On May 10, 1869, the transcontinental railroad in North America came into being when the tracks of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific were joined at Promontory Point, Utah. Events that spurred development of the transcontinental railroad were the acquisition of Oregon in 1846 and California in 1848 and the California gold rush.
Congress appropriated $150,000 to defray surveying expenses in 1853 to determine the feasible routes, but sectional pride soon became an issue. While the transcontinental rail line was opening the Great Plains, three other railroads were building toward the West Coast. By 1883 the Southern Pacific connected New Orleans with Los Angeles, the Santa Fe connected Chicago and Southern California via Albuquerque, and the Northern Pacific connected Duluth, MN, and Portland, OR.