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Union Pacific Railroad

Building the transcontinental railroad was the greatest engineering feat of the nineteenth century. Was it also the biggest swindle?

Introduction: Read more >>

In a classic model of government corruption, the promoters placed shares of the company's stock “where it will do most good"—in the pockets of key Congressmen

 

What it was like for the first travelers

Mile for mile, it cost more in dollars—and lives—than any railroad ever built

It was not long after the completion of the Panama Railroad in 1855 that Bedford Clapperton Pirn declared with perfect composure that of all the world’s wonders none could surpass this one as a demonstration of man’s capacity to do great things against imposs Read more >>

Our half-known new western empire was mapped, in a great mass exploration, by the Army’s Pacific Railroad Surveys of 1853

The Pacific Railroad Surveys of 1853 —a grand national reconnaissance extending over half a continent and led by men who would later be counted among the most prominent soldiers and scientists of the Republic Read more >>

Snowshed crews on the Central Pacific, battling blizzards and snowslides, built “the longest house in the world”