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  1. Railways were introduced in England in the seventeenth century as a way to reduce friction in moving heavily loaded wheeled vehicles. The first North American gravity road as it was called, was erected in 1764 for military purposes at the Niagara portage in Lewiston, New York. The builder was Capt. John Montressor, a British engineer known as historical cartography as a mapmaker.


  • dependable
  • high speed over long distances
  • suitable for bulky and heavy goods
  • cheaper transport
  • safe
  • larger capacity
  • public welfare
  • employment opportunities


  • lack of flexibility
  • lack of door to door service
  • Monopoly
  • unsuitable for short distances and small roads
  • no rural service


George Stephenson invented the railroad.

How did it impact North Dakota?

The railroads became the engine of settlement in the state. Its economy has since its early days been heavily based on the production of agricultural products such as wheat, flax seed, and cattle, however its farming industry has declined and the state has suffered population decline in formerly heavy farming areas.

How did it help westward expansion?

Railroads played a major role in the western expansion by making it possible to travel long distances in a short amount of time. It also made travel westward much safer and made possible the expansion of commerce, a most important element. people, settlers to some degree, investors and laborers among others could get to developing areas quickly and know that supplies could be obtained just quickly.

Importance in setting the world

The First Transcontinental Railroad was built crossing the western half of America and it was pieced together between 1863 and 1869. It was 1,776 miles long and served for the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States to be connected by rail for the first time in history. The Transcontinental Railroad was also known as the Pacific Railroad.