The Transcontinental Railroad Network Connected The East And West Coasts

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The Transcontinental Railroad network connected the East and the West coasts; it was completed on May 10, 1869. It increased America’s imports and exports, as well as generated a national interest in tourism; however, the construction of such project encountered a series of issues. These ranged from corruption, the reluctant choice to hire Chinese workers and environmental obstacles. Thanks to the vision of some individuals and the authorization of President Abraham Lincoln, the Transcontinental Railroad became a reality; once the project was completed it connected the entire country and increased production for both the Pacific and the Atlantic. Thirty years after the first locomotives arrived from Britain in early 1830’s, “railroads…show more content…
Before the construction began railroads only reached as far as St Louis Missouri. Some local businesses already benefited dramatically from the railroad networks; such was the case with the state of Texas, as it reentered the Union after the Civil War ended, this was because “A longhorn worth $3 in Texas might command $40 at Sedalia, [Missouri].” As a result, the era of cowboys roaming through the Great Plains escorting livestock was gone, since Railroad networks presented a cheaper, quicker and more lucrative method of transporting livestock to the north. There were two companies tasked with the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, the Union Pacific working from the East coast and the Central Pacific working from the West coast, the concept was for these two companies to meet somewhere in the middle. Greed became a significant factor amongst both the Union and Central Pacific Railroad companies because constructing one mile of tracks would generate $32,000 in profit; this led the Union Pacific to request to unnecessarily lengthen the route in order to increase its profit. While the Central Pacific “award[ed] the construction and supplies contract to one of their [four] own[ers],” soon after his resignation from the corporation in an attempt to cover their lucrative interests. The Central Pacific
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