Transcontinental Railroad: The Challenge of Bridging a Continent

What key elements affected the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad?


This site incorporates essential topics relating to the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. It examines the people involved with the planning and construction of the railroad that connected the western states with the East.  Students will take away a better understanding of the need for such a means of transportation at that time in California history. Students will also explore the hardships of crossing the Sierra Nevadas and Great Basin by rail. At the time of the Industrial Revolution, these challenges  seemed possible to overcome in a time of rapidly expanding technology.


To focus on a significant time in California history that demonstrated the impact of the Industrial Revolution in the West, ultimately leading to the prominence of California during the post-Mexican era.  To examine Theodore Judahís legacy on modern-day Californiaís status in the world. To revisit the contributions of the Chinese laborers during the railís construction.

Transcontinental Railroad
California History
Chinese laborers
Industrial Revolution
Sierra Nevada
The West
Theodore Judah
Focus Content Area:
History/Social Science

Secondary Content Area:
Grade Level: