Instructions for Team 1: Railway Promoters
(The West, Lesson 1, Activity 4)

You are the owners and promoters of the railway. Each team member must create a brochure for the Central Pacific Railway. Your goal is to create customers for the journey as an exciting excursion. You will also want to promote settlement of the land you acquired from the Federal government when you built the railway. Only this way will you create a steady need for your services and thus insure that you remain a profitable enterprise. Your role is to "boost" the railway, to create some degree of "hype," to advertise the most exciting sights along the journey and the luxurious manner in which ticket holders will travel. To some degree you are creating the myth of the West in your brochure.

Below is an example of a poster advertising a Transcontinental Railway journey in 1908. It can give you an idea for what the graphics of your brochures might look like.

Before you begin to create your brochures, complete the following steps:

  1. Map the significant places along the route. The journey should begin in Omaha, Nebraska and end in California.
  2. Make a list of the landscape, animals, towns or cities, and human endeavors that travelers in the 1870's would be excited to see.
  3. Find out what the journey would cost, and what would be included for the price of a ticket.
  4. Find out how passengers would eat their meals and sleep on the journey.
  5. Find out how long the journey would have taken before the advent of the Transcontinental Railroad and how long it would have taken in the 1870's by train.
  6. Find out what land is for sale along the way? What would be the advantages of settling on it?
  7. Make a "mock up" of your brochure with ideas for the cover, a table of contents and a plan for each page, before you begin to write it.
  8. Plan your graphics, an important component of any brochure. You can do original art, download photos and graphics from the Web, or use a combination of both. Your brochure should include a map of the journey with significant stops along the way.

Suggested Web sites for research

Now create your brochures.