Interesting questions to ask when speed dating
(Not sure if the weights of locomotives listed are shipping weight or maximum track loading including water.) If you estimate from the available data that about 21,000 miles of track were put in place during the 1860's in the U. and that the amount of iron used is proportional to the track miles built, then the percent of iron used in building the transcontinental railroad (compared to all U. railroads' iron use during 1860's construction) is about: (1,776/21,000)*100 = 8.5% According to Galloway: "The number of ties varied from 2,260 to 2,640 per mile, depending upon alignment and grade. The total completed length of the sheds and galleries was about thirty-seven miles, the building of which consumed 65,000,000 feet board measure of lumber and 900 tons of bolts, spikes, and other iron." of rail was accounted for, as shown by a letter from Collis P.
Huntington, in New York, dated 1873, to a supplier of rail, The Pennsylvania Iron Co., in Danville, Pennsylvania. Huntington says, in part that he contracted to buy ' ...
Other sources speak of "fifty-ton locomotives" and "two or three tons of spikes and fish plates" per mile.
For locomotive numbers and weights, also see the multi-page CPRR and UPRR locomotive lists.
One hundred tons per mile included the main line and all the side track, incidental uses and waste.
How much iron and lumber was used in the construction of the transcontinental railroad?Not a scientific way to calculate but as close as you will ever get for just the rail.I can imagine that the Union Pacific's requirement was about the same so — for the total mileage of the transcontinental railroad of 1776 miles required 177,600 tons (metric tons) of rail for the track alone. more that a standard 2000 lb ton andthat if you reported the railtonnageat a 2,000 lb./ton the total rail weight alone would weigh198,912 tons of iron rail. Just remember that in the 1860's that rail was measured by the metric ton but bolts, spikes and rail fastenings were measured by the standard 2,000 lb. Then you would have to add the weight of spikes bolts, rail chairs, fish plates (rail fastenings).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.