The Great 

Railroad Race

 The Transcontinental Railroad

Asa Whitney Map, 1849, detail (Library of Congress)
Asa Whitney's Proposed Routes, 1849
Map Courtesy Library of Congress.
Surveys were done in 1853-55 to find the best route for the Pacific Railroad to take.

Should the railroad go on northern route or a southern route?  Should it go to California?

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Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum