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Where would America be without railways? Well, the one thing we can be certain about is that they would not be the dominant world force that they are today. Back in the early days of the USA (before it was the USA as well), the land was wild and untamed. Travel was difficult and dangerous, with trips taking months to complete, and often resulting in the death of more than a few of the travellers. Some expeditions were even known to have resorted to cannibalism. Fast forward a hundred years or so, and you find yourself in an America that exists in two halves. There are long established regions on the east coast, and burgeoning and expanding towns and cities towards the west. Still, however, travel was dangerous and time consuming. The railways united the two disparate halves of the United States, making them truly united. What’s more, the quick and easy transit made it possible for manufacturers to sell their goods across the entire country, improving the industry and paving the way for the country to take up its mantle as one of the leading political, social and economic powers in the world. NB