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The Transcontinental Railroad

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Published on Nov 3, 2009

Why did the early American people build a railroad? Who built the railroad? How did it help the people in Utah?
The United States decided to build a railroad that would go all the way across the country. It would be called the Transcontinental Railroad. Two companies would build it. One started from Nebraska and worked west while the other started in California and worked east.
It took many people to build the railroad. Most of them were immigrants and did not speak English. It was very hard work and very dangerous. The workers worked through hot summers in the desert and cold winters in the mountains. Many people died while working on the track.
In 1869, the two rail lines met at Promontory, Utah. The last railroad spike was made of gold, it is known as The Golden Spike. The news was sent across the nation.
After the Transcontinental Railroad was completed, many other railways were built throughout Utah. Pretty soon, people were able to travel anywhere around the state by the train. After the railroad came to Utah, many black men worked for it. They would work on the construction by building and repairing it or work as cooks and waiters.
The railroad made it possible to travel from coast to coast in only six days. Before the railroad, it would take about one hundred days by covered wagon!
The railroad made life a lot easier for people. They could buy things from other cities and sell their things. The building of the railroad was a huge success!

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