Nothing Like It in The World – Intercontinental RR gives the account of an unprecedented feat of engineering, vision, and courage. The book is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad
1. The investors who risked their businesses and money.
2. The enlightened politicians who understood its importance.
3. The engineers and surveyors who risked, and sometimes lost, their lives.
4. And the Irish and Chinese immigrants, the defeated Confederate soldiers and the other laborers who did the backbreaking and dangerous work on the tracks.
The Union Army had just won the Civil War and slavery had been abolished. Unfortunately, Abraham Lincoln did not live to see these events. Under President Lincoln Congress had passed a bill that authorized the building of the railroad. But he would not live to see the great achievement of the completion of Transcontinental railroad enterprise. Nothing Like It in The World – Intercontinental RR is about the building of the railroad that required huge expenditures of money, brainpower, muscle, and sweat.
Nothing Like It in The World – Intercontinental RR tells how the U.S. government pitted two companies against each other—the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads. They were in a race to complete their sections. The government encouraged speed over caution. Locomotives, rails, and spikes were shipped from the East by rail and wagon for the Union Pacific. For the Central Pacific, the materials had to go through Panama or around South America or lugged across the country to the Western Plains. In Ambrose’s hands, this enterprise, with its huge expenditure of money, brainpower, muscle, and sweat, comes vibrantly to life.
Nothing Like It in The World – Intercontinental RR tells the story about the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. The effect on the US was to connect the east and west coasts. Travel by passengers and freight from New York to San Francisco was cut down from months to a week. Costs and safety were substantially reduced. Ambrose makes the story of the building of the railroad come alive.