Tomorrow is National Train Day, and the 145th Anniversary of the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad. Although none of the freight cars from those construction trains have survived, it’s a good day to take a look back at the rolling stock that helped make a reality out of the impossible.
While no freight cars from the Transcontinental Railroad construction survive, some locomotives do. Central Pacific No. 1, the Governor Stanford, is prominently and dramatically displayed as part of the story of the railroad at the California State Railroad Museum.
It is not surprising that none of the cars from the original construction survive. Like the tracks themselves, the freight cars required for the construction of the railroad were built hastily in the race to complete the project and secure the valuable payments that came with each passing mile. Indeed, very little equipment from this era has survived anywhere, but we can…
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