LTDM80J Episode 06:
San Francisco to Nebraska (Via Nevada, Utah, Wyoming)

In former times the journey from New York to San Francisco consumed at least six months. But in 1870, the same journey lasted only 7 days thanks to the uninterrupted metal ribbon that connects these two cities. The Pacific Railroad crosses the American continent, and George Francis Train contributed to its completion in 1869. The adventurous and visionary American businessman had traveled the world, in 80 days, in 1870. He claimed that he was the inspiration for Phileas Fogg.

— “It was seven in the morning when Mr. Fogg, Aouda, and Passepartout set foot upon the American continent.”

— “Arrived in San Francisco”

— “The train left Oakland station at six o'clock. It was already night, cold and cheerless, the heavens being overcast with clouds which seemed to threaten snow."
— “Snow began to fall an hour after they started, a fine snow, however, which happily could not obstruct the train; nothing could be seen from the windows but a vast, white sheet, against which the smoke of the locomotive had a greyish aspect."

— “It was eight o'clock when the train passed through the defiles of the Humboldt Range, and half–past nine when it penetrated Utah, the region of the Great Salt Lake, the singular colony of the Mormons."

— “The train reached Ogden at two o'clock. [...]  and they spent two hours in this strikingly American town, built on the pattern of other cities of the Union, like a checker–board, "with the sombre sadness of right–angles," as Victor Hugo expresses it."

— “The snow had ceased falling, and the air became crisp and cold. Large birds, frightened by the locomotive, rose and flew off in the distance. No wild beast appeared on the plain. It was a desert in its vast nakedness."

— “The locomotive whistled vigorously; the engineer, reversing the steam, backed the train for nearly a mile—retiring, like a jumper, in order to take a longer leap. […]And they passed over! It was like a flash. [..]But scarcely had the train passed the river, when the bridge, completely ruined, fell with a crash into the rapids of Medicine Bow."

— “Thirteen hundred and eighty–two miles had been passed over from San Francisco, in three days and three nights; four days and nights more would probably bring them to New York. Phileas Fogg was not as yet behind–hand."