Average train speed throughout the South before the war was about 15 miles an hour. This speed was the time from start of the day's trip to its end and includes the time spent in stations. The speed run between stations might get to 25 miles per hour, but only in certain locations and only on passenger trains. Since stress on iron rails was dependent on the weight of the load and the speed with which it passed over the rails, the railroads universally reduced their running speeds to reduce rail wear, once they saw the war would not be over in the summer of 1861. By the last year of war, the speeds were also slower because the locomotives had been denied the maintenance they required and so could no longer pull the required weight at previous speeds. There are many late-war stories of trains being unable to top hills because of weak, wheezing locomotives and trains traveling only slightly faster than a man could walk.