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Railway mania

Railway mania was the term given to the speculative frenzy in Britain in the 1840s. It followed a common pattern: as the price of railway shares increased, more and more money was poured in by speculators, until the inevitable collapse.

Unlike some stock market bubbles, however, there was actually a net tangible result from all the investment: a vast expansion of the British railway system,though perhaps at an inflated cost.

The line in Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark, "They threatened its life with a railway share" [1] (http://www.underthesun.cc/Classics/Carroll/snark/snark6), is a reference to the Railway mania and those who lost money investing in it.

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