Railroad History

Its all about the rails

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About Railroad History

History of the Railroad is a project created by 4x3's Stephen Siano.

Image shown is Occre Stephenson's Rocket Liverpool & Manchester Railway 1:24 Scale Wood & Metal Model Kit

For information on railroad engines, railroad cars, tracks, gauge and specialized equipment for the railroad, contact Stephen Siano siano@4x3.net.

A Preliminary History

1829 - First steam locomotive started working in America, but its excessive weight forced it to become stationary boiler.

1829 - Stephenson's locomotive "Rocket" became fastest train ever built with its top speed of 30mph. It was capable of carrying 30 people.

1830 - Americans built their first steam engine. It worked great until 1931 when it exploded.

1832 - Charles Fox patented railway track switch.

1856 - First railroad bridge over river Mississippi enabled expansion of trains to the west.

1863 - First underground railway started working in London. Success of this track gave birth to the modern subways.

1869 - The First Transcontinental Railroad completed in North America, successfully bridging Pacific and central United States.

1872 - American inventor George Westinghouse patented his first automatic air brake, which soon became primary brake system in all future trains.

1881 - First public electric tram line opened in Berlin.

1888 - First electric tram system opened in Richmond, Virginia, United States.

1890 - London underground trains switched to electrical engines, starting the era of modern rapid transit systems.

1913 - Diesel powered locomotives started being used in Sweden.

1934 - Diesel locomotive fist showcased in the U.S. but it was introduced into regular use in 1939.

1960s - U.S. finished their transition from steam models to diesel-electric power.

1953 - Japan locomotive Odaky 3000 series SE Romancecar reached world record speed of 90mph (145 km/h).

1964 - First bullet train introduced in Japan. It traveled between Tokyo and Osaka with the average speed of 160km/h.

1979 - France begun using their high speed train - TGV. It had average traveling speed of 213 km/h and top speed of 300km/h.

1987 - British Rail's High Speed Train (HST) broke the word record for diesel powered train with the speed of 238 km/h.

1990 - French TGV broke the speed record for electric train, with staggering 515 km/h.

2007 - Spain begun using their first high-speed trains with speed of up to 350km/h.

2010 - Shanghai Metro becomes world's largest urban transit system with 420m of lines and 278 stations.