The history of railways (История железных дорог)

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The history of railways The railway is а good example of а system evolved in variousplaces to fulfil а need and then developed empirically. In essence it consists оf parallel tracks or bars of metal or wood, supported transversely by other bars — stone, wood, steel and concrete have been used — so that thе load of the vehicle is spread evenly through the substructure. Such tracks were used in the Middle Ages for mining tramways in Europe; railways came to England in the 16th century and went back to Europe in the 19th century as an English invention. English railways The first Act of Parliament for а railway, giving right of way over other people's property, was passed in 1758, and the first for а public railway, to carry the traffic of all comers, dates from 1801.

The Stockton and Dailington Railway, opened on 27 September 1825, was the first public steam railway in the world, although it had only one locomotive and relied on horse traction for the most part, with stationary steam engines for working inclined planes. The obvious advantages of railways as а means of conveying heavy loads and passengers brought about а proliferation of projects. The Liverpool & Manchester, 30 miles (48 km) long and including formidable engineering problems, became the classic example of а steam railway for general carriage. It opened on 15 September 1830 in the presence of the Duke of Wellington, who had been Prime Minister until earlier in the year. On opening day, the train stopped for water and the passengers alighted on to the opposite track;

another locomotive came along and William Huskisson, an МР and а great advocate of the railway, was killed. Despite this tragedy the railway was а great success; in its first year of operation, revenue from passenger service was more than ten times that anticipated. Over 2500 miles of railway had been authorized in Britain and nearly 1500 completed by 1840. Britain presented the world with а complete system for the construction and operation of railways. Solutions were found to civil engineering problems, motive power designs and the details of rolling stock. The natural result of these achievements was the calling in of British engineers to provide railways in France, where as а consequence left-hand rujning is still in force over many lines. Track gauges While the

majority of railways in Britain adopted the 4 ft 8.5 inch (1.43 m) gauge of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, the Great Western, on the advice of its brilliant but eccentric engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, had been laid to а seven foot (2.13 m) gauge, as were many of its associates. The resultant inconvenience to traders caused the Gauge of Railways Act in 1846, requiring standard gauge on all railways unless specially authorized. The last seven-foot gauge on the Great Western was not converted until 1892. The narrower the gauge the less expensive the construction and maintenance of the railway; narrow gauges have been common in underdeveloped parts of the world and in mountainous areas. In 1863 steam traction was applied to the 1 ft 11.5 inch (0.85 m) Festiniog Railway

1n Wales, for which locomotives were built to the designs of Robert Fairlie. Не then led а campaign for the construction of narrow gauges. As а result of the export of English engineering and rolling stock, however, most North American and European railways have been built to the standard gauge, except in Finland and Russia, where the gauge is five feet (1.5 m). Transcontinental lines The first public railway was opened in America in 1830, after which rapid development tookplace. А famous 4-2-0 locomotive called the Pioneer first ran from Chicago in 1848, and that city became one of the largest rail centres in the world. The Atlantic and the Pacific oceans were first linked on 9 Мау 1869, in а famous ceremony at the meeting point of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific