What were they made of?
Railroads were built of good old fashion iron. Iron was known to be used all the way back to the Medieval Ages, making it a well known, sturdy material. Wood was also used for making supports for the railroads, also called ¨railroad ties.¨
How long were they?
Railroads were quite extensive, as they had lots of materials to transport. There was approximately 22,000 miles of track in the north and about 9,500 miles in the south.
Who built them?
Many people might think that because they were used by the government, they were built by the government, but that is not the case. Wealthy civilians actually built the railroads.
What were they used for?
The railroads' main purpose was to deliver uniforms, weapons, and gear such as food and ammo, to troops.
How were they powered?
Trains were fueled by wood, and because of the lack of workers at the time, (with the war going on) wood was a rare material to come by. Some times, workers would have to stop on the side of the road to chop trees and fuel their train.
Trains and railroads were a vital part in the civil war, and 9 out of 16 historians agree. I think that either side wouldn't have survived the war with the massive struggle that would have come with the loss of the railroad.