This act led to the creation of the Union Pacific, which would lay rails west from Omaha, and the Central Pacific, which would start in Sacramento and build east. Since congressmen wanted the road built quickly, they made two key decisions. First, they gave each line twenty alternate sections of land for each mile of track completed.
The Transportation Revolution and the Rise of Cities Summary The Panic of alerted many to the need for more effective transportation of goods. Most rivers west of the Appalachians ran north to south, so they could not connect western farmers with the eastern markets where their goods were sold.
The National Road was the primary connection between east and west, and it advanced further west each year. In addition, between and seven northern states built toll roads, or turnpikes.
However, this did not solve the problem of transportation. Horse-drawn wagons had very limited capacity and roads were very expensive to maintain. Thus, interest turned toward the concept of water transportation. Steamboats quickly caught on and became the preferred mode of water transportation.
Between and the number of steamboats in America jumped from 17 to 69, and bythe number had reached Before the advent of the steamboat, flatboats, sometimes little more than rafts, carried goods down the Mississippi River. There, the boats were broken up and sold as firewood because they could not make the trip back upstream.
The return voyage was then made on foot or horseback. Keelboats, like flatboats except in that they had a rudder, could make the return journey upstream, but progress was extremely slow. Steamboats moved about four times as fast as keelboats upstream. The speed and versatility of the steamboat, augmented by a number of important functional improvements made over the years, established the steamboat an indispensable method of trade for all seasons.
As steamboats gained popularity, enthusiasm grew for the building of canals. Inthe US had only miles of canals. However, the invention of the steamboat and the resources of the west convinced many that canals were a necessary connection between the Mississippi-Ohio waterways with the Great Lakes, and thereby the East.
The growing canal system linked the major trading and manufacturing centers of the nation. Shipping costs dropped dramatically. Average freight costs from Buffalo to New York City fell from 19 cents per ton per mile in to 2 to 3 cents during the s. As the canal boom slowed in the late s, the railroad boom kicked into gear.
Byabout 3, miles of track had been lain in America and investment in railroads had outstripped that in canals. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, chartered insuccessfully competed with the Erie Canal for business. Massachusetts, unable to connect to the Erie Canal due to obstructing mountains, chartered the Boston and Worcester Railroad in and the Western Railroad from Worcester to Albany in Railroads were faster, cheaper, and had greater range than canals, but still grew only gradually at first.
The transportation revolution produced the rapid growth of towns and cities. The West experienced dramatic changes as well.
Beforeall of the major cities in the West were on main rivers. However, the canal system heightened the importance of lake cities such as Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago. Between andthe portion of westerners living along rivers dropped from 75 to 20 percent.
Commentary Steamboats quickly became a symbol of the West. As such, westerners continuously sought to improve and decorate the boats. In competition for passengers, they began to offer luxurious cabins and built ornate lounges on board. The elegance of these steamboats served as a reassurance to westerners that they were not the primitive backwoods hicks painted by the eastern press.
However, most steamboat passengers did not have access to this elegance.
The onboard saloons were open only to those who had purchased expensive cabin passage. Passengers who could afford only deck passage slept in dirty, crowded conditions on a cotton bale if they could find one, on the floor if they could not.Railroads Today, The s Onward Railroading today, unlike what the industry witnessed between the end of World War II and , has witnessed a renaissance with profits and ton-mileage steadily increasing.
It was 1, 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 for a while and later on as the Overland Route – after the main passenger transport service that operated the line.
The railroads would often sell the land and make money off the land that was paid for by citizens (their tax money goes to the government, which gave the land grants). They also withheld land from other users until they figured out where their tracks would lay.
The National Road was the primary connection between east and west, and it advanced further west each year. In addition, between and seven northern states built toll roads, or turnpikes. However, this did not solve the problem of transportation. Apr 20, · Watch video · Did you know?
Before the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, it cost nearly $1, dollars to travel across the country. After the railroad . After the Transcontinental Railroad's completion the industry exploded; by the s there were more than , miles in operation.
Eventually, four major railroads established direct lines from the Midwest to West Coast including the Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Santa Fe, and Chicago, Milwaukee, St.
Paul & Pacific (Milwaukee Road) while .