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“Oneonta” at Cisco “Building the Central Pacific Railroad: A Photographic Journey,” a presentation at the California State Library on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. From 1864 to 1869, Alfred A. Hart, the railroad’s official photographer, recorded the progress of the railway’s construction from Sacramento, over the Sierra Nevada range, across Nevada to Promontory, Utah, using a 5-by-8 inch wet-plate stereo camera and processing his fragile glass plates in a portable dark tent. A special viewing…

Class locomotive number by Patrick Ransome-Wallis. Most Norwegian steam locomotives were built in Oslo, but the Norwegian railways also used .

“Oneonta” at Cisco “Building the Central Pacific Railroad: A Photographic Journey,” a presentation at the California State Library on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. From 1864 to 1869, Alfred A. Hart, the railroad’s official photographer, recorded the progress of the railway’s construction from Sacramento, over the Sierra Nevada range, across Nevada to Promontory, Utah, using a 5-by-8 inch wet-plate stereo camera and processing his fragile glass plates in a portable dark tent. A special viewing…

Class locomotive number by Patrick Ransome-Wallis. Most Norwegian steam locomotives were built in Oslo, but the Norwegian railways also used .

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John Wigston's painting of traction engines overseeing the loading of North British steam locomotives bound for New Zealand.

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Central Pacific Railroad near Salt Lake City, Utah around 1869

Photograph by Alfred Hart. Scene near Deeth. From an 1870 Photo.

During 1868-69, Andrew J. Russell’s camera recorded the Union Pacific’s progress toward Promontory Summit, the Utah site where the Central and Union Pacific Railroads joined on May 10, 1869, officially bringing the East and the West Coasts together via rail. Capturing this 450-foot-wide wooden trestle on the Union Pacific line east of Promontory, Russell shows U.P. crews standing on two flatbeds being pushed by Engine No. 119.

In the late photographer Andrew J. Russell captured images of the construction of the Union Pacific Railway in Wyoming and Utah as well as the wide-open landscape of the American West and its inhabitants.