The transcontinental railroad's construction touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Some desired it, some built it, and some did everything in their power to stop it. Browse a photo gallery of settlers, Native Americans, and workers whose lives were affected by the railroad as it traversed the West.
In 1859 young engineer Grenville Dodge met Abraham Lincoln by chance in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Dodge assured the future president that the Platte Valley would one day be the route of the Pacific Railroad. Seven years later he would be the chief engineer of that project.
In 1863 the burgeoning railroad company, in which younger brother Charles Crocker had invested, recruited Edwin Bryant Crocker as its attorney. When Charles resigned his position on the Central Pacific board to oversee construction, E. B. took his place.
Collis Huntington had a preternatural sense for buying and selling. He came to California in 1849 at news of gold. He found success vending supplies to men chasing their fortunes in icy streams. Despite a rough start, he established himself in Sacramento by the turn of the decade.