Bells, whistles and steam herald US Transcontinental Railroad's 150th birthday
Updated : 2019-05-11 14:30:21
As train bells clanged and steam whistles tooted, thousands of people on Friday witnessed the re-enactment of a ceremony in Utah's high desert that marked the completion of the first railroad to span the North American continent 150 years ago.
The spectacle - recreating a historical moment that took place on May 10, 1869 - featured the driving of a golden spike into a replica of the final railroad tie that joined the Union Pacific Railroad with the Central Pacific Railroad.
The linking of East and West was the culmination of a 6-1/2-year feat of 19th-century engineering that transformed the American frontier as the nation was emerging from a bloody civil war. The site at Promontory Summit, 66 miles (106 km) northwest of Salt Lake City, is now preserved as a national historic park, named Golden Spike.