History Now 38 (Winter 2013)

The Joining of the Rails: The Transcontinental Railroad

From the Editor

Hank Williams sang about the lonely sound of a train whistle in the night. Iconic photographs capture the laying of the last rail. Countless movies and books set their adventures aboard railroad cars. Despite the advent of airplanes and automobiles, the romance of trains remains. So too does the railroad’s importance in the history of the United States. The railroad linked East and West Coasts, making a truly national market and national culture possible. It opened land west of the Mississippi to settlers—and in the process, did great...More »