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Baltimore And Ohio Railroad Essay

2111 words - 8 pages

One of America’s oldest railroads, known as the first common-carrier railroad, was chartered on February 28th 1827, by a group of Baltimore businessmen. The main objective of the railway was to ensure traffic would not be lost to the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, which was proposed and ground broken the same time as the railroad. The new railroad was a big invention, which allowed people and freight to travel by train. This was a huge improvement for the United States, since everything was becoming more advanced in other countries. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company is the great railroad that owns up to the big title of “The First Common Carrier.” The B&O railroad has a rich history dealing with its background, building, competition, growth tactics, numerous raids, and involvement in the Civil War.
The Baltimore and Ohio railroad has a very interesting background on why it started. Many years after the American Revolution a large number of people began to migrate west over the Cumberland Narrows, which is two mountains with a narrow gap in-between located in western Maryland. The Cumberland Narrows was also an early traveling path to the boat building centers located in Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh. It was also the same route George Washington took for Braddock’s Expedition, an attempt to capture the French Fort Duquesne which failed. The route had become famous as the Cumberland Road which was one of the five passes through the rough Appalachians. Now that multitudes of people were moving to the West, it was a chance to make profit. While water transport and travel was the hottest technology of the day, some of Baltimore’s business community wanted something new and different that would also generate wealth. The intelligent community wanted to create a faster way to transport goods to boat building centers in Brownsville, with the capabilities to transport both freight and passengers. This new idea would give Baltimore an advantage over other cities by servicing the multitudes of people heading to the west at a faster pace than water travel. This is what started the plans to create the B&O Railroad that would bring in great profit from its success.
The building of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was a great success. It was Baltimore’s most important business decision at that time and provided economic development for the city and port for many years. The railroad opened faster travel to the inner areas of the United States, giving it a big advantage over water travel. Constructing the B&O Railroad became a learning ground for contractors and engineers, who would later use the techniques to build other railroads throughout the U.S. The B&O Railroad was chartered in 1827 on February 28th and Construction began in 1828 on July 4th. On July 4th of 1828 there was a grand ceremony with the laying of the first stone by Charles Carroll, who was the last living signee of the Declaration of Independence at the age of ninety. President John Quincy...

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