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Group honors Chinese transcontinental railroad workers


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PROMONTORY — As Utah prepares to mark the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, one group is working to be sure the workers who helped lay the railroad are remembered.

Jack Shu traveled to Utah from California to organize a walk along the stretch where a “small army” of Chinese workers alongside a few Irish workers laid 10 miles of tracks in about 12 hours.

“This is a phenomenal human achievement that we have to celebrate,” Shu said.

The group, many of Chinese descent, walked all 10 miles along the original railway route to the Golden Spike National Historic Site on Sunday afternoon.

Shu said it was also important to honor the efforts of the Chinese and Irish workers.

“All of these workers helped make America and that’s what we want to talk about and remember,” he said.

As the group walked the 10 miles, Shu said it's important for people to remember more than just the names of the railroad companies that met in Promontory.

"Let's make that happen and change the focus from companies that made a lot of money to the people who made it happen," he said.

Shu believes focusing on the people celebrates immigrants, workers and the contributions that workers can make to the building of he United States.

The 150th anniversary event will take place on May 10 and include music, reenactments and train demonstrations.

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Sean Moody


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