This article is from the Sacramento FAQ, by David F. Prenatt, Jr. with numerous contributions by others.
After the Gold Rush, Sacramento remained a popular destination for
American pioneers. Sacramento was the end of the line in the West for
the 1800 mile Pony Express and a prominent center of steamboat river
transportation and seagoing vessels along the Sacramento River. The
Central Pacific Railroad began laying track in Sacramento in 1863 and
met the Union Pacific in Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869. Sacramento
then became a major beneficiary of the resulting transcontinental rail
line, controlling virtually all interstate commerce in California.