The Track that United the States
A sharp eye can still pick out the marks of
early railroad building along this rugged
escarpment, even if the original iron rails
and timber ties themselves are gon.
These fading remnants tell the story of
a daunting engineering challenge - linking
the Western states to the rest of the nation.
Inscribed here, amid the sagebrush and
bedrock of northern Utah is a tale of grand
dreams and brute work, greed and glory.
The road west crosses old railroad grades
five times before reaching the Last Spike
Site, where the 1869 race to build the first
transcontinental railroad ended. As you
drive the five miles to the visitor center, keep
looking for cuts, fills and culverts alien to
these open rangelands.
To join Utah and California
to the eastern states meant
laying track across 1,776 miles
of deserts, mountains, and
plains - a territory wider than
all of Europe.