Transportation in Canada was revolutionized in the 19th century via the creation of the railways which were powered by steam. It contributed to the very notion of nation building. Railroads played a crucial role in the tying of regions together, a process of industrialization, paving ways for new market and simultaneously developing a demand for technology and resources.
The development of railways like the Canadian Pacific Railway which was transcontinental led to the visibility of settlements located in the West which played a crucial roe in the Confederation’s expansion.
In England, mining railways came to light in the early 17th century. These railways which were powered by horses transported coal and ore from pitheads to water. A railway of this kind which is primitive may have been utilized in Canada as early as in the 1720s to move the stone that was quarried at the Louisburg fortress.
Cable cars which were moved by a steam engine that was winch driven in the 1820s were utilized in the lifting of stones in the period the Quebec Citadel was being built. Another railway was utilized when the Rideau Citadel was constructed to move stones from the quarry located at Hog’s Back, Ottawa.
The Railway Age
Steam locomotion, alongside the minimal rolling friction, ensured that the first of the iconic railway engineers known as George Stephenson was able to design the Manchester and Liverpool railway in 1830 which was what kick-started the railway age in England.
There were about 2100km of rail in the British Isles as at 1841, and The Mania which was the promotion of railways was on the way as at 1844. Lots of the lasting traits of the railway were developed in this early period ranging from the standard gauge and steam locomotion.
Early Railways in British North America
The Railway fever arrived much later to British North America. The colony consisted of a little population and majority of its capital was concentrated in the expansion of its inland waterways and canals. Nonetheless, it wasn’t long before the possible significance was observed by entrepreneurs and politicians who decided to delve into it.