There were several improvements in rail travel in the late 1800s. Rail travel had been growing throughout the 1800s. With the improvements made in train travel in the late 1800s, train travel became even more popular.
One improvement was the use of the identical track. Individual railroad companies used to have their own tracks, which weren’t standardized. This slowed train travel when passengers had to switch trains to accommodate the different kinds of tracks that were being used.
Another improvement was the use of the double track. This allowed trains to pass each other, side by side. Before double tracks were used, when two trains were approaching on the same track, one had to back up and move to a side track to let the other train pass. This slowed travel significantly. Thus, with the use of the double track, the speed of train travel improved.
The coordination of schedules also helped. With the development of time zones in 1883, all the cities in a given time zone had the same time. This allowed for train schedules to be better coordinated, allowing for shorter layovers and, therefore, a quicker trip.
Inventions like the coupler and the air brake also improved train travel. It was quicker and easier to attach extra train cars with the coupler. The air brake made it easier to stop a train.
The improvements in rail travel in the late 1800s helped make train travel more popular.