Friday, September 02, 2005

Recalling the railroad matchup of the century, by Mark McLaughlin, Sierra Sun, Truckee, CA

"Recalling the railroad matchup of the century," by Mark McLaughlin, © Sierra Sun, Truckee, CA, September 1, 2005. (News Article)

" ... The Central Pacific crews set a record of by laying 10 miles and 56 feet of track in one 12-hour shift, consuming 25,800 ties, 3,520 rails, 28,160 spikes and 14,080 bolts - in one day. ... when a whistle blew to stop. An army officer witnessing the event for Union Pacific said, "Mr. Crocker, I never saw such organization as that. It was just like an army marching over the ground and leaving the track built behind them." ... Each of the eight Irish tracklayers lifted 125 tons of iron in the course of that day's work! Finally, in order to prove the job safe and sound, a locomotive was run over the new track at 40 m.p.h. This accomplishment of ten miles in one day was since exceeded only once, on Aug. 15, 1870, by the Kansas Pacific in Colorado. The new record was just a few hundred feet longer." [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Was the CPRR's ten mile day record exceeded by the Kansas Pacific on Aug. 15, 1870?

Wendell Huffman previously noted that "15 August 1870 is considered by some to mark the true completion date of the first transcontinental railroad across the United States. I'm not even sure of the railroad completed on that date, but I suspect it was either the Union Pacific Eastern Division or the Kansas Pacific. The location was some 3812 feet east of the station at Comanche, Colorado (now Strasburg). The reason that this 'qualifies' is that those tracks connected eastward across the Chanute bridge at Kansas City (opened July 3 1869), while the Missouri River bridge at Omaha was not opened until March 1873. ... "

9/02/2005 8:23 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Dear Mark McLaughlin,

Can you supply additional details and/or primary source references about the Kansas Pacific's Aug. 15, 1870 record for laying track in one day mentioned at the end of your recent article?


9/04/2005 9:54 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Mark McLaughlin"

I was disappointed to not find the original reference in my "Ten Miles in One Day" folder. I quickly checked the "Sins of Stephen Ambrose" website but found no mention of it there either. I will continue the search (for both our benefits), but I can't say with certainty when I'll find it. I'm sure I have it somewhere in my library or railroad file collection. If you don't hear from me in a week or so, please send me another email to remind me.

Thanks for your patience.


9/04/2005 9:58 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Mark McLaughlin"

... I have not had time to try and locate the source as of yet, but I have every intention of doing so. ... It is obviously a statement that I read somewhere so it's just a matter of time to track down the book or article. I very rarely get information from the Internet so it's probably in one of the books in my library (possibly a footnote). ... will do my best to check this out for you in the near future. ...

9/28/2005 12:15 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

James Barkley, whose great grandfather, Horace Hamilton Minkler, was track foreman on April 28, 1869, advises that the Central Pacific Railroad's 10 mile world record for track laying on that day is in the Guiness Book of Records.

10/20/2005 8:14 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: Wendell Huffman
Subject: 10 miles of track laid in one day

I just stumbled across the discussion from September 2005 concerning whether or not the Kansas Pacific beat the CP tracklaying record on 15 August 1870. I find the following from the Strasburg [Colorado] Home Town Days website:

"It was 3:00 p.m. on August 15, 1870 when the Kansas Pacific Railroads met just east of Strasburg. There was not a big celebration - the American flag and a keg of whiskey sat at the center of the last 10 1/4 miles of track to be laid. The first crew from either the east or the west to reach the center was the winner. The east team reached the center point and continued on to meet the west team. When the last spike was driven, a new record for laying track was set."

This sounds as though 10-1/4 miles of track were laid in one day – but with crews working from both directions.


1/30/2009 12:48 AM  

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