They Thought They Could … And They Did

April 27, 2019

Chugga-chugga choo-choo! I think I can. I think I can. That’s probably what the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad Companies thought when the United States government hired them to fulfill the Pacific Railroad Act which sought to connect the United States from the east to the west. That was in 1862, when the Central Pacific Railroad company started building in Sacramento, California, while the Union Pacific Railroad started its efforts in Omaha, Nebraska. It took nearly seven years and tens of thousands of laborers (many of whom were Chinese and Irish immigrants) to connect the tracks on May 10th, 1869 in Promontory, Utah. A hundred and fifty years later and the Transcontinental Railroad continues to be an incredible symbol of advanced engineering and innovation. From special exhibits to community celebrations to train-based vacations, cities across the United States will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad throughout the months of April and May.

Can you think of any other incredible engineering feats?