Source: adapted from G. Campbell, “The Dividend Mania: Stock prices
and dividends during the Railway Mania”, Social Sciences Research Network,
Working Paper Series.
Length of the British Railway System, 1830-1860
The initial developments of railways in Great Britain were characterized
by phases of booms and bust. Like all new technologies, its commercial
potential remains uncertain, which can lead to high expectations and
temporary overinvestment (bubble behavior). One revealing example was
the railway mania of the 1840s, which cumulated in 1846. By the 1860s,
growth rates stabilized around 5%.