Regarding the specific type of mental condition believed to have been caused by the trains, Professor Amy-Milne Smith, a cultural historian at Wilfrid Laurier University, notes that “railway madmen would have all likely be seen as suffering mania.” Medical journals at the time were very concerned about how railway madmen could be detected when their madness might lie latent.
____________________ See y'all later, Forrest. Screw the rivets, I'm building for atmosphere
People have always thought something new was going to drive you mad or kill you. People didn’t know for sure if a person could eat or drink in space, for example, until they started putting people up there in capsules. And that was even after sending up dogs, then chimps.
The thing about the original railroads that always cracked me up was the assertion that people wouldn’t be able to breathe at the insane speeds of 30-40 MPH on a train. Never mind that people had gone that fast countless times on the backs of horses in sprints and in wagons over several centuries before that!