OGDEN would be the terminus for the Central Pacific coming from Sacramento and the Union Pacific coming from Omaha, but the initial meeting point for the two lines would be the basin at Promontory Summit. To signify that the graders and track layers had accepted what their bosses in Washington (meaning Dodge and Huntington, the U.S. Congress, and the President and his Cabinet) had decided, on April 10 the UP stopped grading west of Promontory, and on April 15 the CP stopped grading east of the summit. The companies pulled back their men, their tents, their cooking facilities, their equipment, their wagons, horses and mules, everything.
The workers and their superintendents felt that a diktat had been forced on them. It wasn’t their choice, it wasn’t their decision. It hurt, it stung, it mattered, but it had to be done, even though it meant abandoning the field of battle. It was a retreat. That was something all the Confederate and most of the Yankee veterans in the two companies had experienced more than once during the war, but they hated it as much now as they had then.
Still, losing the battle wasn’t the same as losing the war. The rivalry between the two railroad lines continued.* The competition had become a habit. At the end of April 1869, even though the race had been over for nearly three weeks, that competition captured the attention of the people of the United States plus the directors of the two companies. Most of all, for every employee from superintendent down to dishwasher, the climax to the competition, even if meaningless in financial terms, was mesmerizing. There had never been anything like it before and never would be again.
For the UP directors and employees, one of the things that stung the most was that their railroad had become, in effect, no different from Brigham Young’s grading crews, a contractor for the CP. The UP grading and track-laying gangs were working not for their own company but for the other guy’s, and they knew it. Everything they did on the line between Ogden and Promontory Summit would be turned over to the CP. And the UP’s treasury was, as always, empty. Dodge warned Oliver Ames, “Men will work no longer without pay & a stoppage now is fatal to us.” Jack Casement added his own warning: the banks and merchants from Omaha to Ogden were “loaded with UPRR paper and if the company don’t send some money here soon they will bust up the whole country.” Seymour added in his own telegram, “We are being ruined for want of track material.”1
Despite Jim Fisk’s legal maneuvers, the UP directors had managed to get the headquarters out of Nassau Street in New York and up to Boston. But when the officers were let go and the sign was taken down in New York, who else but Doc Durant promptly rented the rooms and took possession of their contents. He didn’t get much, because the Ames brothers and their friends had acted first in emptying the vaults, file cabinets, and the rest. “When we can get our Books away from NY and cleaned out from that sink of corruption,” Oliver Ames declared while doing the deed, “we shall feel safe and not until then.”
By April 22, they were safe. The directors held their long-postponed stockholders’ meeting in Boston. The highlight came after a series of speeches, when a telegraph from Dodge in Utah was read: “CENTRAL PACIFIC RAILROAD, EIGHTEEN MILES FROM PROMONTORY SUMMIT. WE ARE TWELVE MILES FROM SUMMIT.” There were cheers all around, and the meeting was adjourned.2
The troubles were not over. Lewis Dent let the board know that he and his partner expected to be retained as counsel for the UP at $10,000 a year. Each. He had connections. He was Grant’s brother-in-law, and his own brother, General Frederick Dent, had served with Grant through the war and was now the President’s military secretary. Further, General Rawlins, Grant’s closest adviser, had promised Dent he would receive a “very liberal proposition” from the UP.
Dodge said to give him $500 a year. Dent dismissed that offer as an insult. General Dent then told another director that his brother had been treated badly. That director then warned Oliver Ames, “It is not in the interest of our Co. to make enemies in that direction.” The UP gave in and put Dent and his partner on the payroll.3
Worse followed. The corruption all along the line, so often pointed out by Webster Snyder, was now apparent to all. Cries went up. There were mutters of “Off with their heads” and screams of outrage. But nothing happened, because everyone was too busy with his own concerns. Early in April, Snyder wrote Dodge, “I am heartily sick of this outfit that talks so much about cleaning out thieves & yet weakens when in presence of the thieves & will let thousands be stolen under their own eyes.”
There was more. Reports came to Dodge of defective masonry on many of the UP’s bridges. Three spans collapsed when the masonry failed. The arches on two culverts at Lodgepole Creek also crashed because of inferior workmanship. Dodge did a quick inspection and declared the masonry at Bear River “worthless.” He said, “The backing is dirt and free stone set on edge.” He wrote Oliver Ames, “We cannot trust masons who have had the reputation of being No. 1 and honest unless we employ an engineer to every structure to stand right over them.”4
Shortly thereafter, a telegram came in from Utah: “WE MUST HAVE FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS TO PAY CONTRACTORS MEN IMMEDIATELY OR ROAD CANNOT RUN.” And at a time when most American newspapers were recording the march to the summit in minute detail for their readers, the New York Herald ran a sour editorial: “In congress we see the Union Pacific Railroad ring triumphant and its directors and hangers-on flaunt their corruption and their ill-acquired means in the face of all decency and legislative morality.”5
To the directors it must have seemed that this was a hell of a way to run a railroad. Just as their company was on the verge of completing the job, it appeared to be nearing the brink of collapse. The triumphal procession they had anticipated threatened to become a funeral cortege.
• • •
THE CP was moving ahead briskly. Indeed, almost without worries. On April 9, it was 690 miles east of Sacramento and that day laid 4.2 miles of track. The next day, it set down 3.1 miles, and the day after that, 4.6. By April 17, it had reached Monument Point, a quarter-mile north of the lakeshore. There the CP had established three sprawling grading camps. The first had a hundred tents, the second another hundred, and the third seventy-five. “Hustle” and “bustle” were the words that came to people’s lips when they saw this hive of activity. As one example, on April 18 a train came from Sacramento. It was thirty-two cars in length. While the Chinese unloaded each car of its rails and ties, others were putting intermediate ties under the rails, which were already spiked into place, and still others were putting in additional ballast and tamping it down.
Monument Point was a spot Durant and Dodge had once thought of as a meeting place, after they had given up on the Nevada-California state line or Humboldt Wells. Now none of that was to be. On April 23, the Alta California reported that the distance separating the two lines was less than fifty miles. “The CP is laying about four miles of track a day; the UP some days have laid the same, on others only one or two miles, from lack of material—principally ties.”6
Although the tracks had not yet joined, increasingly emigrants were moving west by rail rather than wagon trains. On April 26, the newspaper reported that immigrants who had traveled from Omaha to beyond Ogden on the UP hired stagecoaches at the terminus and took them to Monument Point, got on a CP train, and were in California only a little over a week after leaving Omaha.7 There were constant reminders of the change the transcontinental railroad had already wrought. Freight wagons carrying supplies to the end of track from Sacramento and Omaha were constantly rolling past the construction crews. Wells Fargo stagecoaches, which had once spanned the continent, now provided service between railheads. Their run became shorter with each passing day.
The road that was about to be completed had been built, in part, because General Sherman and his army wanted it. So did the politicians, and of course those who settled in the West. Everyone would save time and benefit from its completion, but none more directly than the army. In its task of protecting the frontier and the Far West, the army had sent its units on exhausting marches of sometimes as much as several months just to get to a new post. The expense was terrific, the pain considerable.
But in mid-April 1869, the Twelfth Infantry Regiment, with orders to proceed to the Presidio of San Francisco, took the UP to Corinne, detrained, marched two easy days to the CP railhead, and got on the CP for the trip west.8 It took a week from Omaha to Sacramento, and for both speed and comfort it was a dream. No American army unit had ever before moved so fast or so far for less money or at such ease.
On April 27, the Alta’s reporter was at the end of the CP’s track, 678 miles from Sacramento. The railroad was fourteen miles short of Promontory Summit, and the UP was within eight miles and was laying a mile per day. The UP was coming on even though it still had to finish the Big Trestle and do some difficult rock-cutting. “They may hurry up,” the reporter wrote, “or they may decide to turn to the abandoned grade of the Central Pacific, which is within a few feet of where they are working.” That abandoned grade included the CP’s Big Fill.9
IN 1868, Jack Casement’s men had laid down four and a half miles of track in a single day. “They bragged of it,” Crocker later said, “and it was heralded all over the country as being the biggest day’s track-laying that was ever known.” Crocker told Strobridge that the CP must beat the UP. They got together the material, talked to the men, and did it, spiking down six miles and a few feet in a single day.
Casement had come back at them, starting at 3 A.M., working by the light of lanterns until dawn, and keeping at the task until midnight. At the end of the day, the UP had advanced the end of track eight miles and a fraction.
“Now,” Crocker said to Stro, “we must take off our coats, but we must not beat them until we get so close together that there is not enough room for them to turn around and outdo us.” Ten miles ought to do it, he figured.
“Mr. Crocker,” Strobridge said, “we cannot get men enough onto the track to lay ten miles.” Crocker said it had to be done.
“How are we going to do it?” Stro asked. “The men will all be in each other’s way.”
Organize, Crocker replied. “I’ve been thinking over this for two weeks, and I have got it all planned out.”10
Crocker’s plan was to have the men and the horses ready at first light. He wanted ironcars with rails, spikes, and fishplates, all ready to go. The night before, he wanted five supply trains lined up, the first at the railhead. Each of the five locomotives would pull sixteen cars, which contained enough supplies for two miles of track. When the sun rose, the Chinese would leap onto the cars of the first train, up at the end of track, and begin throwing down kegs of bolts and spikes, bundles of fishplates, and the iron rails. That train would then back up to a siding, and while the first two miles were laid another would come forward. As the first train moved back, six-man gangs of Chinese would lift the small open flatcars onto the track and begin loading each one with sixteen rails plus kegs of bolts, spikes, and fishplates. The flatcars had rollers along their outer edges to make it easier to slide the rails forward and off. Two horses, in single file, each with a rider on its back, would be hitched to the car by a long rope. The horses would then race down the side of the grade kept clear for them.
As this operation was being mounted, three men with shovels, called “pioneers,” would move out along the grade, aligning the ties that had been placed on the grade the night before. When the loaded cart got to the end of track, right after the pioneers, a team of Irish workers, one on each side, would grab the rails with their tongs, two men in front, two at the rear, race them forward to their proper position, and drop them in their proper place when the foreman called out “Down!”
Ahead of the track layers would be two men to handle the portable track-gauge, a wooden measuring device that was four feet eight and a half inches long. They would stay just ahead of the track layers all day long, making sure the rails laid down were just as far apart as Abraham Lincoln had decreed they should be. The spikes, placed by the Chinese workers atop the rails, would dribble onto the grade as the rails were removed. The bolts and fishplates were carried in hand buckets to where they were needed. When the cart was empty, it would be tipped off the grade and the next one brought on. Then the first would be turned around and the horses would be rehitched, to race back for another load.
Next would come the men placing and pounding in spikes. Crocker told Stro, “Have the first man drive one particular spike and not stop for another; he walks right past that rail and drives the same spike in the next rail; another man follows him and drives the next spike in the same rail; and another follows him and so on.” He admonished Stro to have enough spikes on hand so that “no man stops and no man passes another.”
After the spikes were driven in place, five to a rail, would come the straighteners. “One man sees a defective place and he gives it a shove and passes on,” Crocker instructed. “Another comes right behind him and they get the track straight; none of them stop—they are walking forward all the time.” Next would be the crew to ballast the rails. One would raise the track with his shovel placed under a tie. Another would cast a shovelful of dirt under the tie. Then the fillers, one man after another throwing in a shovelful of earth. Crocker told Stro to “have enough of them so that when they are all through you have it all filled and no man stops nor allows another man to pass him.”
Finally, the tampers. There were four hundred of them. “Each one gives two tamps and he goes right along and gives two more to the next and does not stop on one rail, so that he will not be in the way of the next man.”
The crew placing the telegraph poles and fixing the wire would keep pace with the others. And as the rail layers emptied a car, it would be tipped off the track and another one brought on. The empty car would be replaced and taken back to the pile of rails by the horses at a gallop. When a loaded car was approaching down the track, the crew on the empty one would jump off and lift their car from the rails, then put it back after the loaded car went past with unslackened speed. When all the rails had been laid, another train pulling sixteen cars would come up to the end of track. The Chinese would swarm over it and throw off the rails, spikes, bolts, and fishplates and the process would be repeated.
Strobridge heard everything Crocker had to say, considered it, and finally said, “We can beat them, but it will cost something.” For example, he insisted on having a fresh team of horses for each car hauling rail, the fresh horses to take over after every two and a half miles.
“Go ahead and do it,” was Crocker’s reply.11
THEY waited until April 27, when the CP had only fourteen miles to go, the UP nine—and that up the eastern approach to Promontory Summit, heavy work at best, and the Big Trestle not yet done. If Strobridge and his men accomplished the feat, the UP wouldn’t have enough room left to exceed the ten miles.
Crocker offered a bet of $10,000 to Durant, saying that the CP would lay ten miles of track in one day. Reportedly, Durant was sure they couldn’t and accepted the wager.
On April 27, a CP locomotive ran off the track after the crew had put down two miles of track. The accident forced a postponement of the try for the record until the next day. This was somewhat embarrassing, for the UP had its engineers there to watch, along with some army officers on their way to a new mission, and several newspaper correspondents. Crocker laughed it off. On the morning of April 28, before sunrise, a wagon load of UP officials arrived on the scene, including Durant, Dodge, Reed, and Seymour. They had come to watch Crocker’s humiliation and to laugh at him.
What the CP crews did that day will be remembered as long as this Republic lasts. White men born in America were there, along with former slaves whose ancestors came from Africa, plus emigrants from all across Europe, and more than three thousand Chinamen. There were some Mexicans with at least a touch of Native American blood in them, as well as French Indians and at least a few Native Americans. Everyone was excited, ready to get to work, eager to show what he could do. Even the Chinese, usually methodical and a bit scornful of the American way of doing things, were stirred to a fever pitch. They and all the others. We are the world, they said. They had come together at this desolate place in the middle of Western North America to do what had never been done before them.
The sun rose at 7:15 A.M. Corinne time.* First the Chinese went to work. According to the San Francisco Bulletin’s correspondent, “In eight minutes, the sixteen cars were cleared, with a noise like the bombardment of an army.”12 Dodge was impressed. By the end of the day, he was ready to pronounce the Chinese “very quiet, handy, good cooks and good at almost everything they are put at. Only trouble is, we cannot talk to them.”13
The Irishmen laying the track came on behind the pioneers and the track gaugers. Their names were Michael Shay, Patrick Joyce, Michael Kennedy, Thomas Daley, George Elliott, Michael Sullivan, Edward Killeen, and Fred McNamara. Their foreman was George Coley. The two in front on each thirty-foot rail would pick it up with their tongs and run forward. The two in the rear picked it up and carried it forward until all four heard “Down.” The rails weighed 560 pounds each.
Next came the men starting the spikes by placing them in position, then the spike drivers, then the bolt threaders, then the straighteners, finally the tampers. Keeping pace with the crews was the telegraph construction party, digging the holes, putting in the poles, hauling out, hanging, and insulating the wire.
“The scene is a most animated one,” wrote one newspaper reporter. “From the first pioneer to the last tamper, perhaps two miles, there is a thin line of l,000 men advancing a mile an hour; the iron cars running up and down; mounted men galloping backward and forward. Alongside of the moving force are teams hauling tools, and water-wagons, and Chinamen, with pails strung over their shoulders, moving among the men with water and tea.”14
One of the army officers, the senior man, grabbed the arm of Charlie Crocker and said, “I never saw such organization as this; it is just like an army marching across over the ground and leaving a track built behind them.”15
When the whistle blew for the noon meal, at 1:30 P.M., the CP workers had laid six miles of track. The men christened the site Victory (later Rozel, Utah), because they knew they had won. Stro had a second team of track layers in reserve, but the proud men who had laid the first six miles before eating insisted on keeping at it throughout the rest of the day. As they did.
After taking a leisurely hour to eat, the workers lost the better part of another hour as the rails were bent, a tedious job. It had to be done, because the line was ascending the west slope of the Promontory Mountains and on this stretch of line there were curves. Each rail was placed between blocks and hammered until it was in the proper curve.
Then the others went back to work. By 7 P.M., the CP was ten miles and fifty-six feet farther east than it had been at dawn. Never before done, never matched.
Each man among the Irish track-layers had lifted 125 tons of iron, plus the weight of the tongs. That was 11.2 short tons per man per hour. Each had covered ten miles forward and the Lord only knows how much running back for the next rail. They moved the track forward at a rate of almost a mile an hour. They laid at a rate of approximately 240 feet every seventy-five seconds.
Historian Lynn Farrar provided me with the exact numbers. The actual figures were 3,630 feet of level grade, 44,756 feet of plus grade, and 4,470 feet of minus grade. The percent of rise varies from 0.40 percent (21.12 feet per mile) to a maximum of 1.35 percent (71.28 feet per mile). There were twenty curves ranging from 1 degree to 7 degrees 48 minutes. The beginning of the ten miles at engineer station 549 was on a 3-degree curve. The morning’s work contained eleven curves with a total length of 10,848 feet. In the afternoon the work contained nine curves with a total length of 7,512.5 track feet. The morning work had 2,495 track feet of 6-degree curves, and the afternoon work had 827.5 track feet of 7-degree-48-minutes curve. The slower work in the afternoon was partly due to having to curve some rails but also because the “boys” were running out of gas, and they certainly deserved to go more slowly. The net rise in elevation from start to finish was from elevation 4,400 to 4,809.
THERE were many heroes that day. Crocker, to start with, the man who thought it up and planned it out. Strobridge, who organized everything. All the superintendents and foremen. And of course the workers. The eight Irishmen put down 3,520 rails. The CP paid them four days’ wages. Others straightened or laid 25,800 ties. The spikers drove into those ties 28,160 spikes, put in place by the Chinese—the spikes weighed 55,000 pounds. The bolt crews put in 14,080 bolts.
The army officer told Crocker he had walked his horse right along with the track layers and they went forward “just about as fast as a horse could walk.” He added a supreme compliment: “It was a good day’s march for an army.”16
To demonstrate how well done it had been, engineer Jim Campbell ran a locomotive over the new track at forty miles per hour. Then the last of the five construction trains was backed down the long grade past Victory to the construction camp just north of the lake. There were twelve hundred men piled onto its sixteen flatcars for the ride, smiling, cheering lustily, laughing, chattering, kicking their feet, swinging their arms, breaking into song, congratulating one another. They had done what no men before them had ever done, nor would any to come.
Jack Casement turned to Strobridge. “He owned up beaten,” Stro later commented. But Dan Casement was not a good loser. He said his men could do better if they had enough room to do so, and he begged Durant for permission to tear up several miles of track in order to prove it. Durant said no.17 As far as can be told, Doc never paid Crocker the $10,000 he lost in the bet.
On the CP side of the tracks, it was Huntington who was disgruntled, “I notice by the papers,” he wrote Crocker, “that there was ten miles of track laid in one day on the Central Pacific, which was really a great feat, the more particularly when we consider that it was done after the necessity for its being done had passed.”18
MEANTIME,” the Alta California reported, “the Union Pacific road creeps on but slowly; they had to build a tremendous trestle-work, over 400 feet long and 85 feet high. But their rock cutting is the most formidable work, and it seems a pity that such a big job should be necessary when the grading of the Central Pacific is available and has been offered to them.”19
Instead of doing the obvious, as suggested by the correspondent, Doc Durant, riding in a wagon back to Ogden, put out orders to start hauling rails and ties up to Promontory Summit by wagons and begin immediately to lay track toward the east from there. Don’t wait for the Big Trestle to be finished, he thundered. Start laying track now. Graders for the UP were working at either end. They were not yet finished, and the rail layers had to wait for them.
The correspondent for the Alta described the scene as he saw it. “Standing here, on this rising ground,” he scribbled in his notebook and then sent off by telegram to his paper, as he watched from Promontory Summit, “a view of the whole field may be obtained. Along the line of the road may be seen the white camps of the Chinese laborers, and from every one of them squads of these people are advancing.” They had to grade four miles and lay track over the ties and spike down before gaining the summit.
On April 30, the CP finished. It had reached the final summit, more than five hundred miles east of the first summit above Donner Lake, all done in less than a year and a half, at a time when all the locomotives, iron, spikes, fishplates, bolts, and more had to come from the East Coast. The Alta noted, “The last blow has been struck on the Central Pacific Railroad, and the last tie and rail were placed in position today. We are now waiting for the Union Pacific to finish their rock-cutting.”20 At the summit basin, tents started to go up, to announce the birth of a new town, Promontory.*
For the UP, all the cuts were finished but one, and it was grading and laying track in both directions. The Big Trestle was nearly finished, and Casement promised reporters that it would be replaced with a fill in the summer. He didn’t explain exactly why the UP would not use the CP’s Big Fill.21
The UP’s accomplishment needs to be noted. From April 1, 1868, to May 1869, Dodge, the Casements, and their workers had laid 555 miles of road and graded the line to Humboldt Wells, making the total distance covered 726 miles. Everything had been transported from the Missouri River, over two ranges of mountains, a task never equaled or surpassed. In Dodge’s judgment, “It could not have been accomplished had it not been for the experience of the chiefs of the departments in the Civil War.”22
Today people can still drive—cautiously—down from Promontory eastward on the surface of curving sections of the original but abandoned UP roadbed.* One drives through high fills and long, deep cuts. There too can be traced the CP’s lines. Sometimes the two cross each other. Going west from Promontory Summit, an automobile and a bike trail follow the original CP track, with the UP grading always visible. These are stark mementos of human failure and achievement, monuments to government stupidity and genius, to the competitive instincts and organizing ability of Strobridge and the Big Four and Dodge, Durant, and the other leaders of the UP, and most of all to the men who built them.
HELL on Wheels was into its last flourish. In Corinne and in the camps of the UP to the west, the whiskey sellers, gamblers, and prostitutes continued to do business in a new place but in the same old way. One reporter wrote, “The loose population that has followed the UP is turbulent and rascally. Several shooting scrapes have occurred among them lately. Last night [April 27] a whisky-seller and a gambler had a fracas, in which the ‘sport’ shot the whisky dealer, and the friends of the latter shot the gambler. Nobody knows what will become of these riff-raff when the tracks meet, but they are lively enough now and carry off their share of the Plunder from the working men.”23
Colonel C. R. Savage, a photographer hired by Seymour for the occasion, noted in his diary that he went to Casement’s camp, “where I had the honor of dining with Jack and Dan Casement in their private car. Very pleasant and agreeable reception.” From the car he could see the tent camps, beautiful in the twilight. But they were dangerous. “I was creditably informed that 24 men had been killed in the several camps in the last 25 days. Certainly a harder set of men were never congregated together before.”24
WHEN the UP workers began building east from Promontory Summit, the two railroads had met—or at least almost, given that the last twenty-five hundred feet were not yet in place. And the UP still had some cuts to make, a bridge to complete, some track to lay, so only the CP’s locomotives could get to the site. By mutual consent, the Big Four and the UP’s board of directors fixed the date of meeting for Saturday, May 8. Dodge reported that it had been set “far enough ahead so that the trains coming from New York and San Francisco would have ample time to reach Promontory in time to take part in the ceremonies.”25
Beginning on May 3, the companies began discharging large numbers of men and sending others to the rear to work on part of track that had been hastily laid. The two opposing armies “are melting away,” reported the Alta California, “and the white camps which dotted every brown hillside and every shady glen … are being broken up and abandoned. The Central Pacific force are nearly all gone already, and that of the Union is going fast. Ninety of the latter left for the East this morning, and a hundred more go tomorrow, and the rest will soon follow.” Those still on the spot were working day and night to finish the grading and the track laying.26
The Salt Lake Deseret News had an item that signified the change: “Business at Corinne is very dull. The merchants there are in a state of perplexity as there is no sale in the town. A great many are leaving in disgust, land speculation is at a discount, and this last-born of railroad towns is pronounced the ‘greatest bilk of any.’“27
The men were not being discharged and sent back soon enough to please everyone. Colonel Savage wrote in his diary, “The company would do the country a service in sending such men back to Omaha, for their presence would be a scourge upon any community.” He watched as returningmen “were piled upon the cars in every stage of drunkenness. Every ranch or tent has whiskey for sale.” Then he pronounced his own judgment, one that has been quoted countless times since: “Verily, men earn their money like horses and spend it like asses.”28
Dodge, generous in his remarks about the Chinese, sneered at the ten-miles-in-one-day record. “They took a week preparing for it,” he declared, “and imbedded all their ties beforehand.” That last wasn’t true, but he went on anyway: “I never saw so much needless waste in building railroads.” Then he admitted that the UP’s Construction Department “has been inefficient.” More specifically, he claimed, “There is no excuse for [the UP’s] not being fifty miles west of Promontory Summit.” That was sour grapes. But Dodge closed with a comment that summed up the triumphs and troubles he had seen, one that put his, the UP’s, and the CP’s achievement in reaching Promontory Summit into perspective. He noted that “everything connected with the construction department is being closed up,” and then concluded, “Closing the accounts is like the close of the Rebellion.”29
* Abandoned early in the twentieth century. The new line across Great Salt Lake was opened for traffic on March 4, 1904. The tracks over the summit were torn up in World War II to use as scrap iron.
* As it would until the last decade of the twentieth century, when the two lines were merged into one Union Pacific.
* All times were local until the four Standard Time zones were adopted in 1878. The railroads demanded it, for uniformity was critical for their operations.
* It is no longer in existence, but the National Park Service has a splendid interpretive center there.