Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum
How long did it take to complete the Central Pacific 690 miles of track?
posted from CPRR Discussion Group at 6:00 PM
First rail was laid at Sacramento, California, October 26, 1863.Rails joined, May 10, 1869, Promontory Summit, Utah.
“The Pacific R.R. Laying the Last Rail.The Strokes Repeated from the Atlantic to the Pacific.The last rail of the trans-Continental Railway is to be laid to-day, May 10th, with suitable ceremonial. The last spike is to be a golden one, and the hammer, doubtless, silver. This welding of the combined railways over which the commerce of the world is to be carried, is an event full of gandeur, and fit for profound congratulations. It is the greatest work of an age of signally grand enterprises. The laying of the Atlantic Cable and the laying of this iron way across mountains and deserts for thousands of miles, are twin outgrowths of the enlightened faith and vigor of this generation. It is proper that Americans should recognize its significance by demonstrations of gladness.—As the master of ceremonies strikes a blow upon the golden spike that fastens the last rail in its place, at the point where the two roads unite, the electric telegraph will repeat it and send the shock to the remotest ends of the continent. The firm-alarm telegraph will be used to transmit to the public intelligence of this final consummation of the work.The time fixed is high noon at Salt Lake City, which will be about 2 o’clock in New York, and fifteen minutes before 2 here. The fire gong will repeat the strokes, answering those struck at Salt Lake, St. Louis, Chicago, Cleveland, &c.The Fire Department will understand that the signal is not for them, unless the usual alarm is repeated five times.”—Rochester Evening Express, Rochester, N.Y., May 10, 1869Courtesy of Stephen A. Goldman Historical Newspapers.
“Pacific Railroad Celebration.The celecration of the Great Railroad Connection in Chicago was the most successful affair of the kind that ever took place in that city, and probably in the West. It was entirely impromptu, and, therefore, almost every man, woman and child in the city did their part towards making it a success. The procession was unique and immense, of which the lowest estimate was seven miles. During the moving of the procession, Vice President Colfax received the following dispatch:PROMONTOARY SUMMIT, UTAHMay 10, 1869Hon. Schuyler Colfax, Vice President:—The rails were connected to-day. The prophecy of Benton to-day is a fact. This is the way to India.[Signed] G. M. Dodge, John Duff, Sidney Dillon, T. C. Durant.In the evening Vice President Colfax, Lieutenant Governor Breas and others, addressed a large audience at Library Hall, in which they spoke eloquently of the era in the history of our country. During the evening there was a general illumination, fireworks, bondfires, &c.”—Rochester Evening Express, Rochester, N.Y., May 11, 1869Courtesy of Stephen A. Goldman Historical Newspapers.
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