By: Alyssa Johnson and Rosy Bobadilla
Railroads today are very different from when they were first invented. Today's railroads can handle greater amounts of traffic than they could when they were new to the world. Another change in the railroad industry is merges. Major railroads that were once very famous, have now merged into one. Trains themselves have also been transformed to fit the needs of the 21st century. Train now have more powerful and efficient motors, also most trains now have computers on them.
In 1830 George Stephenson built the first train, in Great Britain. But because of this great discovery, by 1840, railroad companies had laid about 2,800 miles of track in America. These railroads traveled through different terrains, from grassy plains to steep mountains. By 1860, about 3,000 miles of railroads linked about every major city in the Eastern United States. Another effect that the railroads caused is that manufacturers and farmers could send their goods to distant markets, as the railroad system grew. The downside of riding on the early trains was that it was dangerous, but quite adventurous. Engineers like to stay on time so that leads them to go very fast, sometimes too fast. Charles Richard Weld traveled on a train that flew off the tracks!
Wagon vs. Locomotive
While wagons traveled about two mile per hour locomotive traveled an average of twenty miles per hour. Since locomotives traveled much faster than wagons they could get you to your destination quicker.