inquiry transcontinental railroad

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inquiry transcontinental railroad

The Transcontinental Railroad

Ted Judah was a young, smart engineer, and he had plenty experience building railroads. He knew making the trancontinental railroad was possible. He spent weeks mapping the west wilderness. Now all he need was to convince people that his plan would work. Then, he had to raise enough money to start the project.

Judah persuaded four businessman from California to supply the money to start up his railroad. The four were called the big four. The new railroad company was called the Central Pacific.

in 1862 the u.s. government decided the transcontinental railroad would run from omaha , Nebraska to sacramento, California.The central pacific railroad would start laying tracks in california heading east. The union pacific railroad would start in Nebraska and head west.

1863 Thomas Durant, scheming to gain power in the Union Pacific, acquires control of the majority of the outstanding stock. January 8, 1863 The Central Pacific held ground breaking ceremonies in Sacramento. October 30, 1863 At the organizational meeting of the Union Pacific in New York, Thomas Durant gains control and has John A. Dix named President (his "front man"). Durant takes for himself the title "Vice-president and General Manager". November 2, 1863 Theodore Judah died of Yellow Fever contracted in Panama while returning to California. December 2, 1863 The Union Pacific held ground breaking ceremonies in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and across the Missouri River in Omaha, Nebraska. December 1863 Peter Dey is named Chief Engineer of the Union Pacific.

1864 Thomas Durant establishes Credit Mobilier of America, a holding company designed to siphon off profits from construction of public works. 1864 Thomas Durant of the Union Pacific and Collis Huntington of the Central Pacific worked to get the Pacific Railway Act passed, granting the railroads 12,800 acres of land per mile along with all iron and coal deposits under them, and permitted them to sell first-mortgage bonds to the public. The Union Pacific was to get $16,000.00 per mile across the flat prairies, while the Central Pacific was to get $48,000.00 per mile in the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains. December 8, 1864 Peter Dey resigned as Chief Engineer of the Union Pacific; Colonel Silas Seymour (who knew little of railroad construction) was assigned by Durant to the position.

1865 Labor shortages in California prompted General Superintendant Charles Crocker of the Central Pacific to employ Chinese out of San Francisco. Construction Superintendant James Harvey Strobridge objects, but by year end they've hired every available Chinese in California, and Stanford is trying to import 15,000 more from China. 1865 The "Big Four" of the Central Pacific (Stanford, Huntington, Crocker and Hopkins) user their Credit and Finance Corporation in the same manner as Durant used the Credit Mobilier, but kept it, and the profits it generated, to themselves. July 10, 1865 The Union Pacific laid their first rail at Omaha. At this time, the Central Pacific is 50 miles east of Sacramento

Spring 1866 John S. "Jack" Casement and brother Dan were hired by the Union Pacific to handle the construction teams. May 1866 Colonel Grenville Dodge replaces Seymour as Chief Engineer of the Union Pacific Early Summer, 1866 Congress allows the Central Pacific to build east of California, setting up a race between the CP and the UP to gain advantage over one another. August 1, 1866 Union Pacific work trains have reached 150 miles west of Omaha. October 5, 1866 The Union Pacific reaches the 100th meridian, 247 miles west of Omaha. November, 1866 The Central Pacific reached Cisco, 92 miles from Sacramento and 5,911 feet above sea level. Plans and arrangements are made to use the winter for digging 12 tunnels, each from 800 to 1,650 feet long. They work 3 shifts of 8 hours each per day, and employ 8,000 workers. Late November, 1866 The Union Pacific reached North Platte, 290 miles west of Omaha. Year End, 1866 The Union Pacific reached mile post 305, laying track whenever the weather would permit.

Year End, 1867 The Union Pacific has laid 240 miles of track this year and is at mile post 540, while the Central Pacific has laid only 40 miles, having had to bore through thousands of feet of solid stone, fighting snowdrifts and dodging avalanches during several months of the year. Three locomotives and forty cars have been dismantled and hauled across the summit on sledges in order to continue work east of the mountains. The Union Pacific has sent 3,000 men into the Medicine Bow area to cut ties, timbers for trestles and billets for fuel for the Iron Horses.

May 10, 1869 "Last Spike" ceremony celebrating the joining of the rails of the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific is held at Promontory Point. The Union Pacific train, led by the UP's No. 119 locomotive and carrying Durant, Dillon, Dodge, Seymour, Reed, the Casement brothers, and several other officials and guests, arrived shortly after 10 o'clock. The Central Pacific train, led by the CP's "Jupiter" locomotive, arrived at 11:15, carrying Leland Stanford and other CP officials and guests. At 12:47 (2:47 eastern time), a telegrapher sent the message, "done", after both Stanford and Durant in their turn missed driving home the Golden Spike into the laurel tie with the sledgehammer. Celebrations erupted there, and around the country, as the East was finally linked to the West.



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