Rail transport

Introduction and Advantages of Rail Transport
– Rail transport is a means of transport using wheeled vehicles running on tracks.
– It is one of the two primary means of land transport, alongside road transport.
– Rail transport is used for about 8% of global passenger and freight transport.
– It is known for its energy efficiency and potential for high speed.
– Rolling stock in rail transport encounters lower frictional resistance than road vehicles.
– Railways can carry heavy traffic of passengers and cargo.
– Rail transport offers higher energy efficiency and safety compared to other land transport modes.
– Railways are often accompanied by a signalling system for efficient operation.
– Rail transport has less flexibility and more capital intensity compared to road transport.
– It is a preferred mode of transport for heavier traffic.

History and Technological Advancements in Rail Transport
– The oldest known railways date back to the 6th century BC in Corinth, Greece.
– Modern rail transport began with a British steam locomotive in 1802.
– The development of railways in the United Kingdom was a significant technological innovation of the 19th century.
– The Stockton and Darlington Railway became the first public rail line for passengers in 1825.
– The Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened in 1830 as the first public inter-city railway line.
– Railway electrification began in the 1880s with tramways and rapid transit systems.
– Steam locomotives were gradually replaced by diesel locomotives starting from the 1940s.
– Electrified high-speed railway systems were introduced in Japan during the 1960s.
– Many countries are transitioning from diesel to electric locomotives due to environmental concerns.
– Guided ground transport systems like monorail or maglev have limited use compared to traditional railways.

Revival and Modernization of Rail Transport
– After a decline following World War II, rail transport has experienced a revival in recent decades.
– Factors contributing to the revival include road congestion and rising fuel prices.
– Governments are investing in rail as a means to reduce CO2 emissions and address global warming concerns.
– Rail transport offers an alternative to cars and airplanes.
– Railways are being modernized and upgraded to meet the demands of the current transportation landscape.

Development of Railways and Introduction of Power Systems
– Flanged wheel and edge-rail became the standard for railways.
Cast iron rails were replaced by wrought iron due to its ductility and lower cost.
– Henry Cort’s puddling process and rolling process lowered the cost of producing iron and rails.
– James Beaumont Neilson’s hot blast reduced the amount of fuel needed to produce pig iron.
– Steel rails, made possible by the Bessemer process, replaced iron rails and lasted longer.
– James Watt patented a design for a steam locomotive in 1784.
– Richard Trevithick built the first full-scale working railway steam locomotive in 1804.
– Matthew Murray’s rack locomotive, Salamanca, solved the problem of adhesion using cog-wheels.
– Christopher Blackett and William Hedley built Puffing Billy, the first successful locomotive running by adhesion only.
– George Stephenson played a pivotal role in the development of steam locomotives and built successful locomotives like Blücher and Rocket.
– Robert Davidson built the first known electric locomotive powered by batteries in 1837.
– Werner von Siemens demonstrated an electric railway in Berlin in 1879.
– The Gross-Lichterfelde Tramway, built by Siemens, opened in 1881 as the world’s first electric tram line.
– Electric trams ran on DC power supplied by running rails and later overhead wires.
– Electric power provided an alternative to steam power in railways.
– Steel rails enabled heavier locomotives and longer trains, improving the productivity of railways.
– The Bessemer process introduced nitrogen into steel, making it brittle with age.
– The open hearth furnace replaced the Bessemer process, improving the quality of steel.
– Steel completely replaced iron in rails, becoming the standard for all railways.
– Steel rails lasted several times longer than iron rails.

Trains and High-Speed Rail
– Trains are connected series of rail vehicles that move along the track.
– Propulsion for the train is provided by a separate locomotive or individual motors.
– Most trains carry a revenue load, while non-revenue cars exist for maintenance purposes.
– The engine driver controls the locomotive or other power cars.
– People movers and some rapid transits are under automatic control.
– Trains are traditionally pulled using a locomotive.
– Freight trains often use locomotives located at the front of the train.
– Push-pull trains have a passenger car equipped with a drivers cab.
– Railroad cars are used for the haulage of passengers or freight.
– Multiple units have powered wheels throughout the whole train.
– Steam locomotives use a steam engine for adhesion.
– Electric locomotives draw power from a stationary source.
– Diesel locomotives use a diesel engine as the prime mover.
– Alternative methods of motive power include magnetic levitation and gas turbine.
– Electric locomotives are the cheapest to run and provide less noise and air pollution.
– Passenger trains stop at stations for passengers to embark and disembark.
– Passenger trains are part of public transport and provide various services.
– Intercity trains operate with few stops between cities.
– Commuter trains serve suburbs of urban areas.
– High-speed rail operates at speeds of 200 to 350 kilometers per hour.
– High-speed trains are used for long-haul service.
– Magnetic levitation trains achieve higher speeds over short distances.
– High-speed rail lines have broader curves and steeper grades.
– Higher-speed rail services have top speeds higher than conventional intercity trains.Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_transport