Railway Nationalism and «Railway Imperialism» in Colombia and The Economic Decline of Santander, 1907–1918

Abstract: This article explores the development of railway nationalism and «railway imperialism» within Colombian politics during the early 20th century. It uses the experience of the hitherto unstudied Great Northern Central Railway of Colombia British «free-standing company» as a lens to evaluate the way in which these political currents impacted railway development in the Colombian department of Santander. It argues that the rise of railway nationalism intertwined with regionalism and personal interests represents an important and unacknowledged factor in the collapse of the British company, as well as the overall lack of railway expansion and subsequent economic decline in the department.