With over 400 high quality maps, plans, and photographs this book brings the subject to life, revealing all aspects of rail transportation and technology. It maps the spread of the networks across the country, showing the stations and important intersections, the layout and location of major bridges and tunnels, and much more. It examines railroad technology, from the early steam engines, through diesel and electric locomotives. It also details the building of stations, railroad constructions and factories that grew up around the railroad network. Social history is explored, covering the movement of people, farm produce and manufactured goods, giving a real insight into the role that rail transportation played.