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Setting the Stage

Historical Context

World War II put a tremendous strain on American railroads. In order to successfully wage war against the Axis Powers, the United States needed to move its troops, military supplies, and other resources quickly. The railroads assumed the burden of mobilization in addition to its regular passenger and freight traffic. Regular passenger trains quickly became overcrowded as men leaving for war packed into coaches and sleeping cars with civilians. This was a part of the largest military mobilization in history. American railroads were an integral part of the war effort. It was a long and bloody struggle that changed the history of the world.
The B&O Railroad had been a vital element in the northern war machine that successfully saved the union during the Civil War. It also played a key role in the mobilization of troops during World War I. World War II would be no different.
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