The world between 1914 and 1964 was brought closer by new means of transport.
In this period, great railroads were planned and finished, including the Chinese Eastern Railway (1897-1903), Transandine Railway (1887-1914), Trans-Siberian Railroad (1891-1916), Trans-Australian Railway (1912-1917), the railway network of India (1853-1920), Cape to Cairo Railway (1854-1930), Trans-Central Asian Railway, Baghdad Railway (1903-1935), Trans-Sahara Railway (1930-1940), and Pan-American Railroad.
The chief innovations occurred in air transport, from the fabled attempts of the first pioneers to transnational airline companies. By the end of the 1950s, air transport ceased to be a luxury of the rich, and became a common way to shuttle the common man between continents.
Aviation progressed from the piston-engine propeller to radial and jet engines. The simple propeller-driven aircraft shared the skies with lighter-than-air airships, versatile autogyros and helicopters, common propeller- and jet-driven airplanes, and exotic ekranoplanes.
A number of nations operate airships. Britain (Imperial Airship Services, later Imperial Airways), the United States (Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation) and Germany (Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft, DELAG) are the main operators of rigid airships, with Italy (Società Italiana Servizi Aerei, SISA) and France (Société Astra, later Air France) using them to a lesser extent. Italy, the FSR (Dobrolyot later Aeroflot), the United States, and Japan (Japan Air Transport Corporation, later Imperial Japanese Airways) mainly use semirigid airships.