In 1844, Asa Whitney, a New Yorker, suggested that the federal government sponsor a transcontinental railroad to speed travel to the Far East. Congress surveyed routes and listened to pitches from various towns and territories before deciding that the the Central Pacific Railroad should build east from San Francisco while the Union Pacific would build west from Chicago. The rails met at Promontory Point, Utah, on the 10th of May, 1969, in a photo opportunity.
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