The chief characteristic of the history of railways in France is the speed with which a coherently organized operational system was set up. The opinion campaign waged in 1832 in favor of setting up a national railway network associated pure engineers like Lame, Clapeyron and Flachat with businessmen like Paulin Talabot and Emile Pereire. The Department of Ponts et Chaussees disposed of a coherent tradition and doctrine concerning routes of communication which allowed it to tackle the question of the railways firmly and energetically. In Great Britain, the first railway lines were built by industrial and merchant groups anxious to create better conditions for the carriage of their products. Railway operations had been in need of an efficient system of long-distance communication from the very start, if only for safety reasons. As a result a new demand for invention was engendered within the framework of railway operations with respect to the processing of information and total automation.