One of the premier railroad builders and lobbyists of his time, Dodge was, for over half a century, involved in railroad construction as projector, builder, financier and director of numerous roads in the West and Southwest. He conducted land surveys for such notables as Henry Farnum and Thomas Durant, and was appointed chief engineer of the UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD in January 1866. Under his supervision, 568 miles of the road were completed within one year. Interestingly, he served as a U.S. Congressman from Iowa, 1866-68, after which he refused renomination. Soon after the panic of 1873, Dodge joined JAY GOULD in the Southwest and, during their ten year relationship, Dodge assisted in completing and consolidating nearly nine thousand miles of road.