Fascinating photos capture the US railroad revolution: Rare images show how the East and West coasts were united in 1869 in an incredible feat of engineering (19 Pics)

  • Exhibition in the US marks the spot, 150 years later, where the rails from either end of the country joined up 
  • Completed in 1869, the railroad's arrival was as much of a world event as the moon landings a century later 
  • The 1,912-mile stretch of rail cut journey times from New York to San Francisco from six months to ten days
East meets West: Workers shake hands at the momentous meeting of the rails in Salt Lake City, Utah, on May 10, 1869
The United States: Promontory trestle work and engine No. 2 (above) were critical to challenges such as bridge building
The peak of innovation: Salt Lake City (above) pictured in 1883 from Anderson's Tower, lying in a mountain valley between the Wasatch and Oquirrh mountains, was the site of the meeting of the rails that revolutionised the US economy and travel
A bygone era: The wind mill at Laramie, Wyoming, in 1868 (above) illustrates the pre-Transcontinental Railroad landscape
Do the locomotion: Promontory trestle work and engine No. 2 (above) as captured by Russell in 1869, the year of completion
A locomotive near the American River, California, is packed full of Central Pacific Railroad staff. This image dates to 1865
Forbidding landscape: A hanging rock in 1868 at the foot of Echo Canon (above) is among staggering Utah scenery where the rails met
On the right tracks: The scene in 1869 near Deeth, California, with Mount Halleck in the background. This image was taken by Alfred A Hart
Engine room: The train driver's perspective as a locomotive circumnavigates Cape Horn en route to Iowa Hill, California (above), in 1866
Breathtaking backdrop: Castle Rock, Green River Valley (above), is among the sights Transcontinental users came to enjoy. This image was taken in 1868 by Andrew J Russell
Hart captures the camp at the end of the track where Chinese workers for the Central Pacific Railroad stayed (above), in 1868
No mod cons: Rail workers in Laramie, Wyoming (above), forsook creature comforts to help build the 1,912-mile railroad. This image was taken by Andrew J Russell in 1868
Feat of engineering: A locomotive on a turntable in California (above) in 1865. This device was critical to Central Pacific Railroad's ambitious plans
Plute Indians in Reno, Nebraska (above), were among the communities whose lives were changed by railroad-led migration. This image was taken in 1868 
Cultural revolution: Shoshone Indians scrutinising the locomotives whose arrival marks the end of their traditional lifestyle. This image is dated to 1868
Hell of a ride: The evocatively named Devil's Slide, Utah (above), is among the jaw-dropping scenery rail users came to enjoy. The exact date of the image is not known, but it's thought to be between 1870 and 1875
Trail of the lonesome pine: Passengers were treated to spectacular scenery (above) once the US coasts were united 
Another era: Savage captures the old school charm of the Saltair Pavilion (above), just outside Salt Lake City, in 1892. Sadly, it burnt down in 1925
In front of the camera: Utah photographer Savage (above) documented the Transcontinental Railroad construction. The date of this picture is not known
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