Travel with railroads

History of railroads in North Dakota

North Dakota gained railroads in 1871 when the Northern Pacific entered Dakota Territory. It only reached Moorhead by 1871 but progress continued then by the summer of 1872 it crossed the Red River and, by 1873 it made its way to Bismarck.


Richard Trevithick and George Stephen were the first creators. Richard was an English inventor and engineer who managed to build one of the first trains, which managed to excite the public with its showcase in 1804. George was an English civil and mechanical engineer who built the first public inter-city railway.

The company that decided to put railroads in North Dakota was Northern Pacific Railway.

Why Trains are so important

Trains were so important in North Dakota history because it helped North Dakota grow and become a state. Between 1896 and 1915 around 250,000 land seekers came to North Dakota and the railroads made travel a lot easier. Trains were mainly used because there was no cars or planes, and one of the most famous ways of travel.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The train was the best way to travel because the only other ways of transportation was the steam boat but you would have to go up the Missouri to get to North Dakota. Wagons were the other way of travel but they were more uncomfortable than trains, were also slower, and had a higher risk of death.


  • Faster travel
  • Brought land seekers to North Dakota
  • Easier to travel belongings
  • Could transport a lot more people then just a wagon


  • Covered land that could be used for farming
  • Uncomfortable travel
  • It was dangerous
  • Had to follow the tracks
History of Trains