Cover for TAYLOR: The American Railroad Network, 1861-1890. Click for larger image

The American Railroad Network, 1861-1890

The emergence of railroads during the Civil War, their expansion westward, the adoption of uniform rail gauges, and the first key consolidations in the industry.

Rapid population growth in the Great Plains and the American West after the Civil War was the result not only of railroad expansion but of a collaboration among competing railroads to adopt a uniform width for track. The American Railroad Network, 1861-1890 shows how the consolidation of smaller railroads and the growth of capitalism worked to unify the fragmented railroad industry through standardization.

George Rogers Taylor and Irene D. Neu cover the emergence of railroads before and during the Civil War, their expansions westward, the gradual adoption of a national rail gauge, and the development of standardized equipment and car interchange rules that set examples for American industry in general.

A pioneering work first published in 1956, The American Railroad Network, 1861-1890 provides a framework for understanding how advancements in technology are both impeded and fostered by political processes and commercial pressures. This paperback edition features three full-color fold-out maps and a new introduction by Railroad History editor Mark Reutter.

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