A Brief History of the Pacific Railway - The Transcontinental Railroad
May 10, Before the transcontinental railroad, travel from the East to the West Coast The two companies involved were the Union Pacific and Central Pacific greed, so they didn't dictate just how, when, or where the rails must meet. Promontory is an area of high ground in Box Elder County, Utah, 32 mi (51 km) west of Brigham The trains carrying the railroads' officials were drawn by Union Pacific's No. crews from the CP and UP had been relocated to Ogden, Utah, where Union Station had effectively become the meeting point of the two railroads. Nov 24, On this day in , the presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads meet in Promontory, Utah, and drive a ceremonial last.
Army instituted active cavalry patrols that grew larger as the Native Americans grew more aggressive. 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.Abraham Lincoln and the Transcontinental Railroad
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.
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.
First transcontinental railroad is completed
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. The Dale Creek Crossing was one of their more difficult railroad engineering challenges. The eastern and western approaches to the bridge site, near the highest elevation on the transcontinental railroad, required cutting through granite for nearly a mile on each side. Beyond Dale Creek, railroad construction paused at what became the town of Laramie, Wyoming to build a bridge across the Laramie River. Its location made it a good base for helper locomotives to couple to trains with snowplows to help clear the tracks of snow or help haul heavy freight over Evans pass.
Although Union Pacific engineers had initially considered a direct route across the lake, they opted for the surveyed line through Promontory due to cost and schedule reasons. The last regularly scheduled transcontinental passenger train to pass through Promontory station was on Sunday, September 18, On September 8,an "unspiking" ceremony was held to commemorate the lifting of the last rail over Promontory Summit; the old steel rails were used for the war effort in World War II.
In the s, the wooden trestle was replaced with a parallel concrete-stone causeway built by the Morrison-Knudsen construction company. Southern Pacific continued to maintain the wooden trestle as a backup for several decades, although its last significant rail traffic was in the early s. Beginning in Marchthe timber from the trestle has been salvaged and removed.
By the early s, a number of re-enactments of the driving of the last spike had been held at Promontory Summit. The renewed interest led to a concerted effort to save the historic site. Inlocal campaigners succeeded in getting the area recognized by the federal government, but without federal land ownership. The Southern Pacific, which still owned the right of wayagreed to give its holdings to the federal management.
First Transcontinental Railroad - Wikipedia
The area is administered by the National Park Service. As the original Jupiter had been scrapped for iron in and No. They were reconstructed using scaled-up measurements taken from photographs of the original engines. But after they left, the graders, tie-setters, track-layers, and bolters often had to work in teams with half of them standing guard and the other half working.
In some cases, such as the Plum Creek massacre in Nebraska, the UP attorney admitted his line was negligent.
- Sacramento, CA
- Jefferson Davis captured
- Central Pacific
It had sent workingmen into areas known for the presence of hostile Indians . To avoid such conflicts, Central Pacific superintendent James Strobridge offered some of the Indians employment and then signed a special treaty with the Paiutes and Shoshones.
Both male and female Indians worked alongside the Chinese, "with nonchalance and ease", and one observer reported that the women usually outdid the men in handling crowbars and sledgehammers . But no matter how hard he drove his men, by the end of it became obvious that the rival Union Pacific was going to win the great race into Utah. It would probably have tracks laid to the key city of Ogden before the Central Pacific could emerge from the Promontory range north of Great Salt Lake.
First transcontinental railroad is completed - HISTORY
A feeling of excitement developed throughout America as it became apparent that the long-dreamed-of transcontinental railroad, which had been planned for completion during the nation's centennial celebration ofwould be joined in the new year ofseven years ahead of schedule.
Although engineers for each of the rival railroads could have calculated the approximate meeting place of the track layers, their greedy employers insisted that the wasteful parallel grading continue across Utah . Both sides marked roads that paralleled each other and both claimed subsidies for this mileage. In a series of attacks and counterattacks, with boulders and gunpowder, many lives were lost and miles of track were destroyed.
Both sides involved Presidents Johnson and Grant in the feuding. With the threat of a federal investigation hanging over their heads, the two lines finally compromised on Promontory Point, Utah, as their meeting place .
The Union Pacific did not win the race into Utah without enormous costs - in money, materials, and lives. As in war, the longer the contest continued, the more ruthless the leaders of the competing railroads became toward their common laborers. Although deaths by accidents were higher among the CP's Chinese between five hundred and a thousandthe UP lost the most workmen from exposure and from diseases contracted in the "squalid dens of prostitution" that followed the crews westward.
More UP workmen were murdered in the Hell on Wheels towns than were killed in accidents, a ratio of about four to one. Neither railroad company provided adequate medical facilities.