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PROMONTORY

Promontory in Box Elder County, Utah, United States is an area of high ground 32 miles west of Brigham City, Utah and 66 miles northwest of Salt Lake City. Rising to an elevation of 4,902 feet above sea level, it lies to the north of the Promontory Mountains and the Great Salt Lake. It is notable as the location of Promontory Summit, where the First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States was officially completed on May 10, 1869.

By the summer of 1868, the Central Pacific had completed the first rail route through the Sierra Nevada mountains, and was now moving down towards the Interior Plains and the Union Pacific’s line. More than 4,000 workers, of whom two thirds were Chinese, had lain more than 100 miles of track at altitudes above 7,000 feet. In May 1869, the railheads of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads finally met at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory. A specially-chosen Chinese and Irish crew had taken only 12 hours to lay the final 10 miles of track in time for the ceremony.

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