Comparing the 1st Transcontinental Railroad with Today’s Trains


By Noel T. Braymer

Some people like to bemoan that it only took 6 years to build the first Transcontinental Railroad between Omaha and Sacramento. Many of these same people like to criticize High Speed Rail and other rail projects about how long they take to build now in this Country. People who say this either don’t know much or care about history. The first proposal for a Transcontinental Railroad was in 1830. By the 1850’s there was a great deal of discussion and debate about building a Transcontinental Railroad. At the end of 1853 the Gadsden Purchase bought much of what is now southern Arizona and New Mexico. The reason for buying this land was it on the most logical route for a Transcontinental Railroad. It was the shortest route between ports on both coasts of the 3 proposed routes. It also had the fewest problems with elevation and…

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