Transcontinental Railroad Facts: Learn About This Form Of Transport | Kidadl


Transcontinental Railroad Facts: Learn About This Form Of Transport

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The 1800s saw the rise of steam locomotives, which rapidly took over stagecoaches and wagons as a cheap and fast means of transportation.

With the introduction of this new and convenient technology, it was proposed to build a railroad connecting the East coast of America to the west- a road that took weeks, if not months to traverse by older modes of transport. This also made trade and commerce between the two coasts quite difficult.

If you're interested in learning about history, or if you just want to know more about the transcontinental railroad, then this article is for you! Let's learn about why it was such an important development in transportation and American history. So sit back, relax, and read all about the transcontinental railroad!

Origin Of Transcontinental Railroad

The first proposal for a transcontinental railroad was made by Asa Whitney in 1845. He believed that a railroad would make it easier to move people and goods between the east and west coasts of the United States.

The idea for a transcontinental railroad really began to take shape in 1861, when Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act. This act gave money to two companies, Central Pacific Railroad Company and Union Pacific Railroad Company so that they could start building the railroad.

The two companies began building the railroad from opposite ends of the country. Central Pacific Railroad Company started in Sacramento, California, and Union Pacific Railroad Company started in Omaha, Nebraska. The two companies worked toward each other and finally met in Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869.

The completion of the transcontinental railroad marked a huge achievement for the United States. It helped to unite the country and it made transportation between the east and west coasts much easier. The Transcontinental Railroad is still considered to be among one of the most impressive feats of American engineering in history.

Funding For Transcontinental Railroad

President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act into law in 1862, providing federal land grants and loans to support the construction of a transcontinental railroad. The project was an enormous undertaking, requiring years of planning and coordination between different railroads, contractors, and workers. Two railroad companies were appointed to undertake the mammoth task of laying the tracks.

The Union Pacific Railroad Company began building westward from Omaha, Nebraska in 1865, under the leadership of the chief engineer General Grenville Dodge, while the Central Pacific Railroad Company started construction eastward from Sacramento in Northern California. Over the next six years, both companies slowly worked their way across the country towards each other, aiming toward Salt Lake City. By 1869, they had finally met at Promontory Summit in Utah and completed the first transcontinental railroad line in North America.

This historic event became possible only because of the significant government funding poured into it. The Pacific Railway Act provided over $27 million in loans and grants to the railroads, which was an enormous amount of money at the time. The federal government also played a vital role in coordinating the project, ensuring that different companies worked together efficiently.

Unfortunately, the project suffered many setbacks, as railroad workers often got into confrontations with Native Americans living in some areas the tracks were being laid through- which often led to violence and destruction of the tracks. However, despite this, the final spike of the railroad was hammered in on May 10 of 1869.

The transcontinental railroad was an incredible feat of engineering and construction, and it would not have been possible without significant the heavy support that the government provided. This legacy continues today, as many major infrastructure projects are funded by taxpayer dollars.

The first transcontinental railroad ran from Omaha to San Francisco bay. It is the first of five transcontinental lines, all of which were built after the success of the first one.

Routes Of Transcontinental Railroad

The United States began to grow rapidly in the 1800s. The population was increasing and settlers were moving westward. The country needed a way to connect the east coast with the west coast, and the solution was the transcontinental railroad.

There were several routes that were considered for the transcontinental railroad. One route went through the southern states, while another went through the northern states. Ultimately, the route that was chosen went through both the north and south.

Today, there are still two main transcontinental railroad routes in operation in the United States. One is operated by Union Pacific Railroad and goes through Omaha, Nebraska. The other is operated by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and goes through Chicago, Illinois. Each day, these routes transport millions of passengers and tons of cargo.

The transcontinental railroad has played a significant role in the development of the United States. It has helped to connect the country and make it easier for people and goods to travel between the east coast and west coast. The railroad has also helped to promote economic growth and development. Thanks to the transcontinental railroad, the United States is now one of the most connected countries in the world.

Advantages Of Transcontinental Railroad

The transcontinental railroad was the first railroad to connect the East and West coasts of America, making travel much easier and more comfortable for people.

The construction of the railroad was a massive undertaking, requiring more than 7,000 mi (11,265 km) of railroad tracks to be laid.

The railroad helped to open up America's interior, making it possible for people and goods to travel between east and west much more quickly and easily than ever before.

The railroad was a vital transportation link during the American Civil War, helping to transport troops and supplies between the east and west.

It reduced the time taken to travel across the country from six months to merely one week. It was also very affordable, with the price of a ticket from San Francisco to Omaha being $65 at the time of opening.

The transcontinental railroad also played a key role in the development of America's economy, helping to spur growth in areas such as agriculture and mining.

Today, the transcontinental railroad is a National Historic Landmark and a major tourist attraction.


What four things did the transcontinental railroad do for the country?

The Transcontinental railroad helped to make travel from one coast of the country to another much more affordable, helped decrease the traveling time between the two coasts, helped expand the scope of trade due to decreased time and costs, and made the western US much more accessible for industrial and living purposes.

How long did it take to build the transcontinental railroad?

It took almost six years to finish the transcontinental express, with the final track being laid on May 10, 1869.

Who invented the transcontinental railroad?

The transcontinental railroad was simultaneously built by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad Company of California.

Why was the transcontinental railroad made?

The transcontinental railroad was devised as a means to cut the traveling time from coast to coast considerably, as well as provide a safer alternative to the Pony Express, stagecoaches, and wagon trains which were being used at that time- all of which were quite dangerous and took weeks to transport people from one side of the country to another.

How many transcontinental railroads are there?

There are currently five transcontinental railroad lines, four of which have been built with aid from the federal government in the form of land grants.

When did the transcontinental railroad end?

The transcontinental railroad starts at Omaha and ends at San Francisco bay.

Written By
Lydia Samson

<p>A diligent and driven mass communications graduate from Caleb University, Lydia has experience in media and a passion for digital marketing and communications. She is an effective communicator and team-builder with strong analytical, management, and organizational skills. She is a self-starter with a positive, can-do attitude.</p>

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