Full text: Modern business geography

Modern Business Geography 
Fi16. 133. The railroad mileage of the different continents in 1923, from the latest figures available. 
North America has almost half of the total mileage. Compare this map with Figure 158 (page 236) 
and Figure 176 (page 284). With which of the two does it correspond more nearly ? 
One reason for the contrast between the United States and Europe 
is the size of the countries. Our own country is so large and the popu- 
lation so scattered that people take long journeys. The passengers 
need room to move around and to make themselves comfortable, and 
thus corridors are necessary. People must be provided with food, 
either in dining cars or at regular restaurant stations, and they must 
have places to sleep. In western Europe, on the other hand, trains 
rarely run beyond the limits of a single country. The countries are so 
small and the great cities are so close together that journeys of more 
than ten or twelve hours are rare, and therefore there is little need 
of so many conveniences to make people comfortable. In the larger 
countries, however, such as the former Austrian Empire and especially 
Russia, the distances are so great that people take long journeys, 
as they do in the United States. and there the trains are more like 
How electric railways are useful. Electric railways, or tramways, 
as they are called in Europe, are a type of railroad especially adapted 
to cities and their suburbs. There they transport passengers and 
freight for short distances much more easily and cheaply than can 
railroads. One reason is that their tracks cost much less than those of 
ordinary railroads. Moreover, their right of way — that is, the privi- 
lege of running in the street — costs little or nothing. Since the 
streets have already been graded and since the light cars can climb 
steep grades, little cutting, filling, and tunneling have to be done.

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