Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Transcontinental Travel Times in 1869

Little Rock Morning Republican, May 11 and 12, 1869, Little Rock, Arkansas.


The last rail is laid and the last spike driven. The Pacific Railroad is complete to Point Junction, 1086 miles west of the Missouri river and 690 miles east of Sacramento.
Signed: Leland Stanford, C. P. R. R.; T. C. Durant, Sidney Dillon, John Duff, U. P. R. R.

THE GREAT PACIFIC RAILROAD. —The near completion of the great Pacific Railroad attracts such general attention, not only throughout our own nation but in Europe, and inquiries are so frequent regarding the particulars of travel, that we have compiled the following table from the best material at hand, showing as nearly as possible the various distances run, from point to point, and the ordinary running time consumed in making the trip from New York, over each section of road, to San Francisco, the great metropolis of the Golden West:

  Miles.     Hours.    
New York to Chicago, Ill. 911 36 1/2
Chicago to Omaha, Nebraska 491 25 1/2
Omaha to Bryan 858 48
Bryan to Ogden, Utah 233 10 3/4
Ogden to Elko, Nevada via Central Pacific Railroad 278 12 1/2
Elko to Sacramento, Cal., via Central Pacific Railroad 465 31
Sacramento to San Francisco, via Western Pacific Railroad 117 3 1/2
Total 3,323 161 1/2

Thus a total distance of 3,353 miles is made according to the present schedule, in six days, seventeen and a half hours, actual time, by a traveler's watch, from which we deduct three and a half hours, difference of time, when going west, leaving the apparent time consumed in making the trip six days and fourteen hours.

At San Francisco the mails will connect with the various steamship lines running on the Pacific, and may be landed at Honolulu in nine days from that city or fifteen and a half days from New York. They can reach Japan in nineteen days from San Francisco, or twenty-five and a half days from New York, or thirty-three to thirty-four days from Great Britain, thus beating the British mails sent via Suez by the Peninsular and Oriental steamers by from three to four weeks. The trip between Yokohama, Japan, and either Hong Kong or Shanghae, is readily accomplished by the Pacific Mail steamships in from five to six days, which added to the time in reaching Japan, will give the through time necessary to reach either of the above named ports in China. —Toledo Blade

CPRR and UPRR Display Advertisements, May, 1869
CPRR and UPRR Display Advertisements, May, 1869.
Courtesy of the Bruce C. Cooper Collection.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also see, Transcontinental train trip in 1923; also 1905.

5/10/2011 4:04 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

See, related discussion.

5/10/2011 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Postmaster General’s Report of 1869 shows that mails from San Francisco to New York were carried through in six days and fifteen hours at the fastest, once the service was functioning regularly. However, the average time to New York was seven days and two hours."

3/04/2012 8:17 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Length of time to travel - how long from east to west?

2/03/2014 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Time length of train trips then?"

"Length of train trips then?"

"How long were train trips then?"

"Length of time for trip?"

"Length of trip?" [Distance]

10/13/2014 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The first passenger train left New York City and arrived in San Francisco in eighty-three and one-half hours later."

5/11/2016 1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Time to travel transcontinental in 1869?"

"Number of days to reach San Francisco bay?"

7/26/2016 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From San Francisco to new York would also be possible, not just east to west? kittylyne78@hotmail.com

1/14/2018 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, trains also ran from Sacramento to the east in 1869. See train schedule.

1/14/2018 6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See related discussions.

1/14/2022 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See related 83 hours record time for a coast to coast train, the 'Lightning Express' in 1876.

6/05/2022 12:46 PM  

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