Golden Spike National Historic Site
Plan your visit to the place where east met west, in Brigham City, Utah.

American Memory: Trails to Utah and the Pacific
The Library of Congress presents a collection of "on the trail" accounts from diaries and letters written by westward emigrants, 1846-1869.

United States Digital Map Library: Indian Land Cessions
Sixty-seven maps from an 1899 Bureau of American Ethnology report to the Smithsonian Institution show the land ceded to the United States by native peoples. USGenWeb Archives has provided this useful set of map images and promises to add an index to identify which treaties ceded each land parcel in the future.

American Memory: Railroad Maps
This Library of Congress site features hundreds of railroad maps dating from 1828 to 1900.

Union Pacific History
Read the company history and explore a wealth of photographs documenting the growth of train service from 1869 on.

California State Railroad Museum
Visit the Governor Stanford, pioneering locomotive of the Central Pacific Railroad, or dip into the Museum's extensive archival materials.

The Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum
Scan the massive amounts of primary source material compiled by this online museum dedicated to the transcontinental railroad's construction.

The Andrew J. Russell Collection at the Oakland Museum of California
Flip through a sampling of stereographs by the preeminent photographer of Union Pacific construction.

Reading Historic Photographs: Pawnee Indians
Indiana University's Thomas W. Kavanagh analyzes photographs of Pawnee men and women, known for their friendliness to the transcontinental railroad's builders.

Wyoming Tales and Trails
Delve into an archive of stories and images on this Wyoming history Web site.

Ghost Town Gallery
Tour a Swiss couple's virtual gallery of ghost towns in eight American states.

Explore another American Experience program about train history.


Andrist, Ralph K. The Long Death: The Last Days of the Plains Indian.New York: Collier Books, 1964.

Bain, David Haward.Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad.New York: Penguin Putnam Books, 1999.

Gordon, Sarah H. Passage to Union: How the Railroads Transformed American Life, 1829-1929. Chicago: Elephant Paperbacks, 1997.

Griswold, Wesley S.A Work of Giants: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967.

Hirshson, Stanley P.Grenville M. Dodge: Soldier, Politician, Railroad Pioneer. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1967.

Klein, Maury. Union Pacific: Birth of a Railroad, 1862-1893. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1987.

Kraus, George.High Road to Promontory: Building the Central Pacific Across the High Sierra. Palo Alto, CA: American West Publishing Company, 1969.

Lavender, David.The Great Persuader: The Biography of Collis P. Huntington. Niwot, CO: University Press of Colorado, 1970.

Pictorial Collections

Combs, Barry B.Westward to Promontory: Building the Union Pacific across the Plains and Mountains. New York: Crown Publishers, 1969.

Kibbey, Mead B. The Railroad Photographs of Alfred A. Hart, Artist. Sacramento, CA: The California State Library Foundation, 1996.

Richards, Bradley W., M.D.The Savage View: Charles Savage, Pioneer Mormon Photographer. Nevada City, CA: Carl Mautz Publishing, 1995.

My American Experience

My American Experience photos

Share Your Story

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.