Horses to Horsepower: Building the Transcontinental Railroad

School Tour Program Listings


Just how do you drill a hole in solid granite in the 1860s? How many men did it take to build the western portion of the Transcontinental Railroad? From what nation did the majority of the workers come? How much were they paid? These and other questions are answered in our 30-minute, hands-on interpretive program, Horses to Horsepower: Building the Transcontinental Railroad.

Students are given the opportunity to try their hand at drilling a hole in granite, driving a railroad spike, and meeting people who explain what it was like to ride across the United States on the Transcontinental Railroad more than 125 years ago. Better pay attention - there will be a quiz!

The Horses to Horsepower: Building the Transcontinental Railroad Program is suitable for Grades 4 through 6 only, and is run by Museum staff and Docents dressed in period attire. Cost for the Program is $125 per class, with a maximum of 45 people per time slot.

Tour "departures" take place Wednesdays and Thursdays only, and begin at 10 a.m. and continue every 15 minutes thereafter, with the last departure at 11:15 a.m.

The Horses to Horsepower Program is offered Wednesday and Thursday mornings, October through mid-November and January through April.

Reservations are required and must be made at least 7 days in advance. Please contact ReserveAmerica toll-free at (866) 240-4655 to reserve your tour time. For additional information about the Program, please contact the Group Information Desk at (916) 323-9274.