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- This map, produced in the 1920s by the Transportation Department of the United States Department of Commerce, shows the railroads and rail stations of Jamaica, at that time a crown colony within the British Empire. Also shown are the island’s main roads and its three counties—Cornwall, Middlesex, and Surrey—and their borders. The scale of the map is in statute miles (1 mile = 1.61 kilometers). The Western Jamaica Connecting Railway was built in 1845. Running from Kingston to Angels, a distance of some 23 kilometers, it was the first railroad constructed anywhere outside Europe or North America. The Jamaican railroad system was expanded throughout the 1900s, mainly for the purpose of bringing sugar and other products to the ports of Kingston, Port Antonio, and Montego Bay. Expansion of the railway in the late-19th century opened up the interior of the country to farming and the establishment of banana and citrus plantations. The map is held in the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS). After approximately 300 years of British rule, Jamaica gained its independence in 1962. It joined the OAS in 1969.
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