In 1869 the final train tracks were laid that connected the East and West Coasts of the United States. This was a monumental feat. It hastened the expansion west and linked our entire country together. A trip that had taken months by wagon and was fought with danger now only took a few days. The railroad brought security and connectedness to a vast country of people searching for the American dream. In the years that followed our country’s economic engine flourished, aided by the train’s steam engine.
Although this track isn’t a part of that great trans-continental railroad, the image is exactly like what I use to imagine when I was learning about this in history class. The wild and rugged lands, tamed by the railroad. This specific section of track is found in northern New Mexico near the Capulin Volcano. The volcano stands in the background of the image. If it had not been for the Civil War the trans-continental might have run very near here as a “Southern Route” was highly favored because of fair weather. However, most of the survey work was done during the war and due to the uncertainty of the war a more central route through Wyoming was chosen.