Video: The Age of Rail

National Association of Scholars

In the 1830s, railroads sprang up across America, opening a new world of possibilities for business and daily life. By 1840, nearly 3,000 miles of railroad were in operation across the country, and by 1850, that number had grown to 9,000—as much as the rest of the world combined.

How did the railroad transform American transportation? How were railroads and locomotives viewed in the popular imagination at the time of their creation? Who were key figures responsible for developing the rail lines and trains that came into widespread use? And what forces led to the creation of the transcontinental railroad?

This webinar features Thomas Cornillie, an independent scholar who focuses on railways and public transportation in the United States and around the world; Robert Gallamore, a nationally known expert in railroad economics and former director of the Transportation Center and professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University; and Christian Wolmar, an award-winning writer and broadcaster specializing in transport and author of a series of books on railway history. The discussion is moderated by David Randall, Director of Research at the National Association of Scholars.

You can find a list of the speakers' books available for purchase here.

Image: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

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