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I would think that [the above] estimate of approximately 200,000 tons of iron, just for the track, is as close as you will ever get without access to the original records scattered in archives across the country, and then it is doubtful they are even close to being complete.On the matter of engines, there was 159 engines built for the CPRR between 1863 and May 1869 and 152 engines built for the UPRR during the same period.I cannot give any estimates on the trestles or the many bridges, some of which wereover a thousandfeet long; and then there was the lining and shoring inside the tunnels.Both railroads constructed hundreds, if not thousandsof buildings, most of them were huge in size, Depots, Warehouses, buildings for housing employees stationed along the lineand the like.
The first approximately 112 miles of railvaried in weight from60 to 66 lb pattern, that is 60 to 66 lbsper lineal yard.
About 200,000 net tons of iron total were used just for building the railroad from Omaha to Sacramento [at 2000 lbs/net ton, the modern useage, also called the short ton; the metric ton = 1000 kg ].
Details, at 60 lb/yard (per single rail) single track from Omaha to Sacramento: 1776 miles x 60 lb/yard x 5280 feet/mile x 1/3 yards/feet x 2 rails x 1/2000 ton/lb = (1776*60*5280*2)/(3*2000) = 187,546 tons of iron.
All rail ordered for the Central Pacific Railroad was by the metric ton, 2240 pounds per ton.
After the 112th mile the rail was reduced to a 56lb. The rail requirements were usually calculated by the men who ordered it and by the men who installed it as requiring an average of 100 tons per mile, that was the way it was measured as it was impractical to measure by the foot.
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