The construction of the indian railways is often pointed to by apologists for empire as one of the ways in which british colonialism benefited the subcontinent ignoring the obvious fact that many . The british were at the forefront of railway development for the first fifty years of the nineteenth century railway empire tells the story of how the british gave railways to the world not only in the empire but also in other countries outside areas of direct influence. British empire canada in canada the national government strongly supported railway construction for political goals first it wanted to knit the far flung provinces together and second it wanted to maximize trade inside canada and minimize trade with the united states to avoid becoming an economic satellite. There were more than a thousand british narrow gauge railways ranging from large historically significant common carriers to small in 1804 richard trevithick demonstrated the first locomotive hauled railway in the world the 4 ft 1219 mm gauge penydarren tramway in south wales. British empire colonial colonial colony imperialtransport train railways steam engines colonies imperialism stephen luscombe empire history the nineteenth century saw many technological changes but none of them were to have as wide repurcussions as the invention of the train
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