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Railroads in the west got rights of way for as much as ten miles on either side of the tracks. Towns sprang up where steam locomotives had to stop to get water. In those towns, the railroads built storage silos to accumulate the farmers' crops until a quantity was sufficient to load grain cars in an economical way. If a farmer did not use the railroad silos and the railroad cars, the crops would spoil before they could be transported in any other way to processing plants. There was no alternative, there was no competition. Whatever the railroad charged was the monopoly cost of getting that season's crop to market.

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Q: Why were railroads able to charge high prices to carry farmers' products?
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