did not come out to California in large numbers until after the completion of the Transcontinental.” Their job duties included everything from unskilled labor to blacksmithing, tunneling and carpentry, according to the Project, with most work done with hand tools.
What did Chinese workers do on the railroad?
This was exhausting work, with Chinese workers shoveling twenty pounds of rock over 400 times a day to make their way through 1,659 feet of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to complete the project. The Transcontinental Railroad shaped America in countless ways by facilitating domestic commerce and international trade.
What was the role of the Chinese workers in the building of the Transcontinental Railroad?
From 1863 and 1869, roughly 15,000 Chinese workers helped build the transcontinental railroad. They were paid less than American workers and lived in tents, while white workers were given accommodation in train cars. … “All workers on the railroad were ‘other’,” said Liebhold.
What was life like for Chinese railroad workers?
Chinese workers often had to live in the underground tunnels they were constructing, and more than one thousand died in accidents and avalanches while laboring in the mountains. Without the work of these immigrants, the Transcontinental Railroad might have never been built.
What was the impact of the Chinese on the Transcontinental Railroad?
The Chinese laborers often did the most dangerous parts of the construction, including the dynamiting of mountain tunnels. Many men lost their lives constructing the transcontinental railroad; estimates range from 150 to 2,000.
How many Chinese workers built the Transcontinental Railroad?
One of the groups that literally took on the brunt of the work, were the Chinese laborers. Most of the Chinese workers, who numbered over 11,000 by the end of the project, were employed by the Central Pacific Railroad building out of Sacramento, California. The use of Chinese labor started as an experiment.
Which were results of the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad?
The Transcontinental Railroad reduced travel time from New York to California from as long as six months to as little as a week and the cost for the trip from $1,000 to $150. The reduced travel time and cost created new business and settlement opportunities and enabled quicker and cheaper shipping of goods.
When Did Chinese workers begin to build the transcontinental railroad?
According to the Chinese Railroad Workers Project, Central Pacific started with a crew of 21 Chinese workers in January 1864. Chinese laborers at work on construction for the railroad built across the Sierra Nevada Mountains, circa 1870s.
What do railroad workers do?
Railroad workers ensure that passenger and freight trains operate safely. They may drive trains, coordinate the activities of the trains, or control signals and switches in the rail yard. Nearly all railroad workers are employed in the rail transportation industry.
How did the transcontinental railroad affect the railroad workers?
The completion of the transcontinental railroad led to heightened racial tensions in California, as white workers from the East Coast and Europe could more easily travel westward where immigrant laborers were prevalent, says Princeton University Assistant Professor of History Beth Lew-Williams, author of The Chinese …
Was the Transcontinental Railroad good or bad?
Good and bad
The railroad is credited, for instance, with helping to open the West to migration and with expanding the American economy. It is blamed for the near eradication of the Native Americans of the Great Plains, the decimation of the buffalo and the exploitation of Chinese railroad workers.