The Central Pacific Railroad is the first transcontinental railroad
in North America, honored by BBC as one of the seven miracles after
Industrial Revlution. It had made a great contributon to the US´s
economy, but it couldn´t be completed without Chinese labors´
In order to build the railroad, a lot of workers were imported from China.
They had to bear the brunt of the work, deal with the dreadful environment
and endure with little pay. What challenges did they meet? And how did they
cope with them?
Join us in The Railroad Builders to find the answers!
The First Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the "Pacific Railroad" and later as the "Overland Route") was a railroad line built in the United States of America between 1863 and 1869. By linking with the existing railway network of the Eastern United States, the road thus connected the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States by rail for the first time. It was one of the crowning achievements in the crossing of plains and high mountains westward by the Union Pacific and eastward by the Central Pacific.
The first transcontinental railroad at the time is the most ambitious
engineering project ever attempted in the United States. When work started on
the most challenging Western section, Chinese labors were brought in, and
before long they became brunt of the work. But what did so many Chinese
nationals do with the US in mid-19 Century?
President Lincoln had a dream that one day a railroad would cross the United
States from coast to coast. As the construction of the first transcontinental
railroad got underway in the mid-19 Century, large numbers of Chinese labors
headed to the US. But would it be the land of fortune they dreamed of? What
really awaited them at the end of the long and often difficult voyage from
The first group of Chinese labor began to work on the first transcontinental
railroad of the United States. To the delight of the new employers, they
proved to be excellent workers. But the Sierra Nevada would be a test of their
hardness and resolve. How did the Chinese labors cope with the dreadful rain
and unfamiliar freezing weather?
It was the coldest winter ever known in the American West and thousands of
labors from China found themseves having to endure the unfamiliar snow and
freezing cold. And yet they managed to build something that 150 years later is
still regarded as an engineering marvel. What help did they get from the
powerful and highly dangerous explosive?
The Summit Tunnel through Sierra Nevada, every inch of it was built at the
cost of the blood of even the lives of Chinese labors. And yet in return, the
Chinese labors faced discrimination. The rewards they received were
pitiful.How did they respond and what did the Central Pacific Railroad Company
do to address their grievances?
Paid less, and yet bearing the brunt of the work, the Chinese labors building
the Central Pacific Railroad demanded more money. How did the company respond?
In Sierra Nevada, they broken through rock and endured harshest winter in
their memory. Now in Utah, what fresh challenges awaited them? How did they
finally earned the gratitude.