Railways in Colonial India

Railways in Colonial India

This post contains an explanation of Railways in Colonial India.

Railways in Colonial India

The gradual development of steam-engine drawn railway lines in England after the first Darlington-Stockton rail was built (1825), substantially affected the iron and coal industries in Britain, which provided rolling stock, rail etc.

The railways contributed to “economies of scale”, because, for a variety of industries, they cut down the time taken for transport. If cotton had been crucial to the economy of industrial capitalism to the 1840s, it was coal and iron which led thereafter.

Much of the industrial expansion of this period was the consequence of the large amounts of capital generated during the early phase of the industrial revolution. Such capital inevitably flowed to railways, given their considerable attractions (the Stockton Darlington generated 15% interest on investment in 1839-41, and the Liverpool-Manchester, a 10% dividend in 1830). From 1860, with increasing competition from European economies and the economy of the United States, the international position of British industrial capitalism declined. The consequence was the resort to underdeveloped and colonial markets which became increasingly important to the country by the end of the nineteenth century.

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