When plans were developed to build the railroad on what is now Odessa, TX, it was as rough as you probably imagine. Around 350 workers with 60 mule teams hauled the heavy iron rails, ties, and equipment. Every day, around 24 carloads of track were used, as well as 75 cars of ties and 12 cars that carried water. Workers were in constant peril from on-the-job injuries such as train car wrecks and the occasional explosion. Along the track, the builders were preceded by other crews who would set up telegraph lines for communication, as well as build section homes for the railroad workers. In 1881, the first passenger train was ready for use, bringing folks from all over Texas to connect and even make their home in Odessa. When the Texas and Pacific Railroad crews made camp at milepost 296, this is where workers would rest and relax from a hard day’s work. This milepost is what eventually created the town of Odessa.