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Who Built The Central Pacific Railroad

The Central Pacific Railroad was a network of railways that connected Ogden, Utah and Sacramento, California. Together with the Union Pacific Railroad, it played an important part in forming the First Transcontinental Railroad; originally known as the Pacific Railroad. This was the first time that people could travel from coast-to-coast via train This trip only took 8 days, which was far quicker than any other method of traveling this distance. The Central Pacific Railroad was leased to the Southern Pacific Company and the companies later merged. In 1996 it was purchased by Union Pacific, who control still own the railroad today. If you have ever wondered who built this historic railroad, keep reading to find out.

Who built the Central Pacific Railroad?
The Central Pacific Railroad was authorized by Congress in 1862. The planning for the railroad was completed by Theodore Judah and it was financed by Sacramento businessmen Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins and Charles Crocker. Crocker was placed in charge of the construction. Building began in 1863 and the construction was undertaken by workers who had mostly immigrated from China. It is estimated that 12,000 laborers were employed during the construction of the railway. Other people employed to build the railroad included; engineers, surveyors, bridge builders, tunnelers, experts in explosives, blacksmiths, masons, telegraphers, clerks and even cooks. The railroad was completed in 1869 when the final spike was hammered in Utah to connect with the Union Pacific Railroad.

Did you know?
The Chinese laborers were originally thought to be too weak to build a railroad, but after a few days the company made the decision to hire as many Chinese people as possible. In fact, many more Chinese people were brought out from China specifically to build this railway.

The workers received about $1-3 per day, but those brought directly from China received far less. They ended up going on strike and received an increase in salary.

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