Railway transportation involves transportation of goods and passengers on train vehicles that run on tracks of railroads. There are various kinds of trains that have connected vehicles that run on short and long distances. Trains are one of the most used vehicles for transporting cargo and passengers for short and long distances.
The railway transport is one of most reliable modes of transport because it is not affected by change in weather conditions as compared to air and road that are prone to such turbulences. They operate under fixed schedules and routes. China is the leading country with the largest number of railroads. New development of train transport has enabled the construction of infrastructures in big cities and across the borders of different countries mostly in Europe.
Types of trains
The trains can be categorized depending on a number of factors including the type of locomotive power, their uses and the design of the railroads.
There are various types of trains that run on tracks along railroads and they include:
The steam locomotives were the first invention of trains by Matthew Murray that generated the pulling power from a steam engine run by burning combustion products such as oil, wood or oil that emitted steam in the boiler. However, this type of trains disappeared after the emergency of diesel engine trains.
Diesel locomotives were an advanced innovation of steam locomotives. These types of trains are made of great mechanical technology with a double-stroke diesel engine that comes with electric motors, generators and the diesel fuel is used to produce its electric power. It contains an auxiliary alternator for cooling and lighting systems in case of an emergency. It draws pressure into the cylinder and when it compresses, the temperatures increase to push quantities of oil into the cylinder. The diesel then ignites without a spark due to the higher temperatures.
Electric trains run on sophisticated rail infrastructure while using electric power as the means of propulsion. Electricity is produced and transmitted in central generating locations for distribution to the trains. However, there are some electric railways with their set independent electric sources of power, switches, and transformers but they rely mostly on electric utility. However, there are some trains harnessing electricity and electricity to operate. As result, they are manufactured with two engines to support each state because the railway is electrified. Electric locomotives move at high speed due improved technologies that enable smooth and effective driving on the railroads.
Advantages of rail transportation
Railway transportation is one of the most growing means which travelers use all over the world. Although it has been prevalent in Europe and South America, developing countries are adopting modern rail transportation to facilitate faster movement of goods and people and improve trade.
Since it is not affected by weather conditions, many passengers prefer trains because they are reliable and highly organized due to the scheduled operations not to mention the high speed which makes it effective to transport any kind of freight. Even for bulky and heavy goods, train transportation is dependable because it provides large capacity for containers and it is a bit cheaper than air transport or roads which are regularly affected by weather. However, although advanced railway transport has a lot of benefits, it requires huge investment capital, making it a dream to many third world countries. Rail systems also lacks door to door service and rural services like road transport.
Rail transportation provides a safe means for passengers and businesses to move across the cities and different nations to conduct their operations at affordable costs. The innovative technologies have seen China, Britain and South Korea built underground rail networks to reduce traffic and decongest main cities. Although the developing countries are struggling with loans to build standard gauge railways and electric trains, researches have shown that rail transportation will continue to rise because many people enjoy travelling by train.