After years of laying rail, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad Companies met on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Point, Utah, to form the first transcontinental railway in the United States. It took seven years to link the east and west with 1,912-mile (3,077 km) of track. It also took a lot of back-breaking work and the lives of a couple hundred men, mostly Chinese workers. The golden spike was the ceremonial last spike pounded onto the track by Leland Stanford, co-founder of Central Pacific.
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