Transportation was essential to the steel industry during the 1800s. Raw materials had to be delivered to the iron and steel works as quickly as possible. Then the finished product had to be transported out. The Midwest was filled with lakes and numerous other waterways. This made transportation easy and effective over these waterways. Ships delivered raw materials to the factories by traveling through the great lakes, rivers, canals, and other waterways. The same method of transportation was utilized to deliver the finished product. Another method of transportation was by train. Railroad tracks stretched across the Midwest, making it easy to deliver raw materials and finished products by train. Most iron and steel works were either located near railroad tracks or a waterway to may transportation quick and easy.