The Transcontinental Railroad was signed into action in
September of 1862.A project this big had not yet been undertaken
in America and the two companys, the Union Pacific and the Central
Pacific needed lots of help from the Government to get the job done.
The Government donated the land needed to lay down the tracks
and also gave the company rail-side land for each mile of track they
built.The companys also needed to find people to do the job.They
got imigrants to do the work because the workers would receive
some pay but more importantly a large chunk of valuable land.Many
of the imigrants were from China and Ireland.
Working on the railroad was hard work.It was also very
dangerous.Every day people lost their lives to a variety of things.
In the West the workers needed to blow their way thru the Rockys
with explosives, which caused many people their lives.Also, many
men were killed that came accross Indian territory.The Indians were
threatened by the presense of the trains so they faught the workers but
usually lost because the workers had explosives, guns and knives.
It took six years to complete the railroad.At the celebration
when the two sets of tracks met a golden spike was driven in to
complete the railroad.Now what would take months, when done
right, to cross the country would now only take a week.Also
supplies and products that used to be too heavy to ship West could
now be send on the train.Thanks to the Transcontinental Railroad
America moved a step foward in time and changed it forever.