bigger. And the companies got land for their efforts, too. For each mile of track laid, a ten square mile parcel of land was provided.

Over 10, Chinese immigrants did the hard work of preparing rail beds, laying tracking, digging tunnels, and constructing bridges. The Union Pacific Railroad only managed to lay 40 miles of track by the end of , but with the Civil War drawing to a close, they could finally build a workforce equal to the task at hand.

The Union Pacific relied mainly on Irish workers, many of whom were famine immigrants and fresh off the battlefields of the war. The whiskey-drinking, rabble-rousing work crews made their way west, setting up temporary towns that came to be known as "hells on wheels. Tunnel excavation was no easy engineering feat in the s. The excavation rate increased to nearly 2 feet per day when workers started using nitroglycerine to blast away some of the rock. The Union Pacific can only claim four of the 19 tunnels as their work.

The Central Pacific Railroad, which took on the nearly impossible task of building a rail line through the Sierra Nevadas, gets credit for 15 of the toughest tunnels ever constructed. The overwhelmingly immigrant Chinese work force of the Central Pacific also had its fair share of problems, including brutal hour work days laying tracks over the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

For all the adversity they suffered, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific workers were able to finish the railroad—laying nearly 2, miles of track—by , ahead of schedule and under budget. Journeys that had taken months by wagon train or weeks by boat now took only days. Their work had an immediate impact: The years following the construction of the railway were years of rapid growth and expansion for the United States, due in large part to the speed and ease of travel that the railroad provided.

Jefferson Davis, president of the fallen Confederate government, is captured with his wife and entourage near Irwinville, Georgia, by a detachment of Union General James H. At the time, it was the largest rescue package ever granted by the U. On this day in , President Rutherford B. President Hayes embraced the new technology, though he rarely received phone calls. In fact, the Treasury Department possessed the only other direct After failing to hit the spike on his first attempt, Stanford raised the heavy sledgehammer again and struck a solid square Sign up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox.

Eight climbers die on Mount Everest during a storm on this day in It was the worst loss of life ever on the mountain on a single day. Author Jon Krakauer, who himself attempted to climb the peak that year, wrote a best-selling book about the incident, Into Thin Air, which By the end of the year he was officially promoted to director.

This began his year tenure in power, during which time he personally shaped American criminal justice in In the first two years of the war,

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The resulting coast-to-coast railroad connection revolutionized the settlement and economy of the American West. It brought the western states and territories into alignment with the northern Union states and made transporting passengers and goods coast-to-coast considerably quicker, safer and less expensive.

The first transcontinental rail passengers arrived at the Pacific Railroad's original western terminus at the Alameda Terminal on September 6, , where they transferred to the steamer Alameda for transport across the Bay to San Francisco. The road's rail terminus was moved two months later to the Oakland Long Wharf , about a mile to the north, when its expansion was completed and opened for passengers on November 8, The transcontinental line was popularly known as the Overland Route after the principal passenger rail service that operated over the length of the line until Building a railroad line that connected the United States coast-to-coast was advocated in when Dr.

In he submitted to the U. Congress agreed to support the idea. Under the direction of the Department of War , the Pacific Railroad Surveys were conducted from through These included an extensive series of expeditions of the American West seeking possible routes.

It included the region's natural history and illustrations of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. The report failed however to include detailed topographic maps of potential routes needed to estimate the feasibility, cost and select the best route. This in part motivated the United States to complete the Gadsden Purchase. The necessity that now exists for constructing lines of railroad and telegraphic communication between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of this continent is no longer a question for argument; it is conceded by every one.

The U. Congress was strongly divided on where the eastern terminus of the railroad should be—in a southern or northern city. Once the central route was chosen, it was immediately obvious that the western terminus should be Sacramento.

But there was considerable difference of opinion about the eastern terminus. Durant had hired the future president Abraham Lincoln in when he was an attorney to represent him in a business matter about a bridge over the Missouri. Now Lincoln was responsible for choosing the eastern terminus, and he relied on Durant's counsel. Durant advocated for Omaha, and he was so confident of the choice that he began buying up land in Nebraska.

He envisioned a route from Chicago and the Great Lakes to northern California, paid for by the sale of land to settlers along the route.

Whitney traveled widely to solicit support from businessmen and politicians, printed maps and pamphlets, and submitted several proposals to Congress , all at his own expense. In June , he led a team along part of the proposed route to assess its feasibility.

Theodore Judah was a fervent supporter of the central route railroad. He lobbied vigorously in favor of the project and undertook the survey of the route through the rugged Sierra Nevada, one of the chief obstacles of the project.

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

In , Judah wrote a 13,word proposal in support of a Pacific railroad and distributed it to Cabinet secretaries, congressmen and other influential people.

In September , Judah was chosen to be the accredited lobbyist for the Pacific Railroad Convention, which indeed approved his plan to survey, finance and engineer the road. Judah returned to Washington in December He had a lobbying office in the United States Capitol , received an audience with President James Buchanan , and represented the Convention before Congress.

Judah returned to California in In mid, local miner Daniel Strong had surveyed a route over the Sierra for a wagon toll road, which he realized would also suit a railroad. He described his discovery in a letter to Judah. Together, they formed an association to solicit subscriptions from local merchants and businessmen to support their proposed railroad. They discovered a way across the Sierras that was gradual enough to be made suitable for a railroad, although it still needed a lot of work.

All became substantially wealthy from their association with the railroad. Former ophthalmologist Dr. Thomas Clark "Doc" Durant was nominally only a vice president of Union Pacific, so he installed a series of respected men like John Adams Dix as president of the railroad. Durant and its financing arrangements were, unlike those of the CPRR, mired in controversy and scandals.

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. After the southern states seceded from the Union, the House of Representatives approved the bill on May 6, , and the Senate on June Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act of into law on July 1.

It authorized creation of two companies, the Central Pacific in the west and the Union Pacific in the mid-west, to build the railroad. To finance the project, the act authorized the federal government to issue year U. The two railroad companies sold similar amounts of company-backed bonds and stock.

One of the few subscribers was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leader Brigham Young , who also supplied crews for building much of the railroad through Utah. This scheme enabled Durant to control about half of the railroad stock.

The initial construction of Union Pacific grade traversed land owned by Durant. Durant manipulated market prices on his stocks by spreading rumors about which railroads he had an interest in were being considered for connection with the Union Pacific. Collis Huntington , a Sacramento hardware merchant, heard Judah's presentation about the railroad at the St.

Charles Hotel in November He invited Judah to his office to hear his proposal in detail. Huntington persuaded Judah to accept financing from himself and four others: Mark Hopkins , his business partner; James Bailey, a jeweler; Leland Stanford , a grocer; and Charles Crocker , a dry-goods merchant.

Each eventually made millions of dollars from their investments and control of the Central Pacific Railroad. However, shortly after arriving in New York, Judah died on November 2, , of yellow fever that he had contracted while traveling over the Panama Railroad 's transit of the Isthmus of Panama. The railroad companies were given the odd-numbered sections while the federal government retained the even-numbered sections. The exception was in cities, at rivers, or on non-government property. It was far from a given that the railroads operating in the thinly-settled west would make enough money to repay their construction and operation.

If they failed to repay the bonds, all remaining railroad property, including trains and tracks, would revert to the U. This incentive encouraged thousands of settlers to move west. The federal legislation lacked adequate oversight and accountability. Despite the generous subsidies offered by the federal government, the railroad capitalists knew they would not turn a profit on the railroad business for many months, possibly years.

They determined to make a profit on the construction itself. Both groups of financiers formed independent companies to complete the project, and they controlled management of the new companies along with the railroad ventures. This self-dealing allowed them to build in generous profit margins paid out by the railroad companies. In the west, the four men heading the Central Pacific chose a simple name for their company, the "Contract and Finance Company.

Military Railroad controlled by the end of the war. The Union Pacific also utilized their experience repairing and building truss bridges during the war. After , the Central Pacific Railroad received the same Federal financial incentives as the Union Pacific Railroad, along with some construction bonds granted by the state of California and the city of San Francisco.

The Central Pacific hired some Canadian and British civil engineers and surveyors with extensive experience building railroads, but it had a difficult time finding semi-skilled labor. The railroad experimented by hiring local emigrant Chinese as manual laborers, many of whom were escaping the poverty and terrors of the Taiping Rebellion in the Guangdong province in China. The railroad also hired some black people escaping the aftermath of the American Civil War.

The Central Pacific broke ground on January 8, 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.

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 latter route was about twice as expensive per pound. Many of these steam engines, railroad cars, and other machinery were shipped dismantled and had to be reassembled. The Union Pacific Railroad did not start construction for another 18 months until July They were delayed by difficulties obtaining financial backing and the unavailability of workers and materials due to the Civil War.

Their start point in the new city of Omaha, Nebraska was not yet connected via railroad to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Equipment needed to begin work was initially delivered to Omaha and Council Bluffs by paddle steamers on the Missouri River. The Union Pacific was so slow in beginning construction during that they sold two of the four steam locomotives they had purchased. After the U. Civil War ended on June 22, , the Union Pacific still competed for railroad supplies with companies who were building or repairing railroads in the south, and prices rose.

At that time in the United States, there were two primary standards for track gauge, as defined by the distance between the two rails. Transferring railway cars across a break of gauge required changing out the trucks. Alternatively, cargo was offloaded and reloaded, a time-consuming effort that delayed cargo shipments. For the transcontinental railroad, the builders adopted the English standard, what is now called standard gauge.

Within a few years, nearly all railroads converted to steel rails. Time was not standardized across the United States and Canada until November 18, In , each railroad set its own time to minimize scheduling errors.

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. 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 Omaha , Nebraska Territory.

Trans continental railroad history