Thank you for the opportunity to help you with your question!
The short answer: Yes. It opened up many markets for farmers and merchants.
The long answer: Absolutely not. The expression "railroad baron" exists for a reason. The expansion of railroads, at least in the United States, was run by a very tight oligopoly that wielded all power. Therefore, in order to do business, merchants and farmers were beholden to every whim of the railroad barons.
Please let me know if you need any clarification. I'm always happy to answer your questions.
Oct 21st, 2015
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