Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks on which they run. Track usually consists of steel rails installed on sleepers/ties and ballast, on which the rolling stock, usually fitted with metal wheels, moves. However, other variations are also possible, such as slab track where the rails are fastened to a concrete foundation resting on a prepared subsurface.
Rolling stock in railway transport systems generally has lower frictional resistance when compared with highway vehicles, and the passenger and freight cars (carriages and wagons) can be coupled into longer trains. The operation is carried out by a railway company, providing transport between train stations or freight customer facilities. Power is provided by locomotives which either draw electrical power from a railway electrification system or produce their own power, usually by diesel engines. Most tracks are accompanied by a signalling system. Railways are a safe land transport system when compared to other forms of transport. Railway transport is capable of high levels of passenger and cargo utilization and energy efficiency, but is often less flexible and more capital-intensive than highway transport is, when lower traffic levels are considered.
The oldest, man-hauled railways date to the 6th century B.C, with Periander, one of the Seven Sages of Greece, credited with its invention. Rail transport blossomed after the British development of the steam engine as a viable source of power in the 18th and 19th centuries. With steam engines, it was possible to construct mainline railways, which were a key component of the industrial revolution. Also, railways reduced the costs of shipping, and allowed for fewer lost goods. The change from canals to railways allowed for "national markets" in which prices varied very little from city to city. Studies have shown that the invention and development of the railway in Europe was one of the most important technological inventions of the late 19th century for the United States, without which, GDP would have been lower by 7.0% in 1890. In the 1880s, electrified trains were introduced, and also the first tramways and rapid transit systems came into being. Starting during the 1940s, the non-electrified railways in most countries had their steam locomotives replaced by diesel-electric locomotives, with the process being almost complete by 2000. During the 1960s, electrified high-speed railway systems were introduced in Japan and a few other countries. Other forms of guided ground transport outside the traditional railway definitions, such as monorail or maglev, have been tried but have seen limited use.
Other articles related to "rail line, rail, lines, line":
... Hong Kong has recognized rail as "the backbone of the public transit system" and as such developed their franchised bus system and road infrastructure in compherensive alignment with their rail services ... China's large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou recognize rail transit lines as the framework and bus lines as the main body to their ... "heart of Japan's industry and economy" situated on the Tokyo-Kobe line ...
... Corridor can refer to the following Central Corridor (Minnesota), a light rail line under construction between Minneapolis and St ... Central Corridor (Union Pacific Railroad), a rail line between Denver, Colorado and central Nevada Central Corridor Rail Line, a proposed passenger rail line through Connecticut ...
... MTR Light Rail#Current service pattern MTR Light Rail Route 706 - the corresponding clockwise route Public transport in the Pearl River Delta Note Facilities that are either under construction, under planning or ...
... The Springwater Division rail line was named for a planned connection to Springwater, Oregon ... The Portland Traction Company operated rail service from Portland to Boring from 1903 until 1989 ... Oregon Highway 99E, a new, expensive overpass was required for the rail line ...
... Portions of the rail-line were constructed in the early 1900s by various groups ... The citizens of Port Angeles knew that in order to prosper, a rail line would have to link the town to the rest of the country ... Later, the rail line from Port Angeles to Port Townsend would come under the control of the Milwaukee Road until its bankruptcy in 1980 when it was taken ...
Famous quotes containing the words line and/or rail:
“The line that I am urging as todays conventional wisdom is not a denial of consciousness. It is often called, with more reason, a repudiation of mind. It is indeed a repudiation of mind as a second substance, over and above body. It can be described less harshly as an identification of mind with some of the faculties, states, and activities of the body. Mental states and events are a special subclass of the states and events of the human or animal body.”
—Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)
“Old man, its four flights up and for what?
Your room is hardly any bigger than your bed.
Puffing as you climb, you are a brown woodcut
stooped over the thin rail and the wornout tread.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)