On This Day in History: May 10th, 1869
Friday Fast Fact

On This Day in History: May 10th, 1869 <br/> <span style='color:#000000;font-size: 18px;'>Friday Fast Fact</span>

On this day, 155 years ago, the first transcontinental railroad in the US was completed.

This railroad consisted of 1911 miles of continuous track – lines built by Union Pacific and Central Pacific were joined together at a ceremony in Utah, where a “golden spike” was driven into the track to signal the completion of the railroad on May 10th, 1869.

At different times called the “Pacific Railroad” and the “Overland Route”, the full transcontinental railroad connected Council Bluffs, Iowa to the San Francisco Bay area, and allowed for unprecedented travel across the United States.

Just 7 years later, after additional connections and expansions were added, true coast-to-coast travel became feasible by train. That year, in 1876, an express train traveled from New York to San Francisco in under 84 hours – this feat would have previously taken months of travel by land, or would have required going around the southern tip of South America by sea.

These advances were instrumental in western expansion within the United States. Decades before the proliferation of cars, long-distance rail travel opened up a world of possibilities within the US. Even today, there is an inherent romanticism that goes along with rail travel; lines like the transcontinental railroad make even the most vast expanses of the country feel within reach.

The OOH medium has had a long-standing relationship with travel in the US; in the many decades before highway expansion made traditions like the American Road Trip possible, OOH served as a staple of local and regional advertising, and it should come as no surprise that OOH has had a similar relationship with rail travel as well.

In honor of the anniversary of the transcontinental railroad’s completion in Utah, here is the infographic for the Salt Lake City DMA from our geekOUT Library!

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