The Pacific Railway Survey

The Pacific Railroad surveys were some of the main train surveys ever undertaken in America. Conducted from 1853 to 1855, the goal of these surveys was to explore possible tracks for the building of a transcontinental railroad, comprising the country everywhere. The discovery of gold and resulting rise in California’s population beginning in the late 1840s made such a route essential in linking the country along. Though Congress had considered this project necessary, there was much debate over where it should be built, and which claims it will traverse. admit card

In all, five separate surveys were conducted, each overseen by Jefferson Davis, then the Secretary of War, and conducted by the Corps of Topographical Engineers, a group which had already participated in surveys of the U. S. -Mexico border among other important surveys in the North american West. 

These surveys not only examined the land, but also consisted of a considerable survey of natural history, including geology, botany, and thousands of designs of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, as well as ethnographic descriptions of native tribes encountered by surveyors in the relatively unexplored West. These information show precisely how varied a surveyor’s job in this era could be.

Every of the five studies explored one possible east-west route for railways, starting roughly at the Mississippi River. The Northern Ocean survey was conducted over the Missouri River and over the Northern Rockies, between the 47th and 49th north parallels from St. Paul, Minnesota, all the way to the Puget Sound. The Central Pacific survey was conducted between the 37th and 39th parallels north, between St. Louis, Missouri and San Francisco, California, with a route following the Kansas and Arkansas Waterways. Two Southern Pacific Surveys online were undertaken. The first followed the 35th similar north from Oklahoma to Oregon; this route would be similar to the later Santa Fe Train line and the Interstate 40 highway. The other Lower Pacific Survey crossed The state of texas to San Diego, A bunch of states. This route would become Southern Pacific’s second transcontinental railway when it was designed in 1881. The final survey linked San Diego to Seattle for a coastal railway path.

Each of the review routes posed its own challenges for home of a railway. Obstacles included the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, as well as thick clumps of trees, rivers, and native tribes who would be hostile to the building of your railroad over their traditional lands. Also after the surveys were complete, there was great question over the most practical route in conditions of both length and expense. Eventually, the range included over eight thousands of feet of tunnels through the mountains, a remarkable task of surveying and executive.

By the time the survey results were posted in 1861, the country was embroiled in Detrimental War, drawing the country’s attention away from the railroad question and traveling up the price of the equipment and materials necessary to build the rail line. Although the railway got off to a slow start, in July of 1862 Abraham Lincoln signed the Ocean Railway Act, establishing the Union Pacific Railroad Organization to build west from Omaha, Nebraska, and the Central Pacific Railroad Firm to build east from Sacramento, California. The companies building these lines received 33 million free miles of land along the new railroad. Construction commenced in 1863, with the two railways finally achieving the other person in May of 1869 in Promontory, Ut. In all, this transcontinental railroad spanned 1, 774 miles, a route which could be traveled in just over four days and nights.

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