How did the Transcontinental Railroad transform American industry after the Civil War?

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The Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, connecting Omaha, Nebraska and the railroads that fed into it with San Francisco, California across a 1,912 mile route.

In less than 10 years of the railroad's completion, it was shipping roughly $50 million of freight from the east to the west coast...

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The Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, connecting Omaha, Nebraska and the railroads that fed into it with San Francisco, California across a 1,912 mile route.

In less than 10 years of the railroad's completion, it was shipping roughly $50 million of freight from the east to the west coast and vice versa, annually. This meant that raw resources could be moved to industrial centers faster, increasing manufacturing times and driving down costs, as the expense of moving material overland was significantly less than that of shipping, which required a long and perilous journey underneath South America's Cape Horn.

By 1900, largely as a result of the success of the Transcontinental Railroad, the United States was producing approximately 30 percent of the world's manufactured goods.

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After the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, the trip from New York to California became much shorter. The trip took about a week, while before the railroad was built, travelers had to make a long and dangerous journey across the ocean and across Panama. The shipping of goods from coast to coast became much faster and far less expensive, and trade across the continent greatly increased. For example, a decade after the railroad opened, freight worth $50 million was transported on the railroad from coast to coast each year. Producers on the west coast could now have access to markets in the east, and those in the east could ship products west. In addition, products from the middle of the country were developed and brought to market. In addition, the railroad facilitated westward expansion and the growth of industrial centers in the west.

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