New Photo Display in Classroom 3A
Prior to 1860, the railroad network in the United States existed primarily east of the Missouri River. Due to the lack of a rail network in the West, travel took from 4-6 months to make the trek from the Missouri River to California by covered wagon.
The Pacific Railroad Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on July 1, 1863 to grant federal aid to the Union Pacific Railroad Company and the Central Pacific Railroad Company for the construction of a Transcontinental Railroad (TCRR) which would run from Omaha, Nebraska to Sacramento, California. The Central Pacific started laying rail in Sacramento and worked their way east; the Union Pacific began in Omaha and moved west meeting up with the Central Pacific Railroad Company in Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869.
Once the TCRR, considered one of the greatest technological feats of the 19th century, was completed, travel from New York to San Francisco could be accomplished in as little as 7 days at a cost of less than $100.
A photo exhibition of the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad is on display in the display case in Classroom 3A in the 3rd floor Library.