In recent decades, nothing has shaped the Wild West of the New World more than the introduction of railroads. While some settlers in the West predated the Civil War, the end of the war saw a huge flood of new migration west. After the Civil War, westward expansion became a new priority and many recently freed slaves and recently discharged soldiers from both sides traveled west seeking their fortunes in the frontier. The creation of transcontinental railroads allowed for even greater movement of people and especially manufactured goods. Railroad lines often ran parallel to telegraph lines which expediated long distance communication much how railroads sped up long distance movement. Railroads give a new dimension to argue and fight over. Life in the West is hard and people are likely to feud over mineral rights, land, and even food. Now access to railroads is a prize being fought over. The railroad barons are all fighting to make their mark and economically dominate as much of the West as possible controlling the movement, buying, and selling of various goods. The most famous railroad baron in the West is, Lordroid Goldmann, the richest dwarf in the West.
Passenger trains are still a relatively new innovation. Trains are uncomfortable and fairly slow needing to make frequent stops, especially in the West. Trains are mostly used for the movement of cargo more than people.
Access & Availability
Railroads are generally very accessible to humans, dwarves, and elves and far less accessible to the other races in the West. Much like everything else, wealthy people have access to nicer train cars and nicer imported goods than poorer people who at best can afford to buy manufactured can and goods and the like from rail road stores.
Steam powered locomotives were a derivative of steam powered war machines. The Old World had steam technology centuries ago, but much of it was lost in the Dark Ages. A Renaissance of Steam Power overtook the Old World and the east coast of the New World about a hundred years ago.