Pacific Railway Act: Primary Documents in American History
Enacted in 1862, the Pacific Railway Act provided Federal government support for the building of the first transcontinental railroad. This guide compiles Library of Congress digital materials, external websites, and a print bibliography.
Ken Drexler, Reference Specialist, Researcher and Reference Services Division
Created: July 21, 2021
Last Updated: July 30, 2021
The Pacific Railway Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on July 1, 1862. This act provided Federal government support for the building of the first transcontinental railroad, which was completed on May 10, 1869. The first transcontinental railroad connected the nation from coast to coast and reduced a journey of four months or more to just one week.