Sacramento and the Transcontinental Railroad
26 minute video from  Nimbus Films’  Bill George
or can be streamed on “Passport” the video streaming from KVIE and PBS  (If you stream the video can be found in the “View Finder” programs of KVIE and it’s season 25 episode 15)

Bill George, producer, director, and author of this video is a prolific producer of history*.  Just in time for the Sesquicentennial of the transcontinental railroad he’s brought us another video. Everything he produces is good and “Sacramento and the Transcontinental Railroad” is no exception.  George combines lots of historic pictures, contemporary pictures, historian interviews and his own narration to tell the story of “how the people of Sacramento built the railroad across the nation.”    George says, “The Sierra Nevada stands there like a dare” which is a perfect introduction to the difficulties posed, and the old pictures and contemporary video of the route show what a “dare” it was.

Besides showing the dare the video gives a good introduction to the first transcontinental railroad and explores many aspects of the story: Theodore Judah who laid out the route, how money to build the railroad was acquired, the background, the Gold Rush, the first railroad in California (from Sacramento to Folsom), how the railroad was built, the ramifications of railroad for California and the nation, and Sacramento as a major railroad shop.  That’s a lot in 26 minutes but the story is not rushed.

The best part of the video is the collection of historical photographs George includes.  They are fun showing the construction of the railroad, the Chinese, and California when photography was new.  A close second is the overhead footage as the video travels the transcontinental route from Sacramento over the Sierra.  There are a lot of good views that make the story come alive and make you ponder, how could they have done that and done that by hand?

*see Rails, Tales, and Trails in the April, ’14 Heirloom,  “The Chinese Builders of Gold Mountain” in the January, ’16 issue for example, or “Hidden Wonder of the World” in the June, ’12 issue.

To order a DVD, please send a check for $19.95 to Nimbus Films, 4520 Shari Way, Granite Bay, CA 95746. Or Visit to order online.
This includes shipping and handling.