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In 1863, the overall enormous construction project, The Transcontinental Railroad, began with the tracks forming from the Central Pacific to the east of Sacramento, where it was completed. The Union Pacific Railroad started building their railroad in 1865, while the Central Pacific Railroad started in 1863. “Congress granted both railroads large tracts of land and millions of dollars in government loans” (The First Transcontinental Railroad 116). The government soon realized that making one huge railroad would take forever, so they made The Pacific Railroad Act. It gave two industries, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific, the responsibilities for making the railroads. “The Central Pacific laid 690 miles (1,110 km) of track, starting in Sacramento, and the Union Pacific laid 1,087 miles (1,749 km) of track, starting in Omaha”(The First Transcontinental Railroad 1). “Under terms of the Pacific Railroad Act, the Union Pacific was authorized to build a line westward from Omaha, Nebraska, to the California - Nevada line, where it was to connect with the Central Pacific Railroad”(Union Pacific Railroad 1). The Union Pacific hired former Civil War soldiers and thousands of European immigrants to work on the railroad. The Central Pacific Railroad invested in four leaders, The Big Four, each given $1,500 for their part of the railroad. To work on the railroads they employed thousands of Chinese immigrants. The Central Pacific moved slowly because of steep mountains and snowstorms but sped up the process along the Sacramento Valley. While building the Transcontinental Railroad, there were many problems, such as Indian troubles, delays, and construction difficulties. Crossing the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas was one of the toug... ... middle of paper ... coast to coast. “The 1,800 miles of new track[s] were a huge boon to the nation’s economy” (The Transcontinental Railroad Is Completed! 1). “Distances shrank, but identification to land and fellow American[s] grew in inverse proportions” (The Impact of the Transcontinental Railroad 1). Even with all the troubles that happened with the Transcontinental Railroad, it helped the United States tremendously. It changed transportation in America. Works Cited “The First Transcontinental Railroad.”, n.d. Web. 18 March 2014. “The Impact of the Transcontinental Railroad.” WGBH America. WGBH America, n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 20 March 2014. Streissguth, Thomas. The Transcontinental Railroad. San Diego; Lucent Books, Inc., 2000. Print. “Transcontinental Railroad Is Completed!” Scholastic Inc. Scholastic Inc., 16 Sept. 2013. Web. 21 March 2014.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the transcontinental railroad began in 1863 with the tracks forming from the central pacific to the east of sacramento, where it was completed.
  • Explains that the government realized that making one huge railroad would take forever, so they made the pacific railroad act.
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