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When railroads made history: the evolution of rail travel

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It all began many centuries ago in the ancient days. People traveled in caravans across from place to place. They went from Egypt to Persia across Babylon and Israel. Although they were in groups, they traveled on unmaintained roads.
Around 600 B.C., a rutway was built in the Greek city of Corinth, a city that was built on an isthmus. The rutway was used to transport cargo from ships on the one side of the isthmus to the other side to save travel time from ships that would normally have to sail around the Greek peninsula.
In the 1500’s and 1600’s, similar forms of transportation were built in Germany to assist miners in the transportation of coal. It became so successful that European farmers were able to transport their goods from the fields to the towns.
In the 1700’s, steel rails were used on the British Isles. They were first pulled by horses, but then steam locomotives were built. The railroad made its way to the U.S. where, in 1827, the first chartered train departed from Baltimore. Because of the railroad, streetcars were built to transport passengers along the streets of the major cities. They were first pulled by horses before electricity became available. Then the monorail came along. The monorail ran on a single wide rail, but trains could go at a higher rate of speed. Unlike streetcars, they were able to go above the streets avoiding conflicts with passengers and vehicles on the streets. From there, the subway came. The subway was able to transport people under the city streets. Unlike the monorail, the subway was able to switch tracks with little interruption just like the old railroad.
As time passes on, the technology of the railroad will continue to transform. The railroad will continue to make history.


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