According to the legislation, the Central Pacific Railroad would begin construction in Sacramento and continue eastward through the Donner Pass, and the Union Pacific Railroad would build westward from the Missouri River. On January 8, 1863, Governor Leland Stanford broke ground in Sacramento, near what is now Haggin Oaks Golf Course.
The legislation also promised the two companies 6,400 acres of land and $48,000 in government bonds for each mile of track laid, which meant that from the start, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific were in competition with each other.
In 1869, after years of construction and competition, the two lines met at Promontory Point, Utah, near the Great Salt Lake. Governor Stanford was there for the completion, driving a golden spike into the rail to signify the success of the first Transcontinental Railroad.