Railroads have been a staple of transportation for centuries, and continue to play an important role in the movement of goods and people today. Though we may take them for granted, there are some interesting facts about railroads that might surprise you. Here are 10 fun facts about railroads that will surprise you!
1. The first railroads were built by the Romans in 600 BC. They helped transport goods and materials over long distances.
2. The longest railroad line in the world is the Trans-Siberian Railway at 6,152 miles (9,289 kilometers). It takes almost a week to travel from Moscow to Vladivostok.
3. In the United States, there are more than 140,000 miles (225,309 kilometers) of railroad tracks in operation.
4. The first passenger trains used steam locomotives and could reach speeds of 10-15 miles per hour (16-24 kilometers per hour). Modern passenger trains can go much faster, reaching speeds of up to 200 miles per hour (322 kilometers per hour).
5. In addition to transporting goods and passengers, railroads are also used for recreational activities such as skiing and hiking.
6. Some of the oldest operating railroad lines in the world can be found in Europe including the Semmering Railway in Austria which was completed in 1854.
7. The first railroad tunnel was built in India around 1820 and it was 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) long.
8. Railroads were instrumental in the development of cities such as Chicago, which grew rapidly after the completion of its rail lines in the 1850s.
9. The world’s heaviest passenger train can be found in Japan and it is comprised of 12 cars weighing over 2,000 tons.
10. The first automatic railroad crossing was developed by the inventor Ernest Sirrine in 1912 and it used an electric eye that sensed when a train was approaching and automatically raised the gates to prevent accidents.
Railroads have been around for centuries and are an important part of our transportation system. They help transport goods and materials over long distances and are also used for recreational activities such as skiing and hiking. In addition to all that, railroads have played a significant role in the development of cities throughout the world. Thanks for reading!