The Iron Colt Becomes an Iron Horse

After Lincolns death in 1865 the railroad production went up and by the 1900s it had gone up by at least 192,556 miles * In 1862 congress began to advance liberal money loans to 2 favored cross continent companies and gave them a lot of acres paralleling the tracks. Washington gave the railroads 155,504,994 acres & the western states contributed 49 million more. * Land grants to railroads were made in broad belts along the proposed route.

They were allowed to choose alternate mile square sections in checker board fashion, but until they determined the precise location some railroads were withheld all the land from other users. * In 1887 president Grover Cleveland ended this and threw open to settlement the unclaimed public land. * The government received beneficial returns like: long term preferential rates for postal service and military traffic, granting land was also a cheap way to subsidize a much desired transportation system because it avoided new taxes for direct cash grants. Where there were railroads there was towns, people and money. Were there weren’t there was none and would be considered a ghost town. Spanning the Continent with Rails * In 1850 deadlock the transcontinental railroad when the south seceded leaving the field to the north. * In 1862 congress made the pacific coast bind to California.

* For each mile of track constructed the company was granted 20 sq. miles of land alternating 640 acre sections on either side of the track. For each loan they were to receive a federal loan of 16,000 on prairie land to 48,000 for mountainous land. The construction of rails began after the civil war ended in 1865; this gave power to the “groundhog” promoters. * Hells on wheels- where railroad workers tried to find relaxation and conviviality in their tented towns. * Big four- the chief financial backers of the enterprise, which included Leland Stanford of California and Collis P. Huntington although they had lots of money they stayed clean by not becoming involved in the bribery of congress men. * Central pacific used Chinese workers and they received the same incentive as the union pacific. They had to work with the Sierra Nevada while the union pacific got the open plains. In 1869 at Ogden Utah the pacific built more rail than the central by 1,086 to 689 mil. Binding the Country with Railroad Ties * Before the centuries end (1900s) 4 other transcontinental railroad were built they were known as : 1. The northern pacific railroad(1883)- from lake superior to Puget sound 2. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe(1884)- from southwest deserts to California 3. The southern pacific(1884)- from new Orleans to san Francisco 4.

The great northern (1893) – from Duluth to Seattle, created by James J. Hill probably the greatest railroad builder of all. * A lot of pioneers bought lots of land but then the land becomes more then they originally thought and this made a lot of banks go bankrupt. Railroad Consolidation and Mechanization * Cornelius Vanderbilt helped to popularize the steel rail, replacing the old iron tracks. * The Westinghouse air brake- adopted in the 1870s * The Pullman palace cars- 1860s, but they considered this “cars” dangerous bc they had kerosene lamps.

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