Annita Marshall

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  • The way of transporting passengers and goods are unimaginable without trains. Such very important visibility in history started over 200 years ago.

    The wagonways

    It started 2000 years ago in the ancient civilizations of Babylon, Greece and Egypt. The transport of people or goods that time was through carts pulled by bulls or horses. The engineers were fast to determine how animals spent lesser energy when traversing on a predetermined path. They built roads having pre-built constraints good for wheels.

    These were the first railway tracks. Their archaeological remains can still be seen in Greece and Italy. The most famous wagonways are found in Greece at the Isthmus of Corinth.

    The use of these wagonways were stopped temporarily after the Roman Empire fell. They only returned after the increased trading and industrial efforts during the European Renaissance.

    Steam engines

    During the 18th century, simple railway networks were visible in mines across Great Britain. It was not until 1774 that changes to the transport came with James Watt’s stationary steam engines.

    When his patent lapsed in 1800, investors started improving his design. The most notable one is the non-condensing pressure chambers enabling the conversion of steam power to mechanical energy.

    The first steam engines traversed in primitive tracks during 1804. Although Matthew Murray showcased his locomotive prior to Richard Trevithick’s, the latter received more attention. Trevithick’s “Penydarren” locomotive pulled 25 tons in weight and 70 people on its first ride.

    Train networks

    The commercial presence of train networks began in the late 1820s with George Stephenson’s “Rocket”. His “Rocket” won a competition which showed the world how steam trains have a great future.

    Designs of similar locomotives then reached the US.

    Intercity railway tracks and tunnels

    After the first few decades of work done publicly, London’s engineers formulated plans for intercity railway tracks as well as underground tunnels.

    The famous “London Underground” started work in 1863. It grew until 1890 when London started using electrical engines. This marked the start of an era for urban rapid transit systems. Underground Metros began to appear worldwide too.

    Modern times

    For a person living in New York commuting to work or for a tourist in a train from Hanoi to Sapa in Vietnam, trains have become an essential part of the modern world. Cities cannot live without the metro systems or industrial trains that carry people or goods across towns, countries or continents.

    Posted by AnnitaRMarshall @ 7:28 AM

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