Amateur The First Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the “Pacific Railroad”
Amateur and later as the “Overland Route“) was a 1,912-mile (3,077 km) continuous railroad line
constructed between 1863 and 1869 that connected the existing eastern U.S.
 The rail line was built by three private companies over
public lands provided by extensive US land grants.
 Construction was financed by both state and
US government subsidy bonds as well as by company issued mortgage bonds
of track from the road’s western
(CPRR) constructed 690 mi (1,110 km) eastward from Sacramento to Promontory Summit, Utah Territory.
The Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) built 1,085 mi (1,746 km)
from the road’s eastern terminus at the Missouri River
settlements of Council Bluffs and
Amateur The railroad opened for through traffic between
Sacramento and Omaha on May 10, 1869,
when CPRR President Leland Stanford ceremonially tappe
d the gold “Last Spike” (later often referred to as the “
In the following six months, the last leg
from Sacramento to San Francisco Bay was completed. The resulting coast-to-coast railroad
connection revolutionized the settlement and economy of the American West.
It brought the western states and territories into alignment with the northern Union
states and made transporting passengers and goods
coast-to-coast considerably quicker, safer and less expensive.
The first transcontinental rail passengers arrived at the Pacific Railroad’s original
western terminus at the Alameda Terminal on September 6, 1869, where they transferred
to the steamer Alameda for transport across the Bay to San Francisco. The road’s rail terminus
was moved two months later to the Oakland Long Wharf, about a mile to the north,
when its expansion was completed and opened for passengers on November 8, 1869.
The CPRR eventually purchased 53 miles (85 km) of UPRR-built grade
from Promontory Summit
(MP 828) to Ogden, Utah Territory (MP 881), which became the interchange point between trains of the two roads.
The transcontinental line was popularly known as the Overland Route after the principal