Railroad Law

The Pacific Railroad Acts were a series of acts of Congress that promoted the construction of the transcontinental railroad in the United States through authorizing the issuance of government bonds and the grants of land to railroad companies. The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 (12 Stat. 489) was the original act. Authorizing a northern route (rather than a central or southern route), it was passed after southern states seceded, losing their votes. Some of its provisions were subsequently modified, expanded, or repealed by four additional amending Acts: The Pacific Railroad Act of 1863 (12 Stat. 807), Pacific Railroad Act of 1864 (13 Stat. 356), Pacific Railroad Act of 1865 (13 Stat. 504), and Pacific Railroad Act of 1866 (14 Stat. 66). The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 began federal government grant of lands directly to corporations; before that act, the land grants were made to the states, for the benefit of corporations.

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