How Did The Railroad Develop The West

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The railroad system was a huge factor in in developing the west. It took away the need of steamboats and was much cheaper and safer than traveling on water. The railroad changed the way of transportation, products and animals were shipped from the west to the east coast, and it allowed the United States to expand the west at a much faster rate. In the years between 1855 and 1871 the Federal government operated a land grant system that gave companies millions of acres of land in the uninhabited west. With this program numerous western lines allowed for faster travel between the Western United States and the Eastern United States. It was fast travel from San Francisco to Omaha and east to Chicago. The railroad was much safer and more cost efficient than the …show more content…

After the railroad lines had been built out west changes occurred for both the Western and Eastern United States. By 1860 railroads connected nearly every major city and over 80 percent of farms were 5 miles from the railroad. It was easier and faster to transport goods such as; lumber, grain, corn, etc. to the Eastern United States. Farming changed with railroads because farmers could put their products and animals on the trains and make money. Within the first 10 years of completion the railroad had shipped over $50 million in goods. Products were not just being shipped to the east, raw materials for building houses were sent by railroad to the settlers in the west. The railroad just do not transport goods, it also transports people. Riding on a train was a luxury compared to a horse or stage coach. The ride was much smoother and more spacious. Passengers could enjoy meals while still being on the train, and sleep in their cabins if they choose. The most important aspect though was how much time it saved. Riding on a train from New York to San Francisco took only 6

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