American Railroads

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Its impact did not only influence the industrial aspects but also the social and cultural aspects of American life. By linking the nation with a tight network of rail transport, the…


During the early periods, there were no complete and cohesive road systems to aid effective land transportation but “small sections of roads here and there, but the great body of the land was without any facilities of this kind” (Wikipedia 2004). Prior to developing railroads, the transport systems largely depended upon canales for bulk transportation of goods and produce. Transportation Canals were man-made waterways connecting lakes, rivers and oceans, which were used for transportation of goods and people through boats and ships. Although this was one of the most commonly used formes of transportation prior to railroads, the system was time consuming, unsuitable for perishables and costly as well. Another aspect was the inaccessibility in certain regions where the waterways were not located. Therefore this mode of transportation did not serve the needs effectively specially for areas located further from port cities. It was also not an effective means of transportation for large scale transportation of cattle herds and processed meat coming from Mid Western regions.
Another means of popular transport during the time preceding railroad development were the stagecoaches. This was a four-wheeled enclosed passenger coach which sometimes doubled as a mail coach, drawn by four horses. This was more of a public conveyance mode than being suited for transporting goods. The main inadequacy of this system was the time consuming nature and the need for taking on fresh horses at relay stations approximately every 15 miles. With most parts of the land road network not being up to travesing conditions, stagecoaches had its limitations when it comes to accesing interior locations (Wikipedia 2004). Other means of transport preceding the railroad era included horse-drawn boat which involved a boat on a canal being pulled by a horse ...
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