Coolest thing I learned today.
Most American goods move by truck, train, or airplane.
By train, it costs ~4 cents to move one ton of freight one mile.
By truck, ~20 cents.
By plane, ~121 cents.
And, the average U.S freight train is 6,500 feet long — more than 1 mile — long.
Some other learnings:
• It’s more expensive to transport goods by truck than by train, but trucks are more nimble.
• “Canadian National” often runs 14,000 foot trains, meaning that it would take an hour to walk from one side of the train to the other.
The Rostovian Take-Off Thesis:
Railroads were responsible for the “take-off” of American industrialization in the mid 1850s.
By decreasing transportation costs, they widened the market for economic goods.
Coal, iron, and engineering-based industries benefited the most.
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