This article concerns German railway cartography in the mid-nineteenth century and its effects on spatio-political perceptions. The evolution of a railway system in Germany, from isolated single routes into national and ultimately international networks, has been customarily linked to the political issue of unification in 1871. The infrastructural changes triggered the introduction of new maps and map signs, which overshadowed other national and political signs and should not be seen as a simple means to a nationalist end. By examining the developing iconography of railways and railway networks, I argue that railways were a cause of deterritorialization for regions and states and for the vision of a unified Germany.
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