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A description of a train used since the revolutionary war in the united states

Oldest railroads in North America A railroad was reportedly used in the construction of the French fortress at Louisburg, Nova Scotia in 1720. It was used until 1829, when it was temporarily replaced by the Leiper Canalthen is reopened to replace the canal in 1852.

Prelude to war

This is the first railroad meant to be permanent, and the first to evolve into trackage of a common carrier after an intervening closure. In 1826 Massachusetts incorporated the Granite Railway as a common freight carrier [6] to primarily haul granite for the construction of the Bunker Hill Monument ; operations began later that year.

Other railroads authorized by states in 1826 and constructed in the following years included the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company 's gravity railroad ; and the Mohawk and Hudson Railroadto carry freight and passengers around a bend in the Erie Canal.

The Americans closely followed and copied British railroad technology. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was the first common carrier and started passenger train service in May 1830, initially using horses to pull train cars. This program enabled the opening of numerous western lines, especially the Union Pacific-Central Pacific with fast service from San Francisco to Omaha and east to Chicago. Canals and rivers were unavailable in the winter season due to freezing, but the railroads ran year-round despite poor weather.

And railroads were safer: The railroads provided cost-effective transportation because they allowed shippers to have a smaller inventory of goods, which reduced storage costs during winter, and to avoid insurance costs from the risk of losing goods during transit. For the common person in the early 1800s, transportation was often traveled by horse or stagecoach.

Steam locomotive

The network of trails along which coaches navigated were riddled with ditches, potholes, and stones. This made travel fairly uncomfortable. Adding to injury, coaches were cramped with little leg room. Travel by train offered a new style. Locomotives proved themselves a smooth, headache free ride with plenty of room to move around. Some passenger trains offered meals in the spacious dining car followed by a good night sleep in the private sleeping quarters.

In the heavily settled Corn Belt from Ohio to Iowaover 80 percent of farms were within 5 miles 8. A large number of short lines were built, but thanks to a fast developing financial system based on Wall Street and oriented to railway securities, the majority were consolidated into 20 trunk lines by 1890.

The canals and steamboats lost out because of the dramatic increases in efficiency and speed of the railroads, which could go almost anywhere year round.

The railroads were faster and went to many places a canal would be impractical or too expensive to build or a natural river never went. Railroads also had better scheduling since they often could go year round, more or less ignoring the weather. Canals and river traffic were cheaper if you lived on or near a canal or river that wasn't frozen over part of the year, but only a few did. Long distance transport of goods by wagon to a canal or river was slow and expensive.

A railroad to a city made it an inland "port" that often prospered or turned a town into a city. Rail was strategic during the American Civil Warand the Union used its much larger system much more effectively. Practically all the mills and factories supplying rails and equipment were in the North, and the Union blockade kept the South from getting new equipment or spare parts.

History of rail transport in the United States

The war was fought in the South, and Union raiders and sometimes Confederates too systematically destroyed bridges and rolling stock — and sometimes bent rails — to hinder the logistics of the enemy. Most transports was by boat, not rail, and after the Union blockaded the ports in 1861 and seized the key rivers in 1862, long-distance travel was difficult.

The outbreak of war had a depressing effect on the economic fortunes of the railroad companies, for the hoarding of the cotton crop in an attempt to force European intervention left railroads bereft of their main source of income. For the early years of the war, the Confederate government had a hands-off approach to the railroads.

Only in mid-1863 did the Confederate government initiate an overall policy, and it was confined solely to aiding the war effort. Conditions deteriorated rapidly in the Confederacy, as there was no new equipment and raids on both sides systematically destroyed key bridges, as well as locomotives and freight cars. Spare parts were cannibalized; feeder lines were torn up to get replacement rails for trunk lines, and the heavy use of rolling stock wore them out.

Ceremony for the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad, May 1869. The Southern states had blocked westward rail expansion before 1860, but after secession the Pacific Railway Acts were passed in 1862, [24] allowing the first transcontinental railroad to be completed in 1869, making possible a six-day trip from New York to San Francisco.

Other transcontinentals were built in the South Southern PacificSanta Fe and along the Canada—US border Northern PacificGreat Northernaccelerating the settlement of the West by offering inexpensive farms and ranches on credit, carrying pioneers and supplies westward, and cattle, wheat and minerals eastward. In 1860 railroads carried less than half as much freight as inland waterways, by 1890 railroads carried 5 times as much freight than waterways.

During the Reconstruction eraNorthern money financed the rebuilding and dramatic expansion of railroads throughout the South; they were modernized in terms of track gaugeequipment and standards of service. The lines were owned and directed overwhelmingly by Northerners.

Railroads helped create a mechanically skilled group of craftsmen and broke the isolation of much of the region. Passengers were few, however, and apart from hauling the cotton crop when it was harvested, there was little freight traffic.

Many lines went bankrupt or were barely able to pay the interest on their bonds, and workers were laid off on a mass scale, with those still employed subject to large cuts in wages. This worsening situation for railroad workers led to strikes against many railroads, culminating in the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.

All Aboard! The Amazing History Of Presidential Trains

The strike lasted for 45 days, and ended only with the intervention of local and state militias, and federal troops. Expansion and consolidation 1878—1916 [ edit ] J. Morgan played an increasingly dominant role in consolidating the rail system in the late 19th century. He orchestrated reorganizations and consolidations in all parts of the United States.

Morgan raised large sums in Europe, but instead of only handling the funds, he helped the railroads reorganize and achieve greater efficiencies. He fought against the speculators interested in speculative profits, and built a vision of an integrated transportation system.

He was heavily involved with railroad tycoon James J. Hill and the Great Northern Railway. In response to monopolistic practices and other excesses of some railroads and their owners, Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act and created the Interstate Commerce Commission ICC in 1887. Morgan set up conferences in 1889 and 1890 that brought together railroad presidents in order to help the industry follow the new laws and write agreements for the maintenance of "public, reasonable, uniform and stable rates.

It was the result of railroad overbuilding and shaky railroad financing, which set off a series of bank failures. Acquisitions of the bankrupt companies led to further consolidation of ownership. As of 1906, two-thirds of the rail mileage in the U. Hill joined forces with Morgan and others to gain control of the Northern Pacific. Hill formed the Northern Securities Company to consolidate the operations of the Northern Pacific with Hill's own Great Northern, but President Theodore Roosevelta trust-busterstrongly disapproved and took it to court.

United States and the railroads had to go their separate, competitive ways. By that time Morgan and Hill had ensured the Northern Pacific was well-organized and able to survive easily on its own. See Resurgence of freight railroads. Continuing concern over rate discrimination by railroads led Congress to enact additional laws, giving increased regulatory powers to the ICC. The 1906 Hepburn Act gave the ICC authority to set maximum rates and review the companies' financial records.

President Woodrow Wilson issued an order for nationalization on December 26, 1917. Memories of the 1893 panic, the continuing proliferation of railroad companies, and duplicative facilities, fueled this concern.

  • Britain's Great Western Railway was a notable exception to this rule, retaining the direct-loaded type until the end of its separate existence, because it was considered that such a valve lost less pressure between opening and closing;
  • Later engines used pumps driven by the motion of the pistons axle pumps , which were simple to operate, reliable and could handle large quantities of water but only operated when the locomotive was moving and could overload the valve gear and piston rods at high speeds;
  • Northern campaign of 1777;
  • The majority of the soldiers, however, were ages 18-24;
  • The rare economiser type differed in that it extracted residual heat from the exhaust gases.

To an extent, the need to nationalize the system during the war was an example of this inefficiency. These concerns were the impetus for legislation to consider improvements to the system. Ripley of Harvard University. Many small railroads failed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Of those lines that survived, the stronger ones were not interested in supporting the weaker ones. The rise of the automobile led to the end of passenger train service on most railroads. Trucking businesses had become major competitors by the 1930s with the advent of improved paved roads, and after the war they expanded their operations as the Interstate highway network grew, and acquired increased market share of freight business.

However, the ICC continued to regulate railroad rates and other aspects of railroad operations, which limited railroads' flexibility in responding to changing market forces.

American Revolution

In 1966, Congress created the Federal Railroad Administrationto issue and enforce rail safety regulations, administer railroad assistance programs, and conduct research and development in support of improved railroad safety and national rail transportation policy. The safety functions were transferred from the ICC. In 1970 Congress created a government corporation, Amtrakto take over operation of Penn Central passenger lines and selected inter-city passenger services from other private railroads, under the Rail Passenger Service Act.

State and local government transportation agencies took over the passenger operations and acquired the various rights-of-way from Conrail in 1983. Beginning in the late 1970s Amtrak eliminated several of its lightly-traveled lines. Ridership stagnated at roughly 20 million passengers per year amid uncertain government aid from 1981 to about 2000. Resurgence of freight railroads in the 1980s The use of double-stack rail cars and intermodal containersfacilitated by deregulation, has improved railroads' competitiveness In 1980 Congress enacted the Staggers Rail Act to revive freight traffic, by removing restrictive regulations and enabling railroads to be more competitive with the trucking industry.

More railroad companies merged and consolidated their lines in order to remain successful. These changes led to the current system of fewer, but profitable, Class I railroads covering larger regions of the United States.