A new era opened for Nevada with the commencement of transcontinental rail service in 1869. The opening of the Central Pacific across the Sierra Nevada in June 1868 ended Nevada’s isolation behind the mountain barrier and brought virtually year-round access to a sea port. The completion of the railroad across the state in 1868 to its eventual connection with the Union Pacific Railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869 provided a year-round link with the rest of the United States. People who had come to Nevada in covered wagons that took months to make the trip could now visit their old homes in a matter of days. Now, anything that could be loaded into a box car or onto a flat car could be delivered to Nevada towns any time of the year without having to be shipped around South America and dragged over the Sierra after the snow melted. Unlike the yield from Nevada mines, taxes on the railroad property stayed in Nevada and contributed to the local economy. Railroad employees became part of the communities along its route. With the railroad, Nevada was fully connected to the Union and could prosper with it. The railroad changed everything.
Celebrate with us the 150th anniversary of the opening of this era at the Nevada State Railroad Museum.