Following the civil war, railroad construction took off at a fast pace. In the twenty-five years between 1865 and 1890, the miles of railroad track in the United States went from 35,000 to 200,000. The enormous increase in track produced an increase in America's economy.
The farming economy was greatly helped by the expansion of the railroad system. The railroad became one of the main and most efficient ways to transport farmers produce. This was especially helpful to farms in remote locations. The expanded railroad system enabled farmers to produce more crops because of the greater potential shipping locations that became available. This also made products such as corn and grain available to locations that the crop wasn't produced in. It made things that used to be a luxury to some regions a common item to have.
The increasing railroad was also beneficial to cities economies that had tracks running through them. It helped the city import and export goods, which helped produce and ship better products in a timelier manner to a larger amount of people and businesses. More potential customers lead to larger factories and companies, which lead to more jobs being available to people. These cities also generated more people coming in by train. It provided people with a time efficient way to travel to visit family and take trips. In a way, the railroad system made the United States seem a lot smaller than it was previous to the civil war.
Another way the railroad system changed America was the way people went about their daily life in general. Before arrival and departure times of trains, the concept of time wasn't as important. Afterwards, however, people became accustomed to picking things up, meeting people, or getting on trains at certain times. As distance became less important, time became more important. It is this concept of time that has carried over to the time we presently live in. We are oriented around times and dates, from airline departures and arrivals to work schedules to social events.