The book, first published in 1977, contrasts new and older
approaches to the history of transport and outlines a critical
exposition of the methods used to quantify the contribution of
railways to economic growth by means of counterfactual speculation
and the measurement of social savings. The author also outlines and
appraises an alternative measure of the impact of railways, namely
the social rate of return on capital invested in railways. The
final chapters are concerned with the effects on growth generated
by the construction and diffusion of railways through expenditure
on labour, capital goods and industrial inputs and through their
effects on the integration of markets, and patterns of location.
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