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Pacific Railway Act (1862)
The question of "internal improvements" was constantly before Congress in the 19th century: Should Congress assist in improving the country’s transportation system? One such improvement was the dream of constructing a railroad that would cross the entire country. In the 1850s Congress commissioned several topographical surveys across the West to determine the best route for a railroad, but private corporations were reluctant to undertake the task without Federal assistance. In 1862 Congress passed the Pacific Railway Act, which designated the 32nd parallel as the initial transcontinental route and gave huge grants of lands for rights-of-way. The act was an effort to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph line from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean and to secure the use of that line to the government.
The legislation authorized two railroad companies, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, to construct the lines. Beginning in 1863, the Union Pacific, employing more than 8,000 Irish, German, and Italian immigrants, built west from Omaha, NE; the Central Pacific, whose workforce included over 10,000 Chinese laborers, built eastward from Sacramento, CA. Each company faced unprecedented construction problems—mountains, severe weather, and the hostility of Native Americans. On May 10, 1869, in a ceremony at Promontory, UT, the last rails were laid and the last spike driven. Congress eventually authorized four transcontinental railroads and granted 174 million acres of public lands for rights-of-way.
For more information, visit The National Archives’ Treasures of Congress Online Exhibit.
Transcript of Pacific Railway Act (1862)
CHAP. CXX. — An Act to aid in the Construction of a Railroad and Telegraph Line from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean, and to secure to the Government the Use of the same for Postal, Military, and Other Purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Walter S. Burgess, William P. Blodget, Benjamin H. Cheever, Charles Fosdick Fletcher, of Rhode Island; Augustus Brewster, Henry P. Haven, Cornelius S. Bushnell, Henry Hammond, of Connecticut; Isaac Sherman, Dean Rich- mond, Royal Phelps, William H. Ferry, Henry A. Paddock, Lewis J. Stancliff, Charles A. Secor, Samuel R. Campbell, Alfred E. Tilton, John Anderson, Azariah Boody, John S. Kennedy, H. Carver, Joseph Field, , Benjamin F. Camp,Orville W. Childs, Alexander J. Bergen, Ben. Holli- day, D. N. Barney, S. De Witt Bloodgood, William H. Grant, Thomas W. Olcott, Samuel B. Ruggles, James B. Wilson, of New York; Ephraim Marsh, Charles M. Harker, of New Jersey; John Edgar Thompson, Ben- jamin Haywood, Joseph H. Scranton, Joseph Harrison, George W. Cass, John H. Bryant, Daniel J. Morell, Thomas M. Howe, William F. John- son, Robert Finney, John A. Green, E. R. Myre, Charles F. Wells, junior, of Pennsylvania; Noah L. Wilson, .Amasa Stone, William H. Clement, S. S. L'Hommedieu, John Brough, William Dennison, Jacob Blickins- derfer, of Ohio; William M. McPherson, R. W. Wells, Willard P. Hall, .Armstrong Beatty, John Corby, of Missouri ; S. J. Hensley, Peter Donahue, C. P. Huntington, T. D. Judah, James Bailey, James T. Ryan, Charles Hosmer, Charles Marsh, D. 0. Mills, Samuel Bell, Louis McLal1e, George W. Mowe, Charles McLaughlin, Timothy Dame, John R. Robinson, of California; John Atchison and John D. Winters, of the Territory of Nevada; John D. Campbell, R. N. Rice, Charles A. Trow- bridge, and Ransom Gardner, Charles W. Penny, Charles T. Gorham, William McConnell, of Michigan; William F Coolbaugh, Lucius H. Langworthy, Hugh T. Reid, Hoyt Sherman, Lyman Cook, Samuel R. Curtis, Lewis .A. Thomas, Platt Smith, of Iowa; William B. Ogden, Charles G. Hammond, Henry Farnum, .Amos C. Babcock, W. Seldon Gale, Nehemiah Bushnell and Lorenzo Bull, of Illinois; William H. Swift, Samuel T. Dana, John Bertram, Franklin S. Stevens, Edward R. Tinker, of Massachusetts; Franklin Gorin, Laban J. Bradford, and John T. Levis, of Kentucky; James Dunning, John M. Wood, Edwin Noyes, Joseph Eaton, of Maine; Henry H. Baxter, George W. Collamer, Henry Keyes, Thomas H. Canfield, of Vermont ; William S. Ladd, .A. M. Berry, Benjamin F. Harding, of Oregon ; William Bunn, junior, John Catlin, Levi Sterling, John Thompson, Ellhu L. Phillips, Walter D. McIndoe T. B. Stoddard, E.H. Brodhead, A. H. Virgin, of Wisconsin; Charles Paine, Thomas A. Morris, David C. Branham, Samuel Hanna, Jonas Votaw, Jesse L. Villiams, Isaac C. Elston, of Indiana; Thomas Swan, Chauncey Brooks, Edward Wilkins, of Maryland; Francis R. E. Cor- nell, David Blakely, A. D. Seward, Henry A. Swift, Dwight Woodbury, John McKusick, John R. Jones, of Minnesota ; Joseph A. Gilmore, Charles W. Woodman, of New Hampshire; W. H. Grimes, J. C. Stone, Chester Thomas, John Kerr, Werter R. Davis, Luther C. Challiss, Josiah Miller, of Kansas ; Gilbert C. Monell and Augustus Kountz, T. M. Mar- quette, William H. Taylor, Alyin Saunders, of Nebraska; John Evans, of Colorado; together with commissioners to be appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, and all persons who shall or may be associated with them, and their successors, are hereby created and erected into a body corporate and politic in deed and in law, by the name, style, and title of “The Union Pacific Railroad Company; " and by that name shall have perpetual succession, and shall be able to sue and to be sued, plead and be impleaded, defend and be defended, in all courts of law and equity within the United States, and may make and have a common seal; and the said corporation is hereby authorized and empowered to layout, locate, construct, furnish, maintain, and enjoy a continuous railroad and telegraph, with the appurtenances, from a point on the one hundredth meridian of longitude west from Greenwich, between the south margin of the valley of the Republican River and the north margin of the valley of the Platte River, in the Territory of Nebraska, to the western boundary of Nevada Territory, upon the route and terms hereinafter provided, and is hereby vested with all the powers, privileges, and immunities necessary to carry into effect the purposes of this act as herein set forth. The capital stock of said company shall consist of one hundred thousand shares of one thousand dollars each, which shall be subscribed for and held in not more than two hundred shares by anyone person, and shall be transferable in such manner as the by-laws of said corporation shall provide. The persons hereinbefore named, together with those to be appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, are hereby constituted and appointed commissioners, and such body shall be called the Board of Commissioners of the Union Pacific Railroad and Telegraph Company, and twenty-five shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The first meeting of said board shall be held at Chicago at such time as the commissioners from Illinois herein named shall appoint, not more than three nor less than one month after the passage of this act, notice of which shall be given by them to the other commissioners by depositing a call thereof in the post office at Chicago, post paid, to their address at least forty days before said meeting, and also by publishing said notice in one daily newspaper in each of the cities of Chicago and Saint Louis. Said board shall organize by the choice from its number of a president, secretary, and treasurer, and they shall require from said treasurer such bonds as may be deemed proper, and may from time to time increase the amount thereof as they may deem proper. It shall be the duty of said board of commissioners to open books, or cause books to be opened, at such times and in such principal cities in the United States as they or a quorum of them shall deter- mine, to receive subscriptions to the capital stock of said corporation, and a cash payment of ten per centum on all subscriptions, and to receipt therefor. So soon as two thousand shares shall be in good faith sub- scribed for, and ten dollars per share actually paid into the treasury of the company, the said president and secretary of said board of commissioners shall appoint a time and place for the first meeting of the sub- scribers to the stock of said company, and shall give notice thereof in at least one newspaper in each State in which subscription books have been opened at least thirty days previous to the day of meeting, and such subscribers as shall attend the meeting so called, either in person or by proxy, shall then and there elect by ballot not less than thirteen directors for said corporation; and in such election each share of said capital shall entitle the owner thereof to one vote. The president and secretary of the board of commissioners shall act as inspectors of said election, and shall certify under their hands the names of the directors elected at said meeting; and the said commissioners, treasurer, and secretary shall then de- liver over to said directors all the properties, subscription books and other books in their possession, and thereupon the duties of said commissioners, and the officers previously appointed by them shall cease and determine forever, and thereafter the stockholders shall constitute said body politic and corporate. At the time of the first and each triennial election of directors by the stockholders two additional directors shall be appointed by the President of the United States, who shall act with the body of directors, and to be denominated directors on the part of the government; any vacancy happening in the government directors at any time may be filled by the President of the United States. The directors to be appointed by the President shall not be stockholders in the Union Pacific Railroad Company. The directors so chosen shall, as soon as may be after their election, elect from their own number a president and vice-president, and shall also elect a treasurer and secretary. No person shall be a director in said company unless he shall be a bona fide owner of at least five shares of stock in the said company, except the two directors to be appointed by the President as aforesaid. Said company, at any regular meeting of the stockholders called for that purpose, shall have power to make by-laws, rules, and regulations as they shall deem needful and proper, touching the disposition of the stock, property, estate, and effects of the company, not inconsistent herewith, the transfer of shares, the term of office, duties, and conduct of their officers and servants, and all matters whatsoever which may appertain to the concerns of said company; and the said board of directors shall have power to appoint such engineers, agents, and subordinates as may from time to time be necessary to carry into effect the object of this act, and to do all acts and things touching the location' and construction of said road and telegraph. Said directors may require payment of subscriptions to the capital stock, after due notice, at such times and in such proportions as they shall deem necessary to complete the railroad and telegraph within the time in this act prescribed. Said president, vice-president, and directors shall hold their office for three years, and until their successors are duly elected and qualified, or for such less time as the by-laws of the corporation may prescribe; and a majority of said directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The secretary and treasurer shall give such bonds, with such security, as the said board shall from time to time require, and shall hold their offices at the will and pleasure of the directors. Annual meetings of the stock- holders of the said corporation, for the choice of officers (when they are to be chosen) and for the transaction of annual business, shall be holden at such time and place and upon such notice as may be prescribed in the by-laws.
SEC. 2. And he it further enacted, That the right of way through the public lands be, and the same is hereby, granted to said company for the construction of said railroad and telegraph line; and the right, power, and authority is hereby given to said company to take from the public lands adjacent to the line of said road, earth, stone, timber, and other materials for the construction thereof; said right of way is granted to said railroad to the extent of two hundred feet in width on each side of said railroad where it may pass over the public lands, including all necessary grounds for stations, buildings, workshops, and depots, machine shops, switches, side tracks, turntables, and, water stations. The United States shall extinguish as rapidly as may be the Indian titles to all lands falling under the operation of this act and required for the said right of way and; grants hereinafter made.
SEC 3. And be it further enacted, That there be, and is hereby , granted to the said company, for the purpose of aiding in the construction , of said railroad and telegraph line, and to secure the safe and speedy transportation of the mails, troops, munitions of war, and public stores thereon, every alternate section of public land, designated by odd numbers, to the amount of five alternate sections per mile on each side of said railroad, on the line thereof, and within the limits often miles on each side of said ro1ld, not sold, reserved, or otherwise disposed of by the United States, and to which a preemption or homestead claim may not have attached, at the time the line of said road is definitely fixed : Provided, That all mineral lands shall be excepted from the operation of this act; but where the same shall contain timber, the timber thereon is hereby granted to said company. And all such lands, so granted by this section, which shall not be sold or disposed of by said company within three years after the entire road shall have been completed, shall be subject to settlement and preemption, like other lands, at a price not exceeding one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, to be paid to said company.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That whenever said company shall have completed forty consecutive miles of any portion of said railroad and telegraph line, ready for the service contemplated by this act, and supplied with all necessary drains, culverts, viaducts, crossings, sidings, bridges, turnouts, watering places, depots, equipments, furniture, and all other appurtenances of a first class railroad, the rails and all the other iron used in the construction and equipment of said road to be American manufacture of the best quality, the President of the United States shall appoint three commissioners to examine the same and report to him in relation thereto; and if it shall appear to him that forty consecutive miles of said railroad and telegraph line have been completed and equipped in all respects as required by this act, then, upon certificate of said commissioners to that effect, patents shall issue conveying the right and title to said lands to said company, on each side of the road as far as the same is completed, to the amount aforesaid; and patents shall in like manner issue as each forty miles of said railroad and telegraph line are completed, upon certificate of said commissioners. Any vacancies occurring in said board of commissioners by death, resignation, or otherwise, shall be filled by the President of the United States: Provided, however, That Do such commissioners shall be appointed by the President of the United States unless there shall be presented to him a statement, verified on oath by the president of said company, that such forty miles have been completed, in the manner required by this act, and setting forth with certainty the points where such forty miles begin and where the same end;; which oath shall be taken before a judge of a court of record.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That for the purposes herein mentioned the Secretary of the Treasury shall, upon the certificate in writing of said commissioners of the completion and equipment of forty consecutive miles of said railroad and telegraph, in accordance with the provisions of this act, issue to said company bonds of the United States of one thousand dollars each, payable in thirty years after date, bearing six per centum per annum interest (said interest payable semi-annually,) which interest may be paid in United States treasury notes or any other money or currency which the United States have or shall declare lawful money and a legal tender, to the amount of sixteen of said bonds per mile for such section of forty miles; and to secure the repayment to the United States, as hereinafter provided, of the amount of said bonds so issued and delivered to said company, together with all interest thereon which .shall have been paid by the United States, the issue of said bonds and delivery to the company shall ipso facto constitute a first mortgage on the whole line of the railroad and telegraph, together with the rolling stock, fixtures and property of every kind and description, and in consideration of which said bonds may be issued ; and on the refusal or failure of said company to redeem said bonds, or any part of them, when required so to do by the Secretary of the Treasury, in accordance with the provisions of this act the said road, with all the rights, functions, immunities, and appurtences thereunto belonging, and also all lands granted to the said company by the United States, which, at the time of said default, shall remain in the ownership of the said company, may be taken possession of by the Secretary of the Treasury, for the use and benefit of the United States: Provided, this section shall not apply to that part of any road now constructed.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That the grants aforesaid are made upon condition that said company shall pay said bonds at maturity, and shall keep said railroad and telegraph line in repair and use, and shall at all times transmit dispatches over said telegraph line, and transport mails, troops, and munitions of war, supplies, and public storage upon said railroad for the government, whenever required to do so by any department , thereof, and that the government shall at all times have the preference in the use of the same for all the purposes aforesaid, (at fair and reasonable rates of compensation, not to exceed the amounts paid by private parties for the same kind of service ;) and all compensation for services rendered for the government shall be applied to the payment of said bonds and interest until the whole amount is fully paid. Said company may also pay the United States, wholly or in part, in the same or other bonds, treasury notes, or other evidences of debt against the United States, to be allowed at par; and after said road is completed, until said bonds and interest are paid, at least five per centum of the net earnings of said road "hall also be annually applied to the payment thereof.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That said company shall file their assent to this act, under the seal of said company, in the Department of the Interior, within one year after the passage of this act, and shall comlete said railroad and telegraph from the point of beginning ,as herein provided, to the western boundary of Nevada Territory before the first day of July, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four: Provided, That within two years after the passage of this act said company shall designate the general route of said road, as near as may be, and shall file a map of the same in the Department of the Interior, whereupon the Secretary of the Interior shall cause the lands within fifteen miles of said designated route or routes to be withdrawn from preemption, private entry, and sale; and when any portion of said route shall be finally located, the Secretary of the Interior shall cause the said lands herein- before granted to be surveyed and set off as fast as may be necessary for the purposes herein named: Provided, That in fixing the point of conection of the main trunk with the eastern connections, it shall be fixed at the most practicable point for the construction of the Iowa and Missouri branches, as hereinafter provided.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the line of said railroad and telegraph shall commence at a point on the one hundredth meridian of a longitude west from Greenwich, between the south margin of the valley of the Republican River and the north margin of the valley of the Platte River, in the Territory of Nebraska, at a point to be fixed by the President of the United States, after actual surveys ; thence running westerly upon the most direct, central, and practicable route, through the territories of the United States, the western boundary of the Territory of Nevada, there to meet and connect with the line of the Central Pacific Railroad Company of California.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That the Leavenworth, Pawnee, and Western Railroad Company of Kansas are hereby authorized to construct a railroad and telegraph line, from the Missouri River, at the mouth of the Kansas River, on the south side thereof, so as to connect with the Pacific railroad of Missouri, to the aforesaid point, on the one hundredth meridian of longitude west from Greenwich, as herein provided, upon the same terms and conditions in all respects as are provided in this act for the construction of the railroad and telegraph line first mentioned, and to meet and connect with the same at the meridian of longitude aforesaid ; and in case the general route or line of road from the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains should be so located as to require a departure northwardly from the proposed line of said Kansas railroad before it reaches the meridian of longitude aforesaid, the location of said Kansas road shall be made so as to conform thereto; and said railroad through Kansas shall be so located between the mouth of the Kansas River, as aforesaid, and the aforesaid point, on the one hundredth meridian of longitude, that the several railroads from Missouri and Iowa, herein authorized to connect with the same, can make connection within the limits prescribed in this act, provided the same can be done without deviating from the general direction of the whole line to the Pacific coast. The route in Kansas, west of the meridian of Fort Riley, to the aforesaid point, on the one hundredth meridian of longitude, to be subject to the approval of the President of the United States, and to be determined by him on actual survey. And said Kansas company may proceed to build said railroad to the aforesaid point, on the one hundredth meridian of longitude west from Greenwich, in the territory of Nebraska. The Central Pacific Railroad Company of California, a corporation existing under the laws of the State of California, are hereby authorized to construct a railroad and telegraph line from the Pacific coast, at or near San Francisco, or the navigable waters of the Sacramento River, to the eastern boundary of California, upon the same terms and conditions, in all respects, as are contained in this act for the construction of said railroad and telegraph line first mentioned, and to meet and connect with the first mentioned railroad and telegraph line on the eastern boundary of California. Each of said companies shall file their acceptance of the conditions of this act in the Department of the Interior within six months after the passage of this act.
SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That the said company chartered, by the State of Kansas shall complete one hundred miles of their said road, commencing at the mouth of the Kansas River as aforesaid, within two years after filing their assent to the conditions of this act, as herein provided, and one hundred miles per year thereafter until the whole is completed; and the said Central Pacific Railroad Company of California shall complete fifty miles of their said road within two years after filing their assent to the provisions of this act, as herein provided, and fifty miles per year thereafter until the whole is completed; and after completing their roads, respectively, said companies, or either of them, may unite upon equal terms with the first-named company in constructing so much of said railroad and telegraph line and branch railroads and telegraph lines in Luis act hereinafter mentioned, through the Territories from the State of California to the Missouri River, as shall then remain to be constructed, on the same terms and conditions as provided in this act in relation to the said Union Pacific Railroad Company. And the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad, the Pacific Railroad Company of Missouri, and the first-named company, or either of them, on filing their assent to this act, as aforesaid, may unite upon equal terms, under this act, with the said Kansas company, in constructing said railroad and telegraph, to said meridian of longitude, with the consent of the said State of Kansas ; and in case said first-named company shall complete their line to the eastern boundary of California before it is completed across said State by the Central Pacific Railroad Company of California, said first-named company is hereby authorized to continue in constructing the same through California, with the consent of said State, upon the terms mentioned in this act, until said roads shall meet and connect, and the whole line of said railroad and telegraph is completed; and the Central Pacific Railroad Company of California, after completing its road across said State, is authorized to continue the construction of said railroad and telegraph through the Territories of the United States to the Missouri River, including the branch roads specified in this act, upon the routes hereinbefore and hereinafter indicated, on the terms and conditions pro- vided in this act in relation to the said Union Pacific Railroad Company, until said roads shall meet and connect, and the whole line of said railroad and branches and telegraph is completed.
SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, That for three hundred miles of said road most mountainous and difficult of construction, to wit: one hundred and fifty miles westwardly from the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains, and one hundred and fifty miles eastwardly from the western , base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, said points to be fixed by the President of the United States, the bonds to be issued to aid in the construction thereof shall be treble the number per mile hereinbefore pro- vided, and the same shall be issued, and the lands herein granted be .set apart, upon the construction of every twenty miles thereof, upon the certificate of the commissioners as aforesaid that twenty consecutive miles of the same are completed. and between the sections last named of one hundred and fifty miles each, the bonds to be issued to aid in the construction thereof shall be double the number per mile first mentioned, and the same shall be issued, and the lands herein granted be set apart, upon the construction of every twenty miles thereof, upon the certificate of the commissioners as aforesaid that twenty consecutive miles of the same are completed: Provided, That no more than fifty thousand of said bonds shall be issued under this act to aid in constructing the main line of said railroad and telegraph.
SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, That whenever the route of said railroad shall cross the boundary of any State or Territory, or said meridian of longitude, the two companies meeting or uniting there shall agree upon its location at that point, with reference to the most direct and practicable through route, and in case of difference between them as to said location the President of the United States shall determine the said location; the companies named in each State and Territory to locate the road across the same between the points so agreed upon, except as herein provided. The track upon the entire line of railroad and branches shall be of uniform width, to be determined by the President of the United States, so that, when completed, cars can be run from the Missouri River to the Pacific coast; the grades and curves shall not exceed the maximum grades and curves of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad; the whole line of said railroad and branches and telegraph shall be operated and used for all purposes of communication, travel, and transportation, so far as the public and government are concerned, as one connected, continuous line; and the companies herein named in Missouri, Kansas, and California, filing their assent to the provisions of this act, shall receive and transport all iron rails, chairs, spikes, ties, timber, and all materials required for constructing and furnishing said first-mentioned line between the aforesaid point, on the one hundredth meridian of longitude and western boundary of Nevada Territory, whenever the same is required by said first-named company, at cost, over that portion of the roads of said companies constructed under the provisions of this act.
SEC. 13. And be it further enacted, That the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad Company of Missouri may extend its roads from Saint Joseph, via Atchison, to connect and unite with the road through Kansas, upon filing its assent to the provisions of this act, upon the same terms and conditions, in- all respects for one hundred miles in length next to the Missouri River, as are provided in this act for the construction of the railroad and telegraph line first mentioned, and may for this purpose use any railroad charter which has been or may be granted by the legislature of Kansas ; Provided, That if actual survey shall render it desirable, the said company may construct their road, with the consent of the Kansas legislature, on the most direct and practicable route west from St. Joseph, Missouri, so as to connect and unite with the road leading from the western boundary of Iowa at any point east of the one hundredth meridian of west longitude, or with the main trunk road at said point ; but in no event shall lands or bonds be given to said company, as herein directed, to aid in the construction of their said road for a greater distance than one hundred miles. And the Leavenworth, Pawnee, and Western Railroad Company of Kansas may construct their road from Leaven- worth to unite with the road through Kansas.
SEC. 14. And be it further enacted, That the said Union Pacific Railroad Company is hereby authorized and required to construct a single line of railroad and telegraph from a point on the western boundary of the State of Iowa, to be fixed by the President of the United States, upon the most direct and practicable route, to be subject to his approval, so as to form a connection with the lines of said company at some point on the one hundredth meridian of longitude aforesaid, from the point of commencement on the western boundary of the State of Iowa, upon the same terms and conditions, in all respects, as are contained in this act for the construction of the said railroad and telegraph first mentioned; and the said Union Pacific Railroad Company shall complete one hundred miles of the road and telegraph in this section provided for, in two years after filing their assent to the conditions of this act, as by the terms of this act required, and at the rate of one hundred miles per year there- after, until the whole is completed: Provided, That a failure upon the part of said company to make said connection in the time aforesaid, and to perform the obligations imposed on said company by this section and to operate said road in the same manner as the main line shall be operated, shall forfeit to the government of the United States all the rights, privileges, and franchises granted to and conferred upon said company by this act. And whenever there shall be a line of railroad completed through Minnesota or Iowa to Sioux City, then the said Pacific Railroad Company is hereby authorized and required to construct a rail- road and telegraph from Said Sioux City upon the most direct and practicable route to a point on, and so as to connect with, the branch railroad and telegraph in this section hereinbefore mentioned, or with the said Union Pacific Railroad, said point of junction to be fixed by the President of the United States, not further west than the one hundredth meridian of longitude aforesaid, and on the same terms and conditions as provided in this act for the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad as aforesaid, and to complete the same at the rate of one hundred miles per year; and should said company fail to comply with the requirements of this act in relation to the said Sioux City railroad and telegraph, the said company shall suffer the same forfeitures prescribed in relation to the Iowa branch railroad and telegraph hereinbefore mentioned.
SEC. 15. And be it further enacted, That any other railroad company now incorporated, or hereafter to be incorporated, shall have the right to connect their road with the road and branches provided for by this act, at such places and upon such just and equitable terms as the President of the United States may prescribe. Wherever the word company is used in this act it shall be construed to embrace the words their associates, successors, and assigns, the same as if the words had been properly added thereto.
SEC. 16. And be it further enacted, That at any time after the passage of this act all of the railroad companies named herein, and assenting hereto, or any two or more of them, are authorized to form themselves into one consolidated company; notice of such consolidation, in writing, shall be filed in the Department of the Interior, and such consolidated company shall thereafter proceed to construct said railroad and branches and telegraph line upon the terms and conditions provided in this act.
SEC. 17. And be it further enacted, That in case said company or companies shall fail to comply with the terms and conditions of this act, by not completing said road and telegraph and branches within a reason- able time, or by not keeping the same in repair and use, but shall permit the same, for an unreasonable time, to remain unfinished, or out of repair, and unfit for use, Congress may pass any act to insure the speedy completion of said road and branches, or put the same in repair and use, and may direct the income of said railroad and telegraph line to be there- after devoted to the use of the United States, to repay all such expenditures caused by the default and neglect of such company or companies : Provided, That if said roads are not completed, so as to form a continuous line of railroad, ready for use, from the Missouri River to the navigable waters of the Sacramento River, in California, by the first day of July, eighteen hundred and seventy-six, the whole of all of said railroads before mentioned and to be constructed under the provisions of this act, together with all their furniture, fixtures, rolling stock, machine shops, lands, tenements, and hereditaments, and property of every kind and character, shall be forfeited to and be taken possession of by the United States : Provided, That of the bonds of the United States in this act provided to be delivered for any and all parts of the roads to be constructed east of the one hundredth meridian of west longitude from , Greenwich, and for any part of the road west of the west foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain, there shall be reserved of each part and installment twenty-five per centum, to be and remain in the United States treasury, undelivered, until said road and all parts thereof provided for in this act are entirely completed; and of all the bonds provided to be delivered for the said road, between the two points aforesaid, there shall be reserved out of each installment fifteen per centum, to be and remain in the treasury until the whole of the road provided for in this act is fully completed; and if the said road or any part thereof shall fail of completion at the time limited therefor in this act, then and in that case the said part of said bonds so reserved shall be forfeited to the United States.
SEC. 18. And be it further enacted, That whenever it appears that the , net earnings of the entire road and telegraph, including the amount allowed for services rendered for the United States, after deducting all, expenditures, including repairs, and the furnishing, running, and managing of said road, shall exceed ten per centum upon its cost, exclusive of the five per centum to be paid to the United States, Congress may reduce the rates of fare thereon, if unreasonable in amount, and may fix and establish the same by law. And the better to accomplish the object of this act, namely, to promote the public interest and welfare by the construction of said railroad and telegraph line, and keeping the same in working order, and to secure to the government at all times (but particularly in time of war) the use and benefits of the same for postal, military and other purposes, Congress may, at any time, having due regard for the rights of said companies named herein, add to, alter, amend, or repeal this act.
SEC. 19. And be it further enacted, That the several railroad companies herein named are authorized to enter into an arrangement with the Pacific Telegraph Company, the Overland Telegraph Company, and the California State Telegraph Company, so that the present line of telegraph between the Missouri River and San Francisco may be moved upon or along the line of said railroad and branches as fast as said roads and branches are built; and if said arrangement be entered into and the transfer of said telegraph line be made in accordance therewith to the line of said railroad and branches, such transfer shall, for all purposes of this act, be held and considered a fulfillment on the part of said railroad companies of the provisions of this act in regard to the construction of said line of telegraph. And, in case of disagreement, said telegraph companies are authorized to remove their line of telegraph along and upon the line of railroad herein contemplated without prejudice to the rights of said railroad companies named herein.
SEC. 20. And he it further enacted, That the corporation hereby created and the roads connected therewith, under the provisions of this act, shall make to the Secretary of the Treasury an annual report wherein shall be set forth-
APPROVED, July 1, 1862.