Was the Railroad Completed at Promontory Point?

Stansbury Map

Stansbury's Map of the Great Salt Lake and adjacent country in the territory of Utah: surveyed in 1849 and 1850 under the orders of Col. J.J. Abert. 


So why has it been called "Promontory Point" so frequently?

  • From the beginning - or 1869 at least - it was sometimes referred to as Promontory Point, in newspapers and by people associated with the railroad (including Andrew J. Russell).
  • Monument Point is nearby.
  • Was there some confusion of places?
  • Stansbury's proposed route (1850) wraps around Promontory Point. The first mention of Promontory Point in a Utah Newspaper was in 1858, as a location for cattle on the route to California.

Deseret News May 1869

By Telegraph

San Francisco, 29. Dispatches from the end of the track of the Central Pacific railroad state that over ten miles of track were laid yesterday; the track-layers were compelled to desist on account of unfinished grading. The iron was laid at the rate of a mile an hour. The work on the Union Pacific progresses slowly; the rails are down within eight miles of the summit of Promontory Point. Governor Stanford yesterday visited the eastern road for the purpose of inducing the Union Pacific to abandon their rock cutting and take the Central road, but he found none with authority to make the change. This morning only nine and a half miles remained to complete the road through from ocean to ocean, eight anda half of which were on the Central Pacific.

Promontory Map

Map showing the original railroad line, the Lucin Cutoff, Promontory Summit (where the railroad was officially completed in 1869), and Promontory Point (traversed by the railroad when the Lucin Cutoff was built in 1904, but not before). 

Was the Railroad Completed at Promontory Point?