Flash Interactive: The Race to Utah!

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When the U.S. government named two companies to build a transcontinental railroad in 1862, no meeting point was set. Enormous financial rewards -- paid out per mile of completed track -- propelled both sides into a grueling seven-year race across daunting terrain.

The Central Pacific built eastward from Sacramento, California. The Union Pacific built westward from Council Bluffs, Iowa, making its headquarters across the Missouri River in Omaha, Nebraska. Where would the two meet?

Track the railroad's construction in this interactive map.



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The Railroad revolutionized American travel. Many people ride trains today not just for transportation, but also as a way to see the country. What trains have you been on? Have you been in a Pullman car? Share your most memorable train ride.