What if the trains were invented and commercially run earlier.

Can you be more specific? Commercial railways actually predate the use of steam engines. Horse drawn wagon trains running on tracks called wagonways have been around since at least 600 BC.
 
Whata the benefit as opposed to roads?
Faster, more durable, and better able to carry heavy loads as compared to unpaved pre-modern roads plus it's cheaper than paving the whole road. An unpaved road would turn to rutted mud pretty quickly under constant heavy traffic. Early wagonways were used for things like gravel or coal, really weighty bulky goods.
 

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Faster, more durable, and better able to carry heavy loads as compared to unpaved pre-modern roads plus it's cheaper than paving the whole road. An unpaved road would turn to rutted mud pretty quickly under constant heavy traffic. Early wagonways were used for things like gravel or coal, really weighty bulky goods.
And probably less bumpy, too.

Cool, thanks, didnt know of that. One thing that comes to mind is thst perhaps the wagons could be pulles along by a pulley system powered by a water mill or something.
 
And probably less bumpy, too.

Cool, thanks, didnt know of that. One thing that comes to mind is thst perhaps the wagons could be pulles along by a pulley system powered by a water mill or something.
This is basically otl. Look up "winding engines".

OP needs to add more detail to his question.
 
Faster, more durable, and better able to carry heavy loads as compared to unpaved pre-modern roads plus it's cheaper than paving the whole road. An unpaved road would turn to rutted mud pretty quickly under constant heavy traffic. Early wagonways were used for things like gravel or coal, really weighty bulky goods.
Was thinking about this the other day. the horse rail is usually touted in positive terms, yet it didn't become a large scale thing. So, I'm guessing that there's some reason(s) that it wasn't advantageous/economically viable enough to be a happening thing.
 
Was thinking about this the other day. the horse rail is usually touted in positive terms, yet it didn't become a large scale thing. So, I'm guessing that there's some reason(s) that it wasn't advantageous/economically viable enough to be a happening thing.
I imagine that speed was part of it. That, and the economics of hauling bulk cargo before the steam engine. A horsecar route costs money to set up, which won’t necessarily be offset by the reduction in the number of horses needed to haul cargo. And there’s no savings of time.

And what bulk cargo was shipped prior to ~1830 that wasn’t shipped by ship?

That’s why horsecars tended to be limited to mines.

Though, in discussions of Roman-era horse-drawn railways, some have suggested that they’d be a good way to supply a Roman-held Mesopotamia, or as portage routes between rivers. In every other application, ships seemed preferable.

Europe is also well-crossed by rivers, so horsecars don’t necessarily make much sense there except maybe as portages.

That all said, the Persian Empire had a scarcity of big rivers—maybe it, or some iteration of it, would be a good place to introduce horsecars?
 
First, railroads had to compete with canals and their rich investors.

Second, you gotta move development of steam-power up a fair way. IIRC, best part of a century was 'wasted' because each inventor 'locked down' their work with patents and virulent law-suits. IIRC, about five complementary core patents had to expire before they could be used together.

Bit like the Wright Bros patented and grimly defended wing warping, front fins etc. Turned out those were dead ends, but for which flight as we know it might have been rather delayed...

Oh, and third, railroads need a lot of iron, rather more than an artisanal smithy can work...
 
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