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Ontario railways before 1880: a scrap-iron bonanza

Ontario railways before 1880: a scrap-iron bonanza The construction of the first generation of railways in Ontario, Canada, was undertaken without the benefit of adequate capital investment. The result was cheaply-built track and rolling stock that wore out with unanticipated rapidity. Substantial replacement and design changes became a part of the railroad-building process. The failure – sometimes with catastrophic results – of poor quality iron rails, wheels, boilers and castings of every description yielded a steady flow of scrap iron from before 1860 onward, and estimates its volume form a central aspect of this paper. Railroad scrap peaked in the 1870s as hundreds of miles of new, more durable steel rails replaced iron ones. This surge of scrap iron fed a flourishing foundry business in southern Ontario late in the 19th century, and quite possibly retarded the establishment of Canada's domestic steel industry. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Progress in Industrial Ecology, an International Journal Inderscience Publishers

Ontario railways before 1880: a scrap-iron bonanza

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Publisher
Inderscience Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. All rights reserved
ISSN
1476-8917
eISSN
1478-8764
Publisher site
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Abstract

The construction of the first generation of railways in Ontario, Canada, was undertaken without the benefit of adequate capital investment. The result was cheaply-built track and rolling stock that wore out with unanticipated rapidity. Substantial replacement and design changes became a part of the railroad-building process. The failure – sometimes with catastrophic results – of poor quality iron rails, wheels, boilers and castings of every description yielded a steady flow of scrap iron from before 1860 onward, and estimates its volume form a central aspect of this paper. Railroad scrap peaked in the 1870s as hundreds of miles of new, more durable steel rails replaced iron ones. This surge of scrap iron fed a flourishing foundry business in southern Ontario late in the 19th century, and quite possibly retarded the establishment of Canada's domestic steel industry.

Journal

Progress in Industrial Ecology, an International JournalInderscience Publishers

Published: Jan 1, 2006

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