Map Showing the Different Routes Surveyed for the Union Pacific Rail Road Between the Missouri River and the Platte Valley


President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act into law on July 1, 1862. The act gave two companies, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad, responsibility for completing the transcontinental railroad. The Union Pacific was to lay track westward from a point near Omaha, Nebraska toward Ogden, Utah; the Central Pacific was to build eastward from Sacramento, California. The Union Pacific began construction on December 2, 1863. This map, submitted to Secretary of Interior James Harlan on September 18, 1865, by Lieutenant Colonel J.H. Simpson of the Army Corps of Engineers, shows the different routes between the Missouri River and the Platte Valley in Nebraska surveyed for the Union Pacific. Based on a map submitted by Silas Seymour, consulting engineer to the Union Pacific, the map shows five alternative routes with probable connections to existing railroads. Also shown are relief by hachures, county boundaries, drainage, vegetation, and roads. Nebraska was at this time a territory; it became the 37th state on March 1, 1867.

Last updated: July 16, 2013