Facts About Trains

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People in the past build trains for the basic purpose of transporting people and goods from one place to another.  Using tracks, trains have become very useful to people for personal travel and business purposes.  The early trains were powered by steam or pulled by horses with some types relying on gravity to move the cars or carriages from one point to another.  Modern trains run on electricity or special technology making them faster, safer, and more efficient.  The following are some facts about trains:

Fact 1:  The first steam-powered train was no match to its horse-drawn counterpart.  Back in 1830, the US’ first train that is powered by a steam engine ran a race against the traditional train being drawn by a horse.  The steam-powered train may have led the race at the start but eventually lost because of engine problems.

Fact 2:  Japan is one of the first nations to build high-speed trains.  Locally known as shinkansen or bullet trains, these modern trains can travel to speeds of more than 300 kilometers per hour.

Fact 3:  The first underground railway for trains was built in London.  This significant part of history led to the opening of the famous Channel Tunnel that links the UK and France through an underground and underwater railway.

Fact 4: The longest railway route can be found in Russia. This railway is more than 9000 kilometers long and connects from Moscow in the West to Vladivostok in the East. Referred to as the Trans-Siberian Express railway, this route remains to be the longest train route in the world.

Fact 5:  Australia claims the honor of having the longest stretch of a perfectly straight train track.  At 478 meters in length, this part of the Australian railway provides a long straight journey.

Fact 6:  The French TGV bullet train holds the record of being the fastest train in the world.  This particular train clocked a speed of 584 kilometers per hour.  With this kind of speed, the French TGV bullet train needed 16 kilometers to fully halt to a stop after braking.

Fact 7:  Trains provided much needed support to US soldiers during the American Civil War.  The trains were heavily used to transport troops and artillery which eventually led to the winning of the North over the Confederate soldiers of the South.

Fact 8:  Trains also paved the way for the standardization of time in many parts of the world including the US.  With train travel, people in the past were basically confronted with concerns regarding train schedules in terms of arrivals and departures.  With this need, standardization of time was created in the US and this led to the implementation of four different time zones.

Fact 9:  Modern high-speed trains rely on magnets.  The technology behind high-speed trains is called magnetic levitation and this involves having the carriages or trains literally levitated from the tracks using magnets.

Fact 10:  Travel in trains led to the establishment of travel agencies.  A train excursion held in 1841 headed by Thomas Cook involved 540 people travelling to London for an event.  This excursion used tickets for travel on the train with a meal.  The success of this trip eventually inspired people to come up with travel itineraries and inclusions much like the travel agencies of the present times.

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