How much iron and lumber was used in the construction of the transcontinental railroad?

See comments regarding the role of the government in financing the transcontinental railroad. The bonds were sold at par in New York, then transferred to San Francisco where they were converted to cash/gold.

A $1,000 bond in New York was valued at $600 to $850 in San Francisco.

Details, at 60 lb/yard (per single rail) single track from Omaha to Sacramento: 1776 miles x 60 lb/yard x 5280 feet/mile x 1/3 yards/feet x 2 rails x 1/2000 ton/lb = (1776*60*5280*2)/(3*2000) = 187,546 tons of iron.

If the rail is 56 lb/yard, then the total rail weight is about 175 thousand tons (about a hundred tons of rail per mile).

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