Everyday, as I take the Campus Connector to the St. Paul campus and back, I stare out the window on the north side of the bus and watch the rail yard. You see, I have a fascination with trains. I even bought a train simulator computer game at Target for $7.50. Trains are one of those things that people take for granted these days, albeit one of many. The complexity and versatility of the behemoths are often underplayed in the goings on of everyday life for most of us, but without them we wouldn't have many of the everyday essentials that we need, such as oil, coal (for energy), and corn syrup. Trains haul everything. Cattle, cars and everything in between are shipped across the country using trains on a daily basis, as well as hundreds of thousands of shipping crates from around the world.
It also gave us the opportunity to travel across the country in the 1800's by means other than covered wagon. The locomotive was one of the original modes of transportation, and the steam engine paved the way for the internal combustion engine commonly used today. Of course, lost in translation was the cross country travel in the covered wagon, but that was not the highlight of many people's days. However, it connected our country and our world like nothing before, and made our world much more productive. It truly revolutionized the world.