High Road to Promontory- The Building of the Central Pacific Across the High Sierra is a definitive history, in facts and photographs of the building of the transcontinental railroad from the west over the High Sierra. The book tells the story of the Central Pacific’s epic struggle to lay trails across the fearsome wall of the Sierra Nevada and the arid reaches of the desert in the face of nearly every natural and man-made obstacle that could be faced and conquered. The Central Pacific railroad ultimately became part of the Southern Pacific Railroad system.
The building of the railroad from San Francisco, California through the Sierra Nevada mountains to Promontory, Utah was the most difficult section of the first transcontinental railroad. The Sierra Nevada mountains were desolate and arid. There were no passes, only granite spires. Collis P. Huntington, the financial wizard behind the project, said when the project was completed, “I remember well, when we were organizing the Central Pacific Railroad movement, how some of your wisest men here laughed at us, and shrunk away when we asked them to share the risks with us …” Despite the skeptics, the management of the Central Pacific had the vision, money and engineering expertise to complete the railroad. George Kraus, the author, took 12 years to bring to life this part of American railroad history. It is one of the few books written about the struggles to build the transcontinental railroad from the Pacific Ocean east to Promontory to meet the Union Pacific railroad being built from the Mississippi River west to Promontory. Alfred A. Hart (photographer) was hired to make a permanent record of the Central Pacific’s construction. His pictures are found throughout the book. The author uses stories told by the men and their wives that were involved, contemporary company records and newspaper articles records to bring this story to life through the hammering of the Golden Spike at Promontory Utah.
Dust cover is slightly worn on bottom of the spine.