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The ties varied in size, some as long as 10 feet and some as large as 8"x10" in size, depending if the track was being laid in the mountains or the deserts, on heavy or gentle grades, on curves or tangents (straight track). At one time the Central Pacific had as many as 25 Saw Mills in Truckee just milling lumber for the railroad which required as many as 40 trains to supply the front withties and timber– and they just managed to keep up with the track laying forces.

To this you would need to add the weight of about 5,500 spikes and 1,408 bolts per mile, 900 tons of iron used in the construction of the Sierra snow sheds, plates, switches and sidings, iron hardware used in constructing wooden trestle bridges, 20-40 ton locomotives, cars, etc.

1, 1899, and that the complex transaction was completed on February 1, 1909 when the last of the government debt was duly paid.

How much iron and lumber was used in the construction of the transcontinental railroad?

The greatest amount of lumber used for one project was the 37 miles of Snow Sheds, as mentioned above.

Some other major uses for lumber: There were many, many wooden trestles, most of them were huge and they required an enormous amount of lumber.

can you imagine the labor of weighting 3 million, three hundred fifty five thousand, one hundred an seventy pounds of rail? Strobridge comments: I can't speak to the Union Pacific rail but can add to the information on the Central Pacific's 690 miles of "Iron." Here is some information on the Central Pacific track.

The first approximately 112 miles of railvaried in weight from60 to 66 lb pattern, that is 60 to 66 lbsper lineal yard.

One hundred tons per mile included the main line and all the side track, incidental uses and waste.