The rise of the railroads was a key development in American culture that not only changed the way of life, but encouraged settlement westward, improved communication throughout the nation, connected the east and west, and convinced American transportation. As the railroad grew larger, dependence on its quick and cheap transportation grew not only for people, but for market goods as well. In building the railroad, much decision making had to be done on the pros and cons of the new method of transportation.
Impacts of the Railroad
As the railroad industry continued to grow, it brought many other changes as well. It transformed depot towns into vital cities along the way of transportation. Easier and faster travel led to more contact and spread of technological advances from the East. This accelerated the Industrial Revolution. Also, "railroad time" developed the modern-day time zones. The rise of the railroads led to Congress allowing money loans to two favored- cross continent companies; the union pacific in the east and the central pacific in the west. These two railroads would eventually meet at Promontory point and connect Americans in a way like never before. However building the rails was dangerous work, and so the United States assigned Chinese immigrants for the jobs.
As the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads joined at Promontory point, they formed the transcontinental railroad binding the country together in communication, technology, and transportation of people and goods.
The railroad also caused a series of inventions such as the Bessemer Process. This process was removing of impurities from the iron by oxidation with air being blown through the molten iron. It was a process that was cheaper and faster making steel railroads possible. This invention furthered the railroad industry and contributed to the growth on the industrial revolution.