Hell On Wheels Season 5. History Tells About Ten Miles in One Day

Hell On Wheels Season 5. History Tells About Ten Miles in One Day
Isabel del Rio
Hell on Wheels season 5. Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon

Hell on Wheels season 5. Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon

Hell on Wheels season 5 started and everybody is excited. This season is epic, so epic as season 2 finale and the first episodes of season 3. In my opinion, they were absolutely unbeatable. However last week, I was speechless seeing Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) fighting against Mother Nature once again. How can the will of one man endure? We have some historical data (nonfiction) that can help to understand the difficulties of construction of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. For sure, Hell on Wheels’ writers were inspired by these facts (Did I say they aren’t legends?)

On April 28, 1869 ten miles and fifty-six feet of track was laid in one day! And as far as I know (and I’ve been studying the subject) this achievement has not been matched even in modern times. What happened?

The first transcontinental railroad

The first transcontinental railroad

Everything started because of the ambition of two men. Of course, one of them was Thomas Durant (Colm Meaney) of the Union Pacific, the other was Charles Crocker, founder of the Central Pacific Railroad. They bet $10,000 to achieve what seemed impossible.

Thus, a squad of eight Irish rail-handlers and an army of about 4000 Chinese workers accomplished this feat, working between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. Only a mid-day break after laying six miles of track! Only four days of payment for this achievement!

Who were them? See the photo of the book from the time book kept by George Coley, foreman of the Central Pacific crew. The original book has been preserved by Coley’s daughter, Mrs. Jennie Yeates, of Oakland, Cal.

The heroes of the first transcontinental railroad

The heroes of the first transcontinental railroad

Regrettably, we don’t know the names of the Chinese workers. But days ago, Yareah wrote about the poor working conditions suffering from Chinese people. Of course, Hell on Wheels season 5 showed these conditions too.

Anyway, it was a great moment. These men laid ten miles and fifty-six feet of track in twelve hours to bring the railhead of the Central Pacific three and one-half miles from Promontory, Utah. A few days later, connection was made with the Union Pacific to form the first transcontinental railroad.
What do you expect from Hell on Wheels season 5? Will Cullen Bohannon live this fact? Tell us your opinion now!

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Isabel del Rio

Managing Editor at Yareah® Magazine. Author of ‘Ariza’ (2008) and ‘The Girls of Oil’ (2010)

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