Building America: History of the Transcontinental Railroad Through Photography

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Since the 1860s, railroads like Union Pacific have played a pivotal role in the opening and then the settling, and disruption, of the American west. Today, Union Pacific continues to play a critical role in keeping the economy moving and our Nation prospering. It’s quite a story. While it is a slight exaggeration to say that the history of Union Pacific is the history of the West, it is no exaggeration to say that the two histories are inextricably linked.

Explore the beginnings of this great endeavor through original photographs taken during the construction of the transcontinental railroad from the Union Pacific Historical Collection, the largest collection of such photographs in the world. Patricia LaBounty, curator at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa will explain the context and construction of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad based on this rare and exciting collection and explore the railroad’s role in “Building America.”