Railroads were the nation’s bloodstream, hauling people, freight, ore, agricultural products, and cattle from supply points to the far reaches of America. They fueled America’s expansion and heralded the coming of the Industrial Revolution.

The steam engine was invented in England in 1825. A year later it was in America. By the 1850’s trains were traveling at speeds of 25 mph.  Since the time of the Romans people had only been able to travel at speeds of 4 mph.

A Steam Locomotive took 1,000 gallons of water to go fifteen miles. The old steam engines had to take on water every 7-10 miles. 134 lbs. of coal to go one mile and burned six to nine tons an hour.

Tender cars came along in the 1880s that carried water and coal.

Those little locomotives moved at a snail’s pace; they called them “coffee pots” and “peanut roasters” and it was said a reasonably sober fat lady could outrun one of them in a downhill race.

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