The expansion of low-cost carriers is now a reality.
These natural advantages make possible the production of pig iron at an unusually low cost.
It is adapted for light, high-speed service, and noted for its simplicity, excellent riding qualities, low cost of maintenance, and high mechanical efficiency; but having limited adhesive weight it is unsuitable for starting and accelerating heavy trains.
A comparatively low cost of labour, the fact that labour is not, as in the days of slavery, that of unintelligent blacks but of intelligent free labourers, the centralized organization and modern methods that prevail on the plantations, the remarkable fertility of the soil (which yields 5 or 6 crops on good soil and with good management, without replanting), and the proximity of the United States, in whose markets Cuba disposes of almost all her crop, have long enabled her to distance her smaller West Indian rivals and to compete with the bounty-fed beet.
But it was not until the dynamo was improved as a machine for generating large quantities of electricity at a very low cost that the electrolysis of copper could be practised on a commercial scale.