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The Pennsylvania Mainline of Public Works, authorized and begun by Governor John Andrew Schulze in 1826, was the main transportation artery across Pennsylvania from the beginning of its operations in 1828 until the Pennsylvania Railroad purchased it in 1857. Though it was only in service for about thirty years, the Mainline was instrumental in shaping and affecting individuals, both passengers and employees of the canal; as well as Pennsylvania towns such as Saltsburg, Alexandria, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. This in turn affected national commerce.