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The Growth of the Railroads: Railroads Lead the Way


Title: The Growth of the Railroads: Railroads Lead the Way Author: bbattagl Last modified by: jnash Created Date: 4/28/2008 7:10:40 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Growth of the Railroads: Railroads Lead the Way

The Growth of the Railroads Railroads Lead the
  • 1865-1900

Railroad Expansion
  • Growth of the Rail System
  • The first transcontinental railroad was completed
    in 1869
  • By the 1890s five railway lines crossed the
    country. Smaller lines branched off from them.
  • Expansion was accompanied by consolidation-the
    practice of combining separate companies
  • Large companies bought smaller companies or put
    them out of business

Railroad Expansion
  • Railroad Barons
  • After consolidation a few individuals controlled
    the nations rail traffic. They were aggressive
    and competitive. With few laws to regulate
    business, some methods used were questionable
    (i.e. pools).
  • Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • New York Central Line
  • James J. Hill
  • Great Northern Line
  • Collis P. Huntington and Leland Stanford
  • Central Pacific Line

Use of Questionable Methods by Railroad Barons
  • Rebates
  • Large railroads offered secret discounts to their
    biggest customers
  • Smaller railroads were forced out of business
  • Discounts to big customers raised freight rates
    for farmers and those shipping small amounts of
  • Pools
  • Secret agreement among railroad barons that set
    rates for a region
  • With limited competition railroads could charge
    higher rates and make a larger profit.

Railroads Spur the Economy
  • Carried raw materials (iron ore, coal, timber) to
    factories and manufactured goods to markets.
  • Spurred the growth of the iron, steel and timber
  • Railroad companies provided work for thousands
    of people.

Improving the Railroads
  • Long distance railroad travel was difficult
    because of the different gauges or widths of
  • Trains of one line could not use another lines
  • With the consolidation of companies came the
    adoption of a standard gauge (4, 8.5)
  • Allowed faster shipment of goods

Railroad Technology
  • New technology improved railway transportation
  • George Westinghouse
  • Devised air brakes that improved the system for
    stopping trains.
  • Eli H. Janey
  • Invented car couplers making it easier to link
  • Gustavus Swift
  • Hired an engineer to develop a refrigerated
    railroad car.
  • 1877 first refrigerated meat was shipped.
  • George M. Pullman
  • Developed the Pullman sleeping cara luxury
    railway car with seats that converted into beds.

Railroad Technology
Janney Coupler
Pullman Sleeping Car
Railroads Change America
  • American industry such as flour milling and
    agricultural equipment expanded west.
  • Trains redistributed the population.
  • Carried Homesteaders West
  • Made it easy for people to move from the rural
    areas to the cities
  • A national system of time was developed
  • Opened up the entire U.S. to settlement and
    economic growth.
  • United different regions of the country into a
    single network