Monday, October 27, 2008

Travel on transcontinental railroad

How many miles did the train travel per day?


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


It depends on which train it was, and what route it was going on (and how much up hill vs. down hill). Check some of the on-line timetables – they include arrival and departure times, and usually milages. Tracking a train through several days should give a pretty good average for whatever year it is.


10/28/2008 3:11 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Paul S Martineau"

This is a copy of a letter by my Great-Grandfather, FYI.

—Paul Martineau


San Francisco, Cal.
Palace Hotel, Nov.26, 1882

Dear Susan and all,

We arrived here today – Sunday – at noon, all well. We left Ogden Fri. Nov. 24 at 6:45 P.M. And awoke next morning at Halleck, in Nevada. All day Sat. We rode through a most dreary – barren – alkaline desert of greasewood and sage – much more uninviting than Southern Utah. The only place that seemed human, was Humboldt, a station where the proprietor had some trees growing. We were detained here some time, by a fearful wreck of 20 frieght cars which occurred just just ahead of us the evening previous. It took 19 hours to build a track around the wreck so trains could pass. It was a fearful sight. The cars were piled upon each other, in a complete wreck – splintered and smashed to atoms, and when we passed at dusk, a dead man – a brakeman – lay under the debris. A broken wheel was the cause. At 8:50 we reached Reno at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and reached the summit about 1 A.M. We were again detained when near the summit by a burning snow shed ahead of us, about 2 hours, but got through the smoking ruins all right. Descending the western slope, the country changed entirely. Pine grows all over the foothills, mixed with oak, and farther down, Live Oak ——— eminates. It is a round topped tree, like this: [sketch]. The leaves are are always green on it.. There was no snow or ice, the grass is green, with dandelions showing their golden faces to the traveler. As you approach Sacramento, the land becomes very flat, and in places wet. The Sacramento river is very muddy and dirty. As we approach the bay, the land for many miles is a vast bed of flegs and rushes, with water all through it. It is called "Tula land." A dense fog came up from the sea, preventing our seeing far, until after we reached the city when it cleared up. After lunch at 2 P.M. We went to Woodwards Gardens, where are many things to see, such as wild animals, fishes, birds, seals, & many beautiful plants. Geraniums of many kinds flourished out of doors, also some kinds of palms, and the Maguay plant (Mexican) from which Pulque is made. Roses and other flowers were also in bloom.

The ride across the intervening distance is very tiresome. San Francisco very much disappointed me. Buildings built mostly of wood and of a flashy kind of architecture – a kind of parvenue city, I call it. We shall be here till Tuesday or Wednesday I suppose. Now I will quit for tonight, hoping all is well with you all and that I shall have all your prayers while I am about. So with love to all I am as ever, your loving Husband and father.

J. H. Martineau

10/28/2008 2:14 PM  

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