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The Transcontinental Railroad

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Presentation on theme: "The Transcontinental Railroad"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Transcontinental Railroad

2 Prior to 1860 almost all railroads in the United States ended at the Mississippi River.
As more settlers moved west railroad companies rushed to build tracks to mines and boomtowns. In the 1860s the federal government began giving money and land to railroad companies. The government gave more than 180 million acres! 1,2

3 Building the Railroad For years many people dreamed of building a transcontinental railroad ( a railroad the spanned the continent). In 1862 two railroad companies were commissioned to build the railroad. The Central Pacific would start in Sacramento, CA and build east. The Union Pacific would start in Omaha, NE and build west. 3,4,5

4 Central Pacific Union Pacific

5 Building the Railroad The railroad companies hired thousands of workers. Many Chinese worked on the Central Pacific. Many Irish and African Americans worked on the Union Pacific. 6,7

6 Success! After more than five years of building the two railroads finally met at Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869. With the railroad now spanning the continent population in the west exploded. 8,9,10

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