Union Pacific RR

Page 2 of an extract of letter from Secretary of the Interior regarding where the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads will meet in Utah Territory, January 14, 1869

National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the U.S. Senate

By early 1869 the two transcontinental lines had both built into Utah. In fact, crews had actually graded 100 miles of track parallel and past each other. To sort out confusion over where the two lines would meet, the Secretary of the Interior appointed three commissioners to decide where and over which route the railroads would join. The commissioners chose Promontory, 56 miles west of Ogden, Utah. On April 9, 1869, representatives of the two companies met in Washington, DC, and agreed on where the lines would converge. The next day Congress passed a joint resolution designating Promontory as the spot "at which rails shall meet and form one continuous line."