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Writing in the Western Genre

 

 

FThe Transcontinental Railroad

 

TRANSCONTINENTAL – CENTRAL PACIFIC AND UNION PACIFIC RAILROADS

 

Compiled by Ros Hutchison

 

http://cprr.org/Museum/Maps/_cprr_map.html

Map detail from Central Pacific Railroad Timetable, Effective Sunday July 9, 1871 .

Best one I've located to date and includes whole of Transcontinental, Eastern Rail network, north to Oregon and Canada and partial south to San Joaquin .

 

CPRR Timetable Map

 

Sacramento to Boston using 1869 and 70 Timetables as sources…

Sacramento – Ogden – (Central Pacific RR and Silver Palace sleeping cars) depart 2.10pm and reach Ogden 6am

Ogden – Omaha – (changes to Union Pacific RR and Pullman Palace sleeping cars) depart Ogden 8am arrive Omaha 3pm some days later

NB Please note that Denver was NOT on the line at that time. It was connected by stage at Cheyenne and later by a spur line.

 

For the following, use reverse for eastward journey – ie Omaha to Council Bluffs (just across the Missouri River) then to Chicago (change trains) to Niagara (change trains) and on to New York, then another train to Boston.)

Council Bluffs – Omaha – (“Bits of Travel at Home” Helen Hunt Jackson 1873) ‘We cross the Missouri at Council Bluffs (railroad bridge – The Missouri River Bridge); begin grumbling at the railroad corporations for forcing us to take a transfer across the river; but find ourselves plunged into the confusion of Omaha … Here all luggage is weighed and rechecked for points further west…

New York – Omaha – several lines but Susan Coolidge (“A Few Hints on the California Journey” 1873) gives her route as New York to Niagara (called Suspension Bridge) to Burlington, then onto the Chicago and then to Omaha.

1872 – (1869 Timetable gives time from Boston to Omaha as 64 hours)

Boston – New York - Passengers can go by ‘all rail' via either Albany direct or via New York City, or they can take the steam ships on Long Island Sound, of which there are three first class lines, comprising some of the finest boats in the world.

** NB – Coolidge also states that there are six days and five nights between Chicago and San Francisco .

Seven days from Sacramento to New York , changing trains at Ogden and Omaha , Chicago and Niagara (Suspension Bridge).

 

http://www.sacramentohistory.org/admin/photo/271_760.pdf for Timetable circa 1869

And http://www.sacramentohistory.org/admin/photo/781_1566.pdf for Timetables / Fares and maps 1870

 

FARES

CENTRAL PACIFIC RR connecting with UNION PACIFIC RR with roads leading to Eastern RRs ( June 7 1870 )

SAN FRANCISCO to First Class Second Class

CHEYENNE 84.00 75.00

CHICAGO 118.00 93.00

NEW YORK 138.00 110.00

BOSTON (via NY) 140.50

ST LOUIS 118.00 93.00

NEW ORLEANS 150.00

*Children not over Twelve (12) years of age Half Fare; under Five (5) years of age Free

 

100 pounds Baggage (per Adult passenger) Free

50 “ “ (per Child bet. 5 and 12 yrs) Free

Extra Baggage (over 100 pounds) between San Francisco and Omaha $15.00 per 100 pounds

 

Silver Palace Sleeping Coaches (Run daily between San Francisco and Ogden )

San Francisco to Ogden

Double lower $6.00 Double upper $6.00 State Room $12.00

 

Livestock (to be fed, watered and taken care of by Owner)

 

San Francisco to New York $800.00 per car

 

   

THRU TIMES

(May 1870) Thru passenger (daily) Express (Mon & Thurs)

SAN FRANCISCO leave 8.00am 8.00 am

SACRAMENO leave 2.10pm 2.10pm

OGDEN (change to UP)

Arrive 6.00am 6.00 am

Leave 8.00am 8.00am

OMAHA Arrive 3.00pm 3.00pm

COUNCIL BLUFFS Leave 5.00pm 3.00pm

NEW YORK Arrive 6.30am 6.30am

 

COUNCIL BLUFFS Leave 2.30pm

ST LOUIS Arrive 1.45pm

 

Through passenger trains – run daily

San Francisco to Omaha : 4 days and 6 hours; to Chicago : 5 days and 8 hours; to New York : 6 days and 20 hours

Express train – leaves San Francisco every Monday and Thursday

San Francisco to Omaha : 4 days and 6 hours; to Chicago : 5 days and 8 hours; to New York : 6 days and 20 hours

 

San Francisco to San Jose – 30-35 minutes

San Francisco to Stockton – 4 hours 7 mins

San Francisco to Sacramento – 5 hours 50 mins

 

And http://www.sacramentohistory.org/admin/photo/1025_1997.pdf

1869 (includes timetable for UPRR and where to get stage connections for other towns)

 

 

Direct Connections made at:

OMAHA – with CHICAGO AND NORTHWESTERN; CHICAGO , ROCK ISLAND AND PACIFIC and ST. JOSEPH AND COUNCIL BLUFFS railroads, and MISSOURI RIVER Line of Packets to and from all principal Eastern and Southern Cities

CHEYENNE – With Stages for DENVER , CENTRAL CITY, SANTA FE and points in COLORADO and NEW MEXICO

BRYAN – with Stages for GREAT SWEETWATER MINING DISTRICT

UNTAH – Stage Leaves on arrival of UNION PACIFIC trains for SALT LAKE CITY and SOUTHERN UTAH

CORINNE – For Helena , Virginia City and points in MONTANA

PROMONTORY – with CENTRAL PACIFIC RAILROAD for WHITE PINE SILVER MINES, SACRAMENTO, SAN FRANCISCO and principal cities in CALIFORNIA, NEVADA and IDAHO.

 

http://www.cprr.org/Museum/Calif_Journey_1873/

 

They changed trains at Sacramento , Ogden (to the Union ) and Omaha (local eastern trains)

 

First class fare in 1872/3 was around $300 return and average of $3 per day for meals, plus additional for Palace car sleeping: “The price of a ticket to San Francisco and back over the Union Pacific and Central Pacific roads is a little less than three hundred dollars. To this must be added the expenses of seven or eight days' meals averaging three dollars a day, also the additional expense of a compartment in the Pullman car. Without this latter, the journey would be unendurably fatiguing' with it, it is surprisingly comfortable.” (From “A few Hints on the California Journey” by Susan Coolidge 1873)

Best source of overall information is the journals of Susan Coolidge and Helen Hunt Jackson from New York to San Francisco May 1873 (trip done in 1872): http://www.cprr.org/Museum/Calif_Journey_1873/index.html and http://www.cprr.org/Museum/Bits_of_Travel_at_Home.html

http://www.cprr.org/Museum/Ephemera/Travel.html - lots - Timetables… and info inc earliest 1868 and inc Southern Pacific timetable 1880.