Central Pacific Railroad - Wikipedia
Though the work of the two companies eventually met, their The Central Pacific was funded by the famed "Big Four" – Leland laborers from Utah to perform the often deadly work of installing rail ties and blasting through mountains. After the war's end, Union Pacific hired Union and Confederate war. On this day in , the presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads meet in Promontory, Utah, and drive a ceremonial last spike into a rail. The actual building of the railroad would have to wait even longer. The Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR) was a rail route between California and Utah built eastwards from the West Coast in the s, to complete the western part of the "First Transcontinental Railroad" in North America. It later became part of the Union Pacific Railroad. . The Central Pacific and Union Pacific tracks meet in Promontory, Utah.
The Great Railroad Race The Civil War actually advanced the transcontinental railroad project, since it freed up the Union to build whatever it wanted without a care for what the Southern grumblers thought.
Inthen, Congress managed to forge the Pacific Railroad Act, which granted money and land for every mile of rail constructed towards the goal of an East-West connection. The two companies involved were the Union Pacific and Central Pacific, racing from Omaha and Sacramento, respectively, for as many subsidized miles as they could build before the rails met.
The Central Pacific utilized over 10, Chinese willing to work for less and in perilous conditions—which was important for Central, since they had to climb and blast their way through the Sierras almost as soon as they left Sacramento.
Transcontinental railroad completed - HISTORY
The Tracks Meet at Promontory, Utah Congress made the fool's mistake of assuming some motivating rationality on the part of the railroad companies, and not just base greed, so they didn't dictate just how, when, or where the rails must meet.
When Central and Union crews ran into each other in northern Utah, instead of merging the lines right away, they set off building miles of parallel grading, with each company hoping to acquire more mileage and thus more of the reward money. With a kind of paternal exasperation, then, Congress had to set a junction point; and they chose Promontory, Utah—a little tent town of railroad workers and prostitutes just north of the Great Salt Lake.
Precious Metals and Railroad Fat Cats Make Good News Since the meeting of the rails was such a meaningful and publicized national event, everyone considered it fit to celebrate with extravagant ceremony. Of course, extravagance ought to involve precious metals whenever it can, so four precious spikes were donated to adorn the last tie.
There was an iron, silver, and gold spike from Arizona; a silver spike from Nevada; one gold spike from the San Francisco News Letter; and the crowning spike of gold from David Hewes, a friend of Central Pacific magnate Leland Stanford who was also founder of the University. Hewes' spike was the first to be made, and it inspired the rest.
Hearing of the grand event, Hewes was initially disappointed at a lack of symbolic and precious metal objects donated for the ceremony, so he got the ball rolling himself.
The precious ceremonial spikes were carefully tapped into a ceremonial tie with a ceremonial silver hammer.
When East Meets West: The Last Spike of the Transcontinental Railroad | Mental Floss
When the dignitaries Stanford of Central Pacific and Thomas Durant of Union Pacific tried real hammer swings to seal the deal, they both missed. Adding to those taps, a single-word telegram was sent out around the States: Most were employees of the CP railroad.
The track was realigned, a roundhouse and turntable were built, and a freight depot and locomotive yard were added. It also gained extensive support facilities for workers, including a railroad eating stop, engine helper station, and quarters for the Chinese section crew.Golden Spike Transcontinental Railroad 149th Anniversary
At the turn of the 20th century, wheat farmers had begun to change the landscape around Promontory with farms and families.
Decline[ edit ] Aerial view of the trestle over the northern part of the Great Salt Lake west of Ogden in Box Elder County, Utahwith the replacement causeway on right August Although Union Pacific engineers had initially considered a direct route across the Great Salt Lakecost and schedule constraints forced them to opt for the surveyed line through Promontory.
This changed when the Southern Pacificwhich had acquired Central Pacific operations inbuilt a wooden railroad trestle across the Great Salt Lake between Ogden and Lucinbetween February and March 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.
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.
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. The area is administered by the National Park Service.
When East Meets West: The Last Spike of the Transcontinental Railroad
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  and reference to similar engines of the time. The park, which has a visitor center and an engine house, is open throughout the year.