Skip to Content

Transcontinental Railroad: the 19th Century "Network" of the Future

4 Favorites 1 Copy (view)
Social Studies Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old)

In 1862, the Pacific Railroad Act chartered the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroad Companies, and tasked them with building a transcontinental railroad that would link the United States from East to West. Over the next seven years, the two companies would race toward each other starting from Sacramento, California in the West and Omaha, Nebraska to the East, both teams struggled to overcome  great engineering obstacles and physical risks to their workforce before the two lines were joined at Promontory, Utah, on May 10, 1869. This "network" connecting our nation and  continent, was a huge technological step forward for our country that incited many other technologies and industries.