The transcontinental Railroad was built from 1864 to 1869 when the two railroads met to make the first Transcontinental Railroad
The Idea of the Transcontinental Railroad
The idea and talk of the Railroad began in the 1830s around the time when America's first steam locomotive made its debut. In the 1860s the dream of a Transcontinental Railroad was one that could become reality in the near future due to Theodore Judah who surveyed mountains to find where the Railroad could be built.
There were two routes for Congress to choose for the path the Railroad would take. One Route was called the Southern Route this Route would stretch across most of the south and end in Los Angeles. The other Route that was later choosen by Congress was the Central Route which took a similar path to the Oregon Trail and also ended in Los Angeles and stared in Omaha. The government also created the Pacific Railroad Act which stated that there would be two railroads that would eventually meet paths.
There was many challenges faced on building both the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad. The Central Pacific builders had to deal with mountains and tough conditions such as snow . While building, the Union Pacific Railroad had to deal with Native Americans.
Many different people worked on the railroads types of people who worked on the Union Pacific Railroad were Irish, people who fought in the war, and Mormon workers. Some who worked on the Central Pacific were Chinese immigrants who came to work on the Railroad.
The Final Stages
When the Railroads were finished and ready to form one massive Railroad spanning across the continent the President of the Central Pacific Railroad and Governor of California, Leland Stanford put the final (golden) spike in the Railroad to make it officially finished on May 10th, 1869.
Subsidies were grants of money given to an industry or buisness to help them. The government was helping the Railroad companies and aiding them. Along with that the government gave the Railroad companys small parts of land alongside the Railroad and government bonds.
With the building of the Transcontinental food, people, and goods could be transferred easily to the West unlike the long tough trail it was to get to the west for the gold rush. People could easily get to the West for cheaper, less time, and easier.