Building the transcontinental railroad was the greatest engineering feat of the nineteenth century. Was it also the biggest swindle?
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
Our half-known new western empire was mapped, in a great mass exploration, by the Army’s Pacific Railroad Surveys of 1853