Friday, December 04, 2009

Travel in 1870 by rail

From: "Bill McIntyre",

I am in the process of writing a screenplay that involves getting a character from Chicago to Washington State in 1870 by rail. If that was impractical then I would shift his destination to Oregon or California. He would still have to reach Washington by some other means. He would want to ship his horse and pack mule with him as well. If this was possible in whole or in part what would have been the travel time? ...

—Bill McIntyre


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Larry Mullaly"

He could ship his animals by rail on from Omaha to San Francisco, then have the transported by ship to Puget Sound. Probably at rather high cost.

At least three railroads would be involved: one of the several routes that existed between Chicago and Omaha, then the Union Pacific to Ogden, finally the Central Pacific to Oakland/San Francisco.

Going overland from Sacramento or San Francisco to Puget Sound was also possible. Stagecoaches made this journey, but it was tough going.

—Larry Mullaly

12/04/2009 12:40 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Bill McIntyre",

Thank you for the information. It is most helpful. I was thinking about the shipping angle from San Francisco but it makes the journey too easy for my character. I will probably force him to take the overland route to Puget Sound. Would you have any idea as to the length of time it would take to get from Chicago to San Francisco by rail? ...

12/04/2009 2:14 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Travel Guides with timetables.

12/04/2009 2:24 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

The following book describes the Chicago to San Francisco trip by rail in 1887:


12/04/2009 2:28 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Wendell Huffman"

Train to San Francisco and coastal steamer to Portland or Puget Sound. But ship the pack mule? Gotta be kidding. I knew some good mules in my day as a packer and shoer, but I'd say the only animals worth shipping would be blood stock or race horses – especially in the 19th century when good animals were available nearly everywhere, and anyone familiar with animals would be able to pick one. Too, if the hero is going to be doing any real packing, he'd need a string. I supose Caligula might have shipped his mare. Just MHO, Wendell.

12/04/2009 4:20 PM  

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