Learning Fascinating History of Train: Here’s the Important Timeline

Learning about the history of trains is really fascinating. Isn’t it amazing how human discover how trains were invented, how they changed over time, and how they influenced the way we travel and transport things?

Learning Fascinating History of Train

Trains, after all, are a very useful form of transportation. They can carry lots of people or goods at once. Moreover, they are often faster and more efficient than other ways of getting around. 

People have been using trains for a long time, and they continue to be an important part of how we move and transport things today.

First Era of the History of Train

Trains are like improved wagons that used to roll on stone tracks. Do you know that Babylon made the earliest ones long ago, around 2,200 BCE? From the 1500s, similar wagons were used to carry things from mines. They also started using stronger iron tracks in the 1790s. 

In the late 1700s, they began thinking of better ideas. Then, in 1804, a clever person named Richard Trevithick from Britain made a steam train. This train ran on steam power, which was something new. 

In 1825, they used this steam train idea for other railways too, not just in coal mines. A British engineer named George Stephenson made a steam train called Locomotion No. 1. It carried over 400 people and went up to 13 kilometers per hour (8 mph). 

People saw how well it worked, so they started to really like steam trains. Another train made by Stephenson in 1829, called Rocket, showed this even more. Within about ten years, many people in the United Kingdom got very excited about trains. This time was famously called "Railway Mania."

The good news about steam trains' success traveled fast to the United States. In 1829, the first steam train track opened there. 

They made these trains to work well on the United States' railroads, which had more bends and not-so-smooth tracks.

Other countries in the blue continent noticed Britain's progress and found it a good concept. Most of these countries constructed their own railroads during the 1830s and 1840s. 

This development occurred following France's inaugural steam train run in late 1829. Furthermore, in the 1850s, more trains were integrated into Europe. 

Read also: Want to Take Train Around Europe? Read This!

What about the early history of train in other continents? 

Well, in regions such as South America, Africa, and Asia, the initiation of trains was driven by the powerful countries governing these areas. They aimed to enhance their control and facilitate cargo transport by constructing railroads during the 1840s. 

In Japan, a nation that remained uncolonized, train services commenced in the early 1870s. By the year 1900, trains were operational on all continents except uninhabited Antarctica.

The Second Era of the History of Train

As steam trains got better, people in Germany began thinking about other ways to make trains go. In 1879, Werner von Siemens built the first train that ran on electricity. 

He also made electric trams. Another person from Germany, Rudolf Diesel, made the first diesel engine in the 1890s. But it took a long time for people to see that his engine could be used for trains.

Between 1897 and 1903, they tried out new electric trains in Germany. These trains were tested on the Royal Prussian Military Railway. 

They worked well and even went very fast, breaking speed records by going over 160 kilometers per hour (100 mph).

In the early 1900s, some railcars that ran on gas started being used on railroads. This was around the first ten years of that century. People kept trying out different ways to use gas and diesel to make trains go. 

In 1933, Germany made the "Flying Hamburger," and in 1939, the United States made the EMD FT. These trains were powered by diesel and were very successful. 

They showed that diesel was better than steam because it was cheaper, easier to take care of, and more dependable. At the same time, Italy started using lots of electric trains. 

They did this because they didn't have a lot of coal, which is used to power steam trains.

Read also: The Beauty of Panoramic Train

The Third Era of the History of Train

Can you imagine the extent of the damage inflicted by World War II on countries and their infrastructure? After World War II, many railroads in Europe, Asia, and Africa were badly damaged. 

Once the war ended in 1945, countries that had lost railroads fixed them using help from the Marshall Plan or money from the USSR. 

They also used new technology to change trains to run on diesel or electricity. France, Russia, Switzerland, and Japan led the way in using electric trains, while other places chose diesel trains. 

By 1980, most steam trains had stopped working, except in some parts of Africa and Asia, and a few places in Europe and South America. China was the last to stop using steam trains in 2005 because it had lots of coal.

In the 1930s, trains started having competition from cars and trucks. This competition got even stronger after World War II. 

After the war, airplanes also became a big problem for trains. Many people started using cars, trucks, and planes instead of trains. This made train services, both for carrying things and people, get worse.

In the 1960s, a new thing called high-speed trains came. These trains run on special tracks and go really fast, over 240 kilometers per hour (150 mph). 

Japan's Shinkansen was the first high-speed train in 1964. After that, many places in Europe and Eastern Asia made their own high-speed train networks. 

These trains are fast and good, like cars and planes. The United States got its first high-speed train in 2000 with Amtrak's Acela.

The Fourth Era of the History of Train

Have you ever wondered why people are starting to see trains as such a great way to get around?

 As the 20th century came to an end, people started to realize that trains are really good for getting around. Using trains became more important again. 

Trains that carry things are much better than trucks, and they also make less pollution. Trains that carry people are also better for the environment than other ways of traveling. 

The International Energy Agency said that, on average, trains need 12 times less energy and make 7 to 11 times less pollution for each kilometer that passengers travel, compared to cars and airplanes. 

This makes trains the best way to move people around. Trains that carry things, like shipping containers, have been a big business for railroads since the 1970s. 

They've also become more popular than trucks. Using trains in cities can help with traffic jams on the roads. So, trains are important for helping the environment and making travel better.

The history of train will continue to unfold over time.

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