Showing posts from February, 2023

The St. Lawrence and Industry Village Railroad, 1847-1881 by Alain Bernier

Guest blogger Alain Bernier returns to us to discuss another forgotten part of Quebec's railroad heritage, the St Lawrence & Industry Village Railroad ! Once again, i f you'd be interested in doing a guest blog yourself, feel free to reach out, we always appreciate those willing to help add relevant content to our site!  The St. Lawrence and Industry Village Railroad, 1847-1881 © Alain Bernier, 2023 In Canada, as in many other countries, up until the second half of the 19th century, rivers and canals provided the main routes for long distance travel for goods and people.  Yet, the course of rivers did not always provide the shortest or most practical route between two destinations.  For example, to ship goods from Montreal, QC to upstate New York in the early 19 th century, ships and barges had to navigate down the St. Lawrence River to Sorel, QC where they would enter the Richelieu River, going upstream to Lake Champlain.  The first part of the journey up the river would

The 10 Most Pointless US Highways

Much like the Interstate Highway System , there exist in the United States some head-scratching US Highways and alignments that make you question how and, more importantly, why, these routes continue to exist.  The US Highway System predates the Interstate Highway System by about 30 years, and as such, there were some routes that were eliminated, consolidated, or supplanted by the new Interstate System. The website US Ends tracks the changes and eliminations in US Highways quite well, and we use them a lot for research when discussing US Highways.  AASHTO even went as far to enact policy to remove all US Highways that are less than 300 miles in length unless they exist in more than one state. Interestingly, there exist numerous routes, some on this list and some outside of it, that just enter a second state so that the policy above would not apply. Wherever there is a loophole, it will be exploited I suppose. However, some routes fit neither of these criteria, and nonetheless continu

The Panic of 1873

The Panic of 1873 was a financial crisis that occurred in the United States in the Fall of 1873, lasting until the spring of 1879. The crisis was caused by a variety of factors, including overproduction, overbuilding, and speculation in the railroad and other industries, as well as a decrease in the supply of gold. The railroad industry, being the second largest employer at the time, was in full expansion mode, and rich tycoons were vying for rail traffic and playing a zero-sum game amongst themselves in an attempt to try to monopolize traffic and routes. One could liken the Panic to the cryptocurrency crash of 2022 in the sense of the intense speculation and over-leveraging of companies, but the Panic of 1873 lasted much longer and had a much more profound impact on the global economy. During the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War, the United States experienced a period of rapid industrialization and economic growth. This growth was fueled in part by the construction of the