How the spread of railways led to the decline of forests between 1850s and 1920s?
Railways were considered vital for colonial trade and for the movement of imperial troops. Wood was used as a fuel in locomotives. Vast chunks of forests were destroyed to lay railway sleepers. It has been estimated that about 1,760 to 2,000 sleepers were required for laying down one mile of railway track. As the network of railways began to expand, more trees were fell indiscriminately. Further, the government gave contracts to private individuals to supply wood. These contractors cut down the trees indiscriminately.
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