The Transcontinental Railroad Comes to Town  

Train depot, 1869The first railroad linking California to the eastern states arrived in Oakland on November 8, 1869. It cut the travel time between coasts from 118 days by ship around the Horn of South America to 6 days across the continent by rail. The choice of Oakland as the railroad's terminus was one of the most important things that has happened to our city. The economic impact was enormous as travelers and freight flowed through Oakland.

The main Central Pacific depot was at Broadway and 7th St. Hotels, restaurants, barber shops, drug stores and other services for travelers sprang up in the surrounding streets. Attracted by railroad-related jobs and business opportunities, legions of newcomers swelled the population of Oakland which grew from 1,543 in 1860 to 34,555 in 1880.

Deborah Cooper
Oakland Museum of California

Oakland Museum of California Logo  "Walk Along the Water"
  Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.

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Maps & photographs of the CPRR Long Wharf ca. 1885 - Central Pacific RR Photographic History Museum

What the CPRR Co. Has Been Doing - excerpt describing Long Wharf from
The Terminus: The Railroad System of the Pacific Coast,
by John Scott, 1871

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