The Transcontinental Railroad


They used shovels, sledgehammers, wheelbarrows, plows, and their hands.

Inside, You'll Find:

How the railroad changed the United States;

Maps, a timeline, photos-and who helped build the railroad;

Surprising TRUE facts that will shock and amaze you!

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They used shovels, sledgehammers, wheelbarrows, plows, and their hands.

Inside, You'll Find:

How the railroad changed the United States;

Maps, a timeline, photos-and who helped build the railroad;

Surprising TRUE facts that will shock and amaze you!

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—These books provide elementary readers with clear explanations, maps, illustrations, time lines, and engaging reproductions of primary resources. Each volume contains eye-catching quick facts; illustrations and photographs are representational of regional Native Americans, pioneers, and explorers. This is ideal material for reports on the Westward expansion. Revised from the 2006 "True Book" series, these updated editions take on a more interactive approach, adding sidebars and lively graphics just right for today's millennium readers.—Melissa Smith, Green Valley Library, Henderson, NV
Children's Literature - Heather N. Kolich
Lively language, plentiful action and telling visuals characterize this selection from the "A True Book" series. As more people ventured across the United States to settle in the western lands, demand grew for a safer, faster means to get there. After 55,000 settlers made their way west in a single year, the U.S. Congress sent out surveyors to locate potential railroad routes. Political disagreements over slavery delayed the onset of construction for nearly a decade, but in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln authorized the Pacific Railroad Act, and the race was on. Two railroad companies, the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific, started building at the far ends of the rail line and planned to meet in the middle. For six years, Irish and Chinese immigrants and former Confederate soldiers worked day and night, using only hand tools to chip out tunnels through mountains, clear trees, move tons of dirt, and build bridges across vast gorges. When Native Americans attacked workers and ripped up sections of rail in protest of seizure of their lands and destruction of their food source, the U.S. government called in its proven brutal suppressor General William T. Sherman to destroy their villages. Specific events, examples, statistics, and photographs illustrate the monumental challenges—including blizzards and corruption at top levels of the railroad companies—that workers overcame in their efforts to reach the meeting point first. Competition was so fierce that the rail line was completed seven years ahead of schedule. Completion of the transcontinental railroad made safe, fast travel to Sacramento, California possible, with stops at railroad towns and villages along the route. Many parts of the original route still exist. They've been converted to hiking and biking trails. End matter includes more fascinating "True Statistics," resources for more information, a glossary, an index, and an author's page. Reviewer: Heather N. Kolich
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531212486
  • Publisher: Scholastic Library Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Series: Scholastic True Book Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 223,855
  • Age range: 8 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Rise of the Rails

How did people travel in the 1800s? 7

2 Finding a Way West

How did the Civil War affect the transcontinental railroad? 11

3 America Gets on Track

What was life like along the railroad's path? 19

4 Working on the Railroad

What problems did workers face when building the railroad? 27

Railroad Towns

What were railroad towns? 32


What changes did the transcontinental railroad bring to the United States 35

True Statistics 43

Resources 44

Important Words 46

Index 47

About the Author 48

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