The Pacific Railroad
THE TRAVELER speeding west from Omaha on the Overland Route may give but little thought to the smooth roadbed and comfortable train on which he is journeying. He is on one of the world's great travel routes, that of the first transcontinental railroad, which was built in the sixties, linking Omaha on the Missouri with Sacramento in California. The construction of this 1,800-mile railroad across grassy plains and sagebrush deserts and through the passes of the Rockies and the high Sierra was, without doubt, the greatest engineering feat of the nineteenth century.
As he glances through the window of his air-conditioned car, he may observe what appears to be an abandoned road, overgrown with brush. Leaving the track and passing around a rock spur or river bend it returns to the roadbed on which he is riding. Occasionally it parallels the tracks on a higher level; at times it disappears. What the traveler sees is not an abandoned dirt road, but the original roadbed of the railroad on which he is riding.