On the first of January, 1853, there were in the United States, 13,227 miles of completed railroad, 12,928 miles ot railroad in various stages of progress, and about 7000 miles in the hands of the engineers, which will be built within the next three or lour years—making a total of 33,155 miles of railroad, which will soon traverse the country, and which, at an average cost of $30,000 (a well ascertained average) tor each mile of road, including equipments, etc., will have consumed a capital amounting to $994,650,000. 13,227 miles completed $306,810,000 12,928 miles in progress, 387;840,000 7,000 miles under survey, 210,000,000 33,155 Total - - $994,650,000 Or, in round numbers, one billion of dollars. In all human probability, by the end of the next five years the United States will have more miles of railway than all the rest of the world. There are now in operation in the United States about 24,000 miles ot telegraphic wires, or more than double the amount in other parts of the world.
This article was originally published with the title "Railroads in the United States" in Scientific American 8, 30, 234 (April 1853)