Train Facts

Train Facts
A train is a type of vehicle that runs on a track, consisting of one or more vehicles connected to each other. The very first trains were pulled by ropes attached to horses but by the early 1800s most trains were powered by steam. Diesel and electric locomotives soon replaced the steam powered trains. Today fuel cell locomotives are becoming popular because of their emission-free operation and their ability to run without a separate electrical system. Trains are used for a variety of purposes including transporting cargo and people, and newer designs are constantly being developed that are able to cross greater distances in shorter time periods.
Interesting Train Facts:
The first steam locomotive in the United States lost a race to a horse when a belt broke. The race managed to convince executives of B&O to convert to steam.
The railway system in the United States is credited with helping the North side win the American Civil War. It helped carry soldiers and artillery to where it was needed.
The first travel agency in the world was created because of a train trip organized by a minister. His name was Thomas Cook and his success with the first trip gave him the incentive to set up a business in the United Kingdom, then into the U.S. and Europe.
Most cargo trains have a locomotive at the front which supplies the power that moves the train along the track.
Some trains are equipped with a second locomotive located at the back to help push the train along from behind.
Some trains today are able to reach speeds exceeding 550 km per hour.
A train system was built that connects France and the UK via a tunnel called the Channel Tunnel. It was built as a high-speed passenger system.
Approximately 40% of the freight cargo transported today occurs via rail and train systems.
London is home to England's longest train station. At more than 600 meters in length it is equal to approximately 6 football fields.
New York's Grand Central Station has 44 passenger platforms.
The world's longest stretch of railway that is perfectly straight is in Australia. This stretch of straight track measures 478 kilometers in length.
The heaviest train on record was 95,000 tonnes, and it was 7.3 kilometers long. It weighed the same as 27,000 elephants.
In 1916 there were 254,000 miles of railway track in the United States. Today there are less than 170,000.
By 2020 it is estimated that Maglev trains will be capable of reaching speeds of 800 km per hour.
The French TGV bullet train was clocked at 584 km per hour, and holds the current speed record. The train had to brake for 16 km before it could stop completely.
The first commercial steam train was able to travel at 96 km per hour in 1830. It was called the Stephenson's Rocket.
In 2004 a tsunami hit an overcrowded passenger train in Sri Lanka. More than 1700 people were killed. This was the worst rail disaster in history.
Many movies featuring trains have been made in Hollywood including Murder on the Oriental Express.

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