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They were paid less than American workers and … But their strike a … The Central Pacific began in Sacramento, California working toward the East. A reenactment of the golden spike photo including women and children. As many as 15,000 Chinese immigrants helped build the railroad. Most Irish and Chinese immigrants were recriuted to come over to American and work on building the transcontinental railroad. From 1863 and 1869, roughly 15,000 Chinese workers helped build the transcontinental railroad. While the white workmen were featured in the photo, the Chinese were not. Less than 20 years after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which effectively barred immigration from China until 1943. The Union Pacific began construction of their rail in Omaha, Nebraska working toward the west. The building of the first transcontinental railroad required 6 years to complete and thirty-thousand workers who were primarily immigrants. In 1869, the dream was made a reality at Promontory Point, Utah with the connection of two railway lines. The Transcontinental Railroad was a dream of a country set on the concept of Manifest Destiny. In the end, the Chinese never got pay parity with the Irish while building the transcontinental railroad, Obenzinger said. The nation’s first transcontinental railroad, completed 150 years ago today at Promontory Summit in Utah, connected the vast United States and brought America into the modern age. Join us for this event about the key roles and treatment of Chinese and Irish workers in creating the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. Without the hard work and sacrifice of both Chinese and Irish immigrants the historic completion of the transcontinental railroad would not have been possible. Working conditions were so terrible, many people died while on the job. Utah State University. 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