Transcontinental Railroad Study

Math Problems




1.  When the Transcontinental Railroad was finished, the Union Pacific Railroad had laid 1032 miles of track.  The Central Pacific Railroad had laid 742 miles of track.  How many miles did they lay together?









2.  In 1865, the Union Pacific railroad laid 40 miles of track.  In 1866, they laid 260 miles of track and in 1867 they laid 240 miles of track.  During 1868 they laid a whopping 500 miles of track!  How many total miles of track did the Union Pacific Railroad lay during these 4 years?










3.  The US Government granted the railroad companies 6,400 acres for every mile of track they laid.  In 1867 how many acres did the UPRR receive from the government?  Use the miles of track laid from Problem #2.











4.  A section of rail is 30 feet long and weighs 560 pounds.  How much does one foot of rail weigh?








5.  In 1864, the Central Pacific thought it needed 5,000 workers but it only had 600 workers.  How many more workers did the Central Pacific need to hire?









6.  The Chinese workers were paid about $30 per month in gold for working 7 days a week on the railroad.  If a Chinese worker worked for the Central Pacific for 3 years, how much did he make altogether?





Money Earned

Year 1


Year 2


Year 3











7.  During the winter of 1867 the Central Pacific was building in the Sierra Nevada.  The temperature got down to 5 degrees Farenheit.  Months later the workers were building the railroad through the desert and the temperatures got up to 120 degrees.  What was the difference in temperatures that they worked in?









8.  When the Transcontinental Railroad was finished, travelers could go from the Missouri to California in 4 days.  A ticket in first class (they called in "Plush") cost $111.  A ticket in coach (the cheapest tickets) cost $40.  How much more would it cost two people to travel in first class than in coach?









Courtesy Jeanmarie Alo.

Central Pacfic Railroad Photographic History Museum's
Great Railroad Race - Interactive Railroad Project

© 2003