About Iron Rails, Iron Men, and the Race to Link the Nation: The Story of the Transcontinental Railroad
Experience the race of rails to link the country—and meet the men behind this incredible feat—in a riveting story about the building of the transcontinental railroad, brought to life with archival photos.
In the 1850s, gold fever swept the West, but people had to walk, sail, or ride horses for months on end to seek their fortune. The question of faster, safer transportation was posed by national leaders. But with 1,800 miles of seemingly impenetrable mountains, searing deserts, and endless plains between the Missouri River and San Francisco, could a transcontinental railroad be built? It seemed impossible. Eventually, two railroad companies, the Central Pacific, which laid the tracks eastward, and the Union Pacific, which moved west, began the job. In one great race between iron men with iron wills, tens of thousands of workers blasted the longest tunnels that had ever been constructed, built the highest bridges that had ever been created, and finally linked the nation by two bands of steel, changing America forever.
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With lively prose and striking photographs, Sandler tells the amazing story of engineering marvels, extraordinary courage, and sheer determination…A dramatic story related in dramatic fashion. —Kirkus Reviews
The pacing, particularly when the two teams meet, is spot-on and mimics the advances of a train…Sandler tells a good story, filled with complex characters, adventure, and heartache, and he meticulously documents his research efforts. —School Library Journal
A plethora of archival photographs highlight daring men and rugged landscapes in this well-researched and fascinating adventure in history. —Booklist
Alternating chapters follow the railroad’s progress westward from Omaha with the Union Pacific Railroad and eastward from Sacramento with the Central Pacific Railroad, until the two lines meet in Promontory Summit, Utah…Well-positioned and comprehensive sidebar material adds fascinating detail about the people (investors, surveyors, engineers, laborers) and places involved in the project. —The Horn Book
There is a wealth of documentation and a timeline that will assist in those wishing to pursue more information in this satisfying introduction to a major historical event. —School Library Connection