People wanted to move , especially after the California
gold rush in 1849. After years of debate, in 1862 Congress
passed the Pacific Railroad Act to build a . The Union Pacific Railroad would lay track westward
from Omaha, , and the Central Pacific Railroad would
lay track eastward from Sacramento, .
A Tremendous Task
Many faced the builders of the transcontinental
railroad. At that time, it was difficult to get supplies and workers
because of the . The Central Pacific hired mostly
and Irish immigrants to do the dangerous work of
blasting the mountains with gunpowder. The Union Pacific hired
mostly Irish and German immigrants at low wages. Many were
killed or injured, especially the workers of the Central Pacific.
Competing to Win
Near the completion of the railroad a heated up between
the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific. An all-time record was
set when the Central Pacific finished of track in one
day. Finally, on May 10, 1869, at , Utah, the
two railroads met and the job was completed.