Workers performed strenuous and backbreaking labor, often under pressure by managers to complete the railroad faster.
Workers toiled six days a week, from dawn to dusk, under extreme weather conditions. To speed progress, a second shift of workers often labored at night by the light of lamps and bonfires.
Workers using mostly muscle power graded the road, bored the tunnels, and laid the track. Workers pushed the Central Pacific Railroad over the granite wall of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and across the arid west.