The steam locomotive changed the course of civilisation. For the first time, people could build efficient transportation systems without water and ships. Trains were land barges that could go anywhere tracks could take them. Compared to digging a canal, tracks were incredibly inexpensive and versatile. Tracks could go over mountains, across deserts, through tunnels — places where canals could never go. The steam locomotive got a modest start in the United States in 1830 with the Tom Thumb. The steam-powered piston engine on the Tom Thumb generated only 1.4 horsepower (1,000 watts) by burning coal in a small boiler, but it was enough to carry a car full of passengers at 18 mph (29 kph) over 13 miles of track. One hundred and eleven years later, engineers had brought the steam locomotive to its zenith with the Big Boy engine for the Union Pacific railroad. Big Boy was utterly gigantic, weighing over a million pounds with its required tender carrying coal and water, and measuring 85 feet (26 meters) long. It could develop 6,000 horsepower (4.5 million watts) and had two separate sets of drive wheels powered by their own cylinders. Twenty-five Big Boy locomotives were built and each one traveled an average of one million miles before diesel locomotives replaced them. In between, there was the classic steam engine that you would see in old westerns — the kind with the cow pusher on the front, the big funnel smokestack, and the cab in the back for the engineers. This is the kind of steam engine you see in the golden spike photo for the transcontinental railroad. Jupiter was built in 1868 and used a wood-fired boiler. It remained in service for 41 years. Steam locomotives made the coast-to-coast movement of freight possible. They also made it possible to travel from New York to San Francisco in just a week and for thousands of towns to spring up along the railroads. They played a huge role in the Civil War, moving soldiers and materiel. Engineers built a whole new transportation modality that changed the course of history. >Later steam locomotives like this one were developed based on the Tom Thumb, America's first.