A locomotive or engine is a rail transport vehicle that provides the motive power for a train. If a locomotive is capable of carrying a payload, it is usually rather referred to as a multiple unit, motor coach, railcar or power car; the use of these self-propelled vehicles is increasingly common for passenger trains, but rare for freight.
Rail transport is a means of transport that transfers passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are incorporated in tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the vehicles run on a prepared flat surface, rail vehicles are directionally guided by the tracks on which they run. Tracks usually consist of steel rails.
A train is a series of connected vehicles that run along a railway track and transport people or freight. Trains are typically pulled or pushed by locomotives, though some are self-propelled, such as multiple units. Passengers and cargo are carried in railroad cars, also known as wagons. Trains are designed to a certain gauge, or distance between rails. Most trains operate on steel tracks with steel wheels, the low friction of which makes them more efficient than other forms of transport.
This is a timeline of transportation technology and technological developments in the culture of transportation.
Wagonways, also known as horse-drawn railways and horse-drawn railroad consisted of the horses, equipment and tracks used for hauling wagons, which preceded steam-powered railways. The terms plateway, tramway, dramway, were used. The advantage of wagonways was that far bigger loads could be transported with the same power.
The history of rail transport began in the BCE times. It can be divided into several discrete periods defined by the principal means of track material and motive power used.
The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) was a railway company that operated in north-east England from 1825 to 1863. The world's first public railway to use steam locomotives, its first line connected collieries near Shildon with Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham, and was officially opened on 27 September 1825. The movement of coal to ships rapidly became a lucrative business, and the line was soon extended to a new port at Middlesbrough. While coal waggons were hauled by steam locomotives from the start, passengers were carried in coaches drawn by horses until carriages hauled by steam locomotives were introduced in 1833.
An electric locomotive is a locomotive powered by electricity from overhead lines, a third rail or on-board energy storage such as a battery or a supercapacitor. Locomotives with on-board fuelled prime movers, such as diesel engines or gas turbines, are classed as diesel-electric or gas turbine-electric and not as electric locomotives, because the electric generator/motor combination serves only as a power transmission system.
A streamliner is a vehicle incorporating streamlining in a shape providing reduced air resistance. The term is applied to high-speed railway trainsets of the 1930s to 1950s, and to their successor "bullet trains". Less commonly, the term is applied to fully faired upright and recumbent bicycles. As part of the Streamline Moderne trend, the term was applied to passenger cars, trucks, and other types of light-, medium-, or heavy-duty vehicles, but now vehicle streamlining is so prevalent that it is not an outstanding characteristic. In land speed racing, it is a term applied to the long, slender, custom built, high-speed vehicles with enclosed wheels.
The North Tyneside Steam Railway and Stephenson Steam Railway are visitor attractions in North Shields, North East England. The museum and railway workshops share a building on Middle Engine Lane adjacent to the Silverlink Retail Park. The railway is a standard gauge line, running south for 2 miles (3.2 km) from the museum to Percy Main. The railway is operated by the North Tyneside Steam Railway Association (NTSRA). The museum is managed by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums on behalf of North Tyneside Council.
The Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad (C&SL) was a historic railway in Lower Canada, the first Canadian public railway and one of the first railways built in British North America.
The history of rail transport in Germany can be traced back to the 16th century. The earliest form of railways, wagonways, were developed in Germany in the 16th century. Modern German rail history officially began with the opening of the steam-powered Bavarian Ludwig Railway between Nuremberg and Fürth on 7 December 1835. This had been preceded by the opening of the horse-drawn Prince William Railway on 20 September 1831. The first long-distance railway was the Leipzig-Dresden railway, completed on 7 April 1839.
A gas turbine locomotive is a type of railway locomotive in which the prime mover is a gas turbine. Several types of gas turbine locomotive have been developed, differing mainly in the means by which mechanical power is conveyed to the driving wheels (drivers). A gas turbine train typically consists of two power cars, and one or more intermediate passenger cars.
Railroad electrification in the United States began at the turn of the 20th century and comprised many different systems in many different geographical areas, few of which were connected. Despite this situation, these systems shared a small number of common reasons for electrification.
Rail transport in Okinawa consists of only the Okinawa Urban Monorail, the only rail line providing rail transportation in Okinawa Prefecture. In the past, Okinawa Island had railroad, trams, and horse-drawn streetcar service. Moreover, Minamidaitōjima and other islands had rail lines to transport sugarcane and other commodities.
The GE E60 is a family of six-axle 6,000 hp (4.5 MW) C-C electric locomotives made by GE Transportation Systems (GE) between 1972 and 1983. The E60s were produced in several variants for both freight and passenger use in the United States and Mexico. GE designed the locomotive for use on the Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad (BM&LP), a dedicated coal-hauling route in Arizona, which began operation in 1973. That same year GE adapted the design for high-speed passenger service on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. The largest customer was Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (NdeM), the state-owned railroad in Mexico, which bought 39 for a new electrification project in the early 1980s.
The rail network in Queensland, Australia, was the first in the world to adopt 1,067 mm narrow gauge for a main line, and now the second largest narrow gauge network in the world, consists of:
The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum is the official state railroad museum of Alabama. Dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and operation of historically significant railway equipment, the museum is located at 1919 Ninth Street, Calera, Alabama, on I-65 approximately 30 miles (48 km) south of Birmingham.
The history of rail transport in Great Britain to 1830 covers the period up to the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world's first intercity passenger railway operated solely by steam locomotives. The earliest form of railways, horse-drawn wagonways, originated in Germany in the 16th century. Soon wagonways were also built in Britain. However, the first use of steam locomotives was in Britain. The invention of wrought iron rails, together with Richard Trevithick's pioneering steam locomotive meant that Britain had the first modern railways in the world.
A mine railway, sometimes pit railway, is a railway constructed to carry materials and workers in and out of a mine. Materials transported typically include ore, coal and overburden. It is little remembered, but the mix of heavy and bulky materials which had to be hauled into and out of mines gave rise to the first several generations of railways, at first made of wooden rails, but eventually adding protective iron, steam locomotion by fixed engines and the earliest commercial steam locomotives, all in and around the works around mines.