The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad VHS

VHS cover art.

"The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad" is the fifth episode of This Is America, Charlie Brown. It first aired on CBS on February 10, 1989.


Charlie Brown tells the story of how two companies, namely the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad, constructed the Transcontinental Railroad through plains and imposing mountains. Many immigrants from China were hired alongside white and black men due to the huge demand for labor the railroad's construction required. Construction was long and hard, and the men often worked outdoors in high heat. In order to keep up their spirits, the men often beat their hammers in rhythm to songs they knew. The best known song that resulted from this crude musicmaking was "I've Been Working on the Railroad", which later became the instrumental base for the university football song "The Eyes of Texas".

The episode ends when the gang witnesses the completion of the railroad in Promontory, Utah in 1869. The episode uses Charlie Brown giving a school report as a framing device.

Voice cast

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