Before Promontory, It Began in Baltimore

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad


The day was May 10, 1969.  The place was Promontory, Utah.  Two trains had arrived at this town.  A major triumph had occurred.  For the first time in the history of North American railroading, a rail line from Sacramento, California and a rail line from Omaha, Nebraska and Midwest had come together.  The Central Pacific Railroad had met with the Union Pacific Railroad.  The Transcontinental Railroad was completed.  Passengers were able to travel by train from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Coast.  As they were driving in each spike, the very last one was made of gold making one of the greatest feats in transportation history.  A nation was united, and it was all made possible by the railroad.  Although it was not a railroad that went coast to coast, it allowed travel from the Atlantic Coast Line to the Pacific Coast Line.  (A continuous rail line that allowed…

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