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Form 2 History and Government online lessons on transport
Use and Invention of railway transport (10m 47s)
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- Railway lines are paths of parallel metal rails that allow a wheeled vehicle to move easily by reducing friction.
- Initially, they were used in 1800s to guide horse drawn wagons.
- Later, the steam engine replaced horses as the means of transport.
- The development of modern railway was a gradual process that started in Britain and Germany with the use of wooden rails.
- A British engineer, Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) designed a steam engine that was small enough to be put on a truck.
- This he fitted on a railway locomotive which he had bought in 1804 to pull a cargo and passenger train in south Wales.
- Fenton, Murray and Wood of Leeds built the John Blenkinsopp locomotive in 1812. William Hedley built the puffing Billy in 1813.
- George Stephenson (1781-1845), a coal miner in Newcastle England, invented a locomotive engine called the Blucher which pulled eight laden wagons in 1814.
- He also built the world’s first public railway between Stockton and Darlington near Durham in 1825.
- In 1829, Stephenson and his son, Robert, built the most improved engine, the rocket, which had a speed of 48 km per hour. In 1830, he built the Northumbrian and the planet.
- In 1825, in the United States, Colonel John Stevens built a tiny experimental locomotive.
- In 1929, a major railway was built by the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company to serve a coal mine.
- The first diesel railcar was used in 1913 in Sweden.
- Later diesel engines were replaced with electric engines which was an invention of the Siemens Brothers and John Hopkinson in Britain in 1883.
- Railway transport has remained a major mode of passenger travel.
- In Europe and Japan, major cities are connected by high speed passenger trains such as the French TGV (Train a’ Grange Vitesse) and the Japanese Shinkansen trains travelling at a speed of 300km/h.