The story of building transcontinental railroad

Tweet The history of railroading in Seattle closely parallels the city's development and early hopes for its future. Like communication networks today, railroading in the nineteenth century represented more than steel tracks and trade. The romantic and practical potential of the rails wooed communities, especially those in the West, much as Web commerce and Internet startups entrance and confound us today.

The story of building transcontinental railroad


The Summit Tunnel was 7, feet above the sea. This was the highest point reached by the CP. The facings were off by only two inchesa feat that could hardly be equaled in the twenty-first century.

Clement had done it with black powder, nitroglycerin, and muscle power. He had not used electric or steam-driven drills, steam engines to power scoop shovels, or any gas or electric-powered carts or cars to haul out the broken granite.

There were no robots, no mechanical devices. Well over 95 percent of the work was done by the Chinese men. They and their foremen and the bosses, Clement and Crocker and Strobridge, had created one of the greatest moments in American history.

Most were on curves, laid out by Lewis Clement. When the faces met, they were never more than an The story of building transcontinental railroad off line, showing the remarkable accuracy of his calculations and instrument work under the most difficult of circumstances.

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It wasn't until that Congress passed a bill authorizing such a venture. Inafter a long, bitter and often terrifying struggle against Indian attacks, brutal weather, floods, labor shortages, political chicanery, lawlessness and a war, the first transcontinental railroad finally became a reality.

Now the way was open for vast expansion and social changes that would make America the industrial giant of the world. One of the great engineering feats of history and An Cincinnati newspaper mocked the utopian claims that a railroad could "create settlements, commerce and wealth"; the project's supporters, the paper suggested, might as well be promising "to unite neighboring planets in our solar system and make them better acquainted with each other.

The camera equipment of the day was so large and heavy that a photo wagon was needed.

First Transcontinental Railroad - Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum

Wet glass plate collodion negatives had to be produced in the field, required long exposures, and albumen paper required 20 minutes in sunlight to make photo prints. Today's digital cameras by comparison are a marvel — to select the best camera to create photographs for the CPRR Museum website, we found invaluable the extensive reviews on a great site for digital cameras, Digital Camera HQ.

Permission to browse this website is contingent on acceptance of the User Agreement. Freight Train Rounding Cape Horn' elevation. Watkins ' New Cabinet Series, detail.

The story of building transcontinental railroad

The roadbed was blasted out of the solid rock mountainside in the fall of by lowering Chinese workers also known as "Celestials" after the "Celestial Kingdom" as these tireless workers referred to their homeland on ropes down the cliff face. These Chinese men drilled and packed black power charges in the rock, lit the fuses, and had the agility to scamper up the ropes before the explosions.

Though this took until the spring ofit was not as time-consuming or difficult as had been feared. Still it remains one of the best known of all the labors on the Central Pacific, mainly because, unlike the work in the tunnelit makes for a spectacular diorama.

As well it should. Hanging from those [ropes], drilling holes in the cliff, placing the fuses, and getting hauled up was a spectacular piece of work.

The white laborers couldn't do it. The Chinese could, if not as a matter of course, then quickly and — at least they made it look this way — easily. Young Lewis Clement did the surveying and then took charge of overseeing the railroad engineering at Cape Horn.

Trains would halt there so tourists could get out of their cars to gasp and gape at the gorge and the grade.THE STORY OF THE FIRST AMERICAN TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD AN EDUCATIONAL TOOLKIT Museum, is a comprehensive guide for telling the story of the first American transcontinental railroad.

In addition to bringing to life this important achievement in American capturing the adventure and excitement of building the transcontinental railroad. Union Pacific operates North America's premier railroad franchise, covering 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States.

First Transcontinental Railroad - Wikipedia

The enormous job of building the western section of the transcontinental railway fell to year-old Andrew Onderdonk, an American engineer and construction contractor who had just completed the San Francisco sea wall. Chinese labor was suggested, as they had already helped build the California Central Railroad, the railroad from Sacramento to Marysville and the San Jose Railway.

Originally thought to be too small to complete such a momentous task, Charles Crocker of Central Pacific pointed out. The Timeline of U.S.A Railway History depends upon the definition of a railway, as follows: A means of conveyance of passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, also known as tracks.

The Pacific Railway A Brief History of Building the Transcontinental Railroad Before the advent of the transcontinental railroad, a journey across the continent to the western states meant a dangerous six month trek over rivers, deserts, and mountains.

Transcontinental Railroad - HISTORY