During the 19th century there were many changes happening in the United States. The population and culture were growing rapidly and was in need of a faster, more direct means of travel. The construction of the Transcontinental Railroad is one of the greatest achievements in American history. Some say without the help of Chinese, the Transcontinental Railroad would not exist. The Chinese made the ultimate backbreaking contribution of blood, sweat, and lives lost to create the largest railroad in the world. It is unknown exactly how many Chinese gave their lives because their casualty rate was not counted or recorded. The work accomplished made wire communication possible as well as shortening the time in which it took to travel across the county from six months to a week.