The Last Remaining Rail Car That ‘Witnessed’ the Transcontinental Railroad’s Momentous Day

via Smithsonian

After many years of workers laying mile after mile of track, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads met on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah, merging into one impossibly long pathway cutting across the United States.

The 1,000 or so spectators who cheered on the historic coupling are long gone, but one important witness remains: the Central Pacific railcar that delivered company president Leland Stanford to the summit, likely along with the ceremonial gold and silver spikes. After a long and winding history, that car is now the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City that commemorates 150 years since the transcontinental railroad’s completion.

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