We traveled at least eighteen miles an hour when at full speed, and made the whole distance averaging as much as twelve miles an hour. This seemed like annihilating space.
Ulysses S. Grant's comments on his first experience with rail travel reflect how the locomotive changed people's concept of distance. The railroad opened up geographic areas that were previously inaccessible and in doing so "destroyed" space by reducing the distance between two points. Summarizing the railroad's success, Grant concluded that the perfection of rapid transit had been reached.
William Henry Jackson's photograph shows a train on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad passing through a remote wilderness area. The recently deforested hill above the train's path provided lumber for trestles and for the ties beneath the railroad's iron rails.