The Great Railroad Revolution In this book Christian Wolmar tells the extraordinary social history of how the US railroad built modern America. The opening of the first American railroad line in the 1830s sparked a revolution in mode, speed and convenience that united far-flung parts of the country and enabled America's rise to world power status. Every American town, great or small, aspired to be connected to a railroad and by the turn of the century, almost every American lived within access of a station. The history covers from the Civil War to the completion of the Transcontinental Line in 1869 and up to today. Maps included. Softbound. 383 pages.