Railways. A case in the history of industrial heritage II
Transportation and distribution have served as the secondary component to significant industrial expansion after energy and power transformed modes of production. Expanding production permitted increases in output demanding a means to both bring new materials into industrialized regions and export products to markets. Canals and shipping provided the earliest forms of bulk transportation but were limited by capacity, geography, and environmental factors. The combination of power and railways introduced a sizable and significant means to increase transportation and production, and reach otherwise inaccessible landscapes, and thereby affect a vast number of peoples lives in myriad ways. From the mid 19th century through today, rail and motive technology grew increasingly complex, overcoming vast distances and complex terrains. While energy, power, and production are all hallmarks of industrialization, it is the introduction of railways that facilitated explosive growth in some cases and initial growth in others. These papers explore ways of documenting, conserving, and understanding significant rail networks often in the face of poor national support with an emphasis on early Chinese, Indian, Balkan, Brazilian, and forest railways.