The History of Trains: Part 1

Since the 19th Century, trains have been a popular mode of transport around the world. Amusingly, when the first steam train was invented in 1804, many people were worried that the speed would cause passengers to struggle to breathe. In fact, they were also worried that they could be shaken unconscious by the vibrations of the train’s movement. This panic soon subsided and by the 1850’s, people were using trains to travel at speeds of 50mph and more.

At this time, travelling by trail was cheap which made it accessible to those who had never taken a trip outside of their town. Trains from Hell brings to you the history of trains! In this blog were going over the first railway, early locomotives and steam locomotives…

The First Railway

Some people find it hard to believe that railway’s actually existed before locomotives were invented. This is because railways were used within European mines from the 1500’s in order to move heavy loads of coal along tunnels to ships. At first the wagons ran on wooden planks, however this was soon ungraded to iron rails and people or horses would haul the loads of coal.

Early US Locomotives

Most 19th Century American locomotives came with wood burning engines. Although wood did not produces as harsh of a heat as coal, it was cheaper and widely available in North America. With these types of locomotives, sparks would often come out of the chimney and set fire to nearby grassland. A device called a ‘spark arrestor’ was fitted to prevent this happening.

Steam Locomotives

In the early 1800’s steam powered locomotives were invented and at first, their main use was to carry coal too- however they eventually began carrying carriages of people. Steam locomotives burnt coal inside a large furnace known as a ‘firebox’ and the fire from this heated water in a boiler to produce the steam. This steam was then led into cylinders in order to drive the pistons. The motion of these pistons were then used to turn the wheels of the trains.

Here at Trains From Hell, we think it is exciting how the modern train has adapted. In fact, we know that the majority of today’s rail passengers wouldn’t recognise a 19th Century train because the concept of this mode of transport has become so modernised. Despite this, today’s services still endure endless train delays. Get in contact today if you’ve been held up for 30 minutes or longer to claim you ticket price back!

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