What began as the Pacific Railroad, the First Transcontinental Railroad began in 1869 between Council Bluffs Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska and Alameda California. By connecting the railroad with the Eastern United states, the two coasts were linked by railway. This transcontinental transportation network revolutionized the economy as well as the population of the American West. The railway was supported by the United States government in the form of bonds and was the culmination of a long movement to build a railway of this kind which linked the east and the west. It was one of the crowning achievements of President Abraham Lincoln even though it was not completed until four years after his death.
The building and operation of the Transcontinental railroad was a feat far beyond it’s time and came at the cost of many lives, just as everything did at that time. Part of the motivation behind building the railroad was to unify the North and the South during the strife of the American Civil War. It is directly and indirectly responsible for the decline of the Native American Population and territorial rule.
Much of the original railway is still owned and used by Union Pacific Railroad, which is headquartered in Nebraska. This railroad was considered the greatest American technological feat of the 19th century. It became vital for trade, travel and commerce and essentially put an end to the days of the travel predecessor, the stage coach. It was the railroad which is said to have started the march of Manifest Destiny and the “Iron Horse” across Native American Land all but destroyed Great Plains Indian Culture. There is a negative for each positive and vice versa.