The rule of law has been supplanted.
The Central Pacific began laying track eastward from Sacramento, California inand the Union Pacific started laying track westward from Omaha, Nebraska, two years later in July, To meet its manpower needs, the Central Pacific hired thousands of Chinese laborersincluding many recruited from farms in Canton.
The crew had the formidable task of laying the track crossing California's rugged Sierra Nevada mountain range and had to blast fifteen tunnels to accomplish this.
The crew of the Union Pacific, which was composed largely of Irish immigrants and Civil War veterans, had to contend with Indian attacks and the Rocky Mountains.
On May 10,after completing 1, miles, 4, feet 2, Courtesy Martin Gregor and Bruce C. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
As second in command of the most formidable engineering project of the 19th century, Lewis M. Clement was in charge of locating and constructing the first transcontinental railroad over California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, including blasting the Summit Tunnel through 1, feet of solid granite using black power, and building 40 miles of Snowsheds to keep the track clear during winter blizzards.
Then, at one in the morning on May 3,a great, noisy crumbling took place at the east facing, and light from torches in the west could be seen flickering through the dust. The Summit had been pierced.
The Sierras had been bested. With torchbearers stationed every few yards in the 1,foot bore, Clement began his first series of observations in the damp and eerie tunnel. During the preceding two years' work he and his assistants had been measuring under conditions never taught about in engineering schools.
They had made their calculations under poor visibility on a wildly uneven tunnel floor, plotting a bore not only divided into four distinct parts, but one that had to gradually rise, descend, and curve as it penetrated from west to east.
As Clement finished his measurements and worked out the geometric statistics at a rude desk near the tunnel mouth, he found his most fervent prayers answered.
Summit Tunnel's four bores fitted together almost perfectly, with a total error in true line of less than two inches. The seemingly impossible had been achieved. The longest tunnel anyone had cut through natural granite, cut at a daunting altitude in an abominable climate, had been bored by a small army of Chinese thousands of miles from their ancestral home.
The Sierras were truly breached and In February,Clement was appointed as one of four members of the Special U.
Clement went on to design and build also using Chinese laborers the Southern Pacific Railroad line from Sacramento to Los Angeles via the San Joaquin Valleyand also worked on many urban and cable car lines.
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