The development of trains had a large impact on the growth of the United States. It influenced the outcome of many events that have occurred throughout the history of the country. Trains have influenced more than just the transportation industry, they have influenced the outcome of our country. The goal of this project is to demonstrate the effect of the development of the train on the government, the country, and the people in general.

General Information:
Railroads changed the way America was able to move people and goods. The speed of trains, as well as the ability to travel regardless of weather revolutionized the way people thought about transportation. The increase in the laying of track was a result of federal government loans to railroad companies. There was a large availability of free land grants which were used to extend tracks. In 1870 government subsidies were terminated because of rumors of corruption which led to public unrest. Without the government subsidies railroad companies still continued to lay tracks. in the 1880's 70,000 miles of track were laid. This increased the number of towns and cities in the United States. Between 1896 and 1916 rail travel tripled.

Through President Roosevelt's New Deal Program, $3 million was lent to the Public Works Administration which assisted in the switch to diesel trains for many railroad companies. At the end of the 1930's there were 90 diesel streamliner trains in operation. During WWI the government nationalized the trains. The Railroad War Board was created, and companies were guaranteed net operating incomes regardless of what they were actually making. Railroad executives argued against the railroads becoming nationalized again during WWII and won. During war time, there was reduced schedules, cramped space, and longer waits at stations. The railroad companies used different advertisements of soldiers returning home on trains in order to make people delay their travels unless necessary

The development of the locomotive allowed for a rapid development of transportation from the east coast to the west coast. This affected the mass settlement of the western territories and states in the U.S. Also, locomotive transportation made it easier to transport perishable goods, which made the western territories and states more livable. The advancement of trains from steam to diesel to electric made trains more cost effective as well as easier to use. Although trains are not used as much now, locomotive transportation is inexpensive and has had an overall positive impact on society.

Steam Engines (Coal)

Diesel Locomotives

Electric Locomotives

Works Cited