U.S. First Transcontinental railroad (2)
Needing rapid communication, the companies built telegraph lines along the railroad. The linkage made these lines easier to protect and maintain than the original First Transcontinental Telegraph lines.
In addition to track laying (which typically employed approximately 25% of the labor force), the operation also required the efforts of hundreds of tunnelers, explosive experts, bridge builders, blacksmiths, carpenters, engineers, masons, surveyors, teamsters, telegraphers, and even cooks, to name just a few of the trades involved in construction of the railroad. The Union Pacific laid 1,087 miles (1,749 km) of track, The Central Pacific laid 690 miles (1,100 km) of track. (Vocab.: bridge builders : employés aux ponts ; carpenters : menuisiers ; explosive experts : spécialistes d’explosifs ; involved in : impliqués dans … ; track laying : pose des rails ; teamster : routier ; tunnelers : employés aux tunnels)
Asa Whitney, first, Theodore Judah, later, did their utmost to have the railroad built. The Pony Express from 1860 to 1861 was to prove that the Central Nevada Route across Nevada and Utah and the sections of the Oregon Trail across Wyoming and Nebraska was viable during the winter. With the American Civil War raging, the apparent need for the railroad became more urgent. (Vocab.: did their utmost to : firent de leur mieux pour …)
Six years after the groundbreaking, laborers of the Central Pacific Railroad from the west and the Union Pacific Railroad from the east met at Promontory Summit, Utah. It was here on May 10, 1869 that Stanford drove the The Last Spike -- or golden spike, now on display at Stanford University -- that joined the rails of the transcontinental railroad. Travel from coast to coast was reduced from six months or more to just one week.
Visible remains of the historic line are still in service today, especially through the Sierra Nevada Mountains and canyons in Utah and Wyoming. (Vocab.: golden spike : pointe d’or ; groundbreaking : la première percée ; on display : exposé(-e) à …; Visible remains : les vestiges / témoignages visibles)
Salt Lake City : Inside view of the Gateway.
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