History of Trains: Trains dominated as the means of transportation from 19th century. Today, trains are very common and popular transport for both people and cargo. However, in 1804, when the first steam powered train was built, people were worried about this mode of transportation. Some worried that the speed would shake them to the state of unconsciousness. Some others thought the speed would suffocate them and leave them breathless. Today, people are traveling on Shanghai Maglev at an average speed of 251kmph. Shanghai Maglev runs 30.5 kilometers on Shanghai Maglev Line with its maximum operational speed of 430kmph. Speed is no longer a reason to worry.
Do you know that the railways and rail transports existed even before the invention of steam engines? Yes, somewhere around in mid 1500s Europeans used railways in some of their mines. This concept was later adopted by others to carry coal from collieries to nearby harbors. Initially rails were made with wooden planks and it was before the introduction of iron rails. Then the wagons were pulled by humans or by animals like horses or donkeys.
Steam pulled locomotives were in use from early 1800s. Steam locomotives used coal to make fire that heated water to produce steam. The steam was them passed through cylinders to move pistons. The moving pistons were used to turn the wheels. In 1829, Robert Stephenson developed the most effective early steam locomotives. Robert Stephenson’s steam locomotive was named Rocket.
Since the introduction of Steam Locomotives, many innovations and developments hit the field of rail transport – diesel engine trains, electric trains, luxury trains, underground rails, high-speed trains, and monorails. We are yet to see many more developments in this field.