Segments in this Video

Call to Unite the Nation (06:37)


Three California shopkeepers decide to take on the president's challenge to build the world's first transcontinental railroad. They hire Theodore Judah to join the team as the head engineer.

Immigrant Workers (04:51)

The shopkeepers employ work boss James Harvey Strobridge. The original workers abandon Strobridge and the railroad to mine gold. Thousands of Chinese immigrants arrive in California and save the project.

Wild West (06:14)

After the Civil War, the East decides to begin work on the railroad; the government offers land and money. The leader of the project, Grenville M. Dodge, meets trouble as the railroad gives birth to the Wild West.

Breaking Through Mountains (03:41)

Thanks to Dodge, the Union Pacific laid 250 miles of track in two months. Back in the West, the shopkeepers laid 80 miles of track. The shopkeepers experiment with nitroglycerin but revert back to black powder when seven workers die in an explosion.

Massacre at Plum Creek (03:52)

As the Union Pacific crosses into the plains, Native Americans fight to protect their land. After the massacre, Dodge declares his intent to fight back against the Native Americans.

Engineering Troubles (06:15)

The high altitude of the Sierra Nevada Mountains forces engineers to send the trains under the snow. Dodge’s hostility toward Native Americans grows, and he sends General William Tecumseh Sherman into a war.

Train Trestle (03:20)

High mountain peaks and heavy snowfalls lead to the invention of the trestle and sloping sheds. Progress in the East comes to a halt in lieu of scandal.

Nearing Completion (07:00)

Chinese workers go on strike and Union Pacific Director, Dr. Thomas Durant, is caught in a scandal. Progress begins again as Crocker starves his men back to work and Dodge demands Durant leave the project.

Meeting in Utah (05:00)

Promontory Point is the meeting place for the two railways. The West reaches the finish two days before the East but they wait to symbolically lay the last line of track together.

Credits: The Line (00:48)

Credits: The Line

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The Line

Part of the Series : Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



The Eastern United States was crowded with immigrants, while the West held the tantalizing promise of vast riches and gold—between the two lay a harsh wilderness. A transcontinental railway was needed to avoid dangerous wagon travel that few survived. Two corporate giants were pitched against each other in a race to join the East and West Coasts of the young nation.

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: FMK141237

ISBN: 978-1-64198-154-5

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

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