No part of the West was untouched by the steam-powered monster. Great distances shrank, and time disappeared as a journey that once spanned months was cut to days. Cities sprang up overnight, peppering the landscape with names inspired by the railroad men that built them - Pullman, Cheney, and Ritzville among others. What was once considered a wilderness by some began to transform into what promoters would call a "western paradise."
This is the story of men who battled against environmental forces and political pressures, of the settlers with big dreams, native peoples whose homelands became reservations, and of immigrants who laid the rails.