Most people know about the heroic, monumental construction of the transcontinental railroad across the Sierra in the 1860s. But few know that portions of the original railroad lay hidden from public view sometimes miles from the current route. A new documentary celebrates this historic treasure and calls for its preservation.
Last Friday producer Bill George and railroad historian Chris Graves discussed The Hidden Wonder of the World; the Transcontinental Railroad Today from Sacramento to Donner Summit on the KXJZ radio show Insight. The film takes viewers to the "the abandoned granite tunnels, stunning trestles, gigantic cuts and breathtaking scenery" traversed by the Central Pacific Railroad.
Hidden Wonder of the World debuted last October in Colfax during the First Transcontinental Railroad Chautauqua, a conference whose goal was "to preserve, publicize and promote study of the history of the First Transcontinental Railroad from Sacramento to Nevada and its impact on the people along the route."
PHOTO CREDIT: Bloomer Cut in Auburn was the first major hurdle in the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad. Photograph by Shen-Chih (Sam) Cheng. Courtesy Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park