As Per The NEWS of “Trainhistory”
History of Rail Transport
Modern transportation of passengers and goods could not be imagined without trains, transport devices that revolutionized our industry, human expansion, and the way we can move from one place to another. Such important presence in our history appeared little over 200 years ago, but even then it was apparent that this new transportation paradigm could become one of the mankind’s greatest fights if the technical hurdles of early industrial revolution could be overcomed.
It all began in over 2000 years ago in ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon and Greece. Transport of people and goods in those time was done with carts that were pulled by animals (horses or bulls), and their engineers quickly noticed that animals will spend much less energy if the cart was traveling on predetermined path, without possibility for steering or traveling over uneven terrain. To enable this new way of transport, they build roads with pre-built constraints for wheels. These were the world’s first railway tracks, and archeological remains of them can still be found in Italy and Greece. The most famous example of these ancient stone etched “wagonways” can be found in the Isthmus of Corinth, Greece.
These wagonways went out of use after the fall of Roman Empire, and managed to return only after increased trading and early industrial efforts of European Renaissance. By 18th century, every mine in Great Britain had its own simple railway network, with horses pulling carts from mines to factories. Changes to this kind of transport came in 1774 after the world found out about James Watt incredible discovery – stationary steam engine. As he protected his patents forcefully, the true widespread work on steam powered locomotives started only after his patent lapsed in 1800. Several inventors started working on improving Watt’s design, most notably designing non-condensing high pressure chambers that enabled engine to convert more steam’s power into mechanical energy.
First steam engines started running along primitive rail tracks in 1804. Matthew Murray managed to showcase his simple locomotive first, but Richard Trevithick received more attention with his “Penydarren” locomotive that pulled weight of 25 tons and 70 people during its first ride. This event proved to the engineer community, that pressurized steam engines indeed have enough power to become useful for transport of goods and people.
Commercial appearance of train networks came in late 1820s …..
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