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Toll roads. Massachusetts developed a turnpike (toll) system for wagon roads in the early 1800s including most of the route from Boston to New Bedford. For example, the New Bedford and Bridgewater Turnpike charged tolls from 1807 to 1847.[1] Most of these early pathways continue as roads today. Modern freeways usually parallel the older road systems.

Decline. However, the use of early roads and turnpikes for moving settlers declined with the introduction of railroads. Settlers could travel faster, less expensively, and safer on railroads than on wagon roads. So, as railroads entered an area, the wagon-road traffic in that area declined. Railroad service from Boston to Taunton opened in 1835.[2] The first railroad from New Bedford to Taunton was opened in 1840.[3]


  1. Wood, map between 56 and 57, and 131-32.
  2. Taunton Branch Railroad in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 30 October 2014).
  3. New Bedford and Taunton Railroad in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 30 October 2014).
  • This page was last modified on 30 October 2014, at 15:36.
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