Conceived decades before the Civil War, the construction of the United States transcontinental railroad began during the war and was completed a few years after the war’s end. From start to finish, the transcontinental railroad was an epic undertaking, employing tens of thousands of men, including thousands from China, involving massive logistical issues and financial skullduggery of enormous proportions. Our main source is the book Nothing Like It in the World (Simon & Schuster, 2000) by Stephen E. Ambrose, the renowned writer of American history (including the best-seller Undaunted Courage about the Lewis and Clark expedition.) The text tells the story of this vast panorama of American history, from picking the route for the transcontinental railroad to its completion in 1869. In order to gain background about the development of railroads and their construction and operation, we will begin with the first several chapters of Christian Wolmar’s fine book The Great Railroad Revolution (Public Affairs, 2012).