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MAY 10th MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF COMPLETION OF TRANS-CONTINENTAL RAILROAD
Nearly 150 Years of Cross-Country Train Travel
Posted by Durand Now at 1:34pm 5/10/16

On May 10th 1869 the ceremonial "golden spike" was driven into the final tie that adjoined the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads, completing the first transcontinental railroad; a line that connected the Pacific coast at California and the western United States to the existing network of Eastern U.S. railroads.  1,775 miles of tracks were connected at Promontory Summit, Utah, where the Union Pacific-built line ran east to Council Bluffs Iowa.  The Central Pacific line ran west from Promontory Summit to Sacramento California.

The connecting of the west to the east changed the American West, establishing it comfortably as "part of" the Union.  Transportation of goods from coast to coast was faster, easier and cheaper.  Passenger travel via rail from coast to coast led to the line eventually becoming known popularly as the "Overland Route."

The Overland Flyer, later called the Overland Limited, operated on the route, which included a connection to Chicago until 1962.  While these passenger lines are no longer in service, the line is still commonly referred to as "Overland Route."  The entire 1,775 miles of the line is owned today by Union Pacific.

To commemorate the anniversary of the First Transcontinental Railroad, check out our gallery of photos from that time.