Let’s be honest – who doesn’t love a good train journey? Of course, we’re talking about off-peak times, where you can sit by the window and watch picturesque scenery pass you by, rather than a typical commuters train, packed in like sardines trying not to elbow your neighbour in the eye.
Either way, our railway networks are an incredible feat of engineering achievement, able to get us all from A to B or from one country to another.
In this blog, we were going to explore the best railway systems around the world, but when defining the best, could this mean most efficient? Maybe the most thrilling? Or perhaps, the one that boasts luxurious features? Rather than “best”, we thought we’d combine all of these and explore a collection of railway systems throughout the world.
The first modern railway
Like with everything, the first of something is usually invented during Ancient history, whether it’s the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans or the Chinese. However, in terms of the first modern railways with steam locomotives, the first was, supposedly, the Stockton and Darlington Railway in England, 1825.
The Wild West
Featured in many a western film, the railroad of the Wild West has been immortalised due to the number of outlaws associated with railroad robberies of the late 1800s. From the James-Younger Gang (featuring the infamous Jesse James) to the Wild Bunch (featuring outlaw Butch Cassidy), many railroad robberies occurred across the states of America. This included Arizona, Wyoming and Missouri, and some of these old western towns and rail stations still exist today.
The fastest train
Many might believe that the Bullet Train in Japan (the Japan Shinkansen) is the fastest train in the world and, at one time, it was. But, currently, this feat is held by the Shanghai Maglev in China. Starting at 0 mph, this train can reach a top speed of 267.8 mph in just four minutes. Running between Long Yang Road and Pudong international airport, this maglev (magnetic levitation) floats on a magnetic field existing between the train and track.
The longest train
An American company, Union Pacific (who operates North America’s premier railroad), boasts this achievement. In 2010, one of its longest trains pulled 296 container cars along a train in the western part of the USA and was towed by nine diesel-electric locomotives spread throughout the train. The entirety reached a length of 18,000 feet!
The longest journey (and, arguably, the most famous)
Obviously, any train journey can be the longest, but we’re talking about the longest without having to change trains. Therefore, the longest railway starts in Russia which runs 10,214 km or 6,346 miles and spans from Moscow, Russia to Pyongyang in North Korea. This trip is only scheduled once a week and takes around eight days to complete overall. Included along this railroad journey is the famous Trans-Siberian line that many tourists tick off their bucket list – from Moscow to Vladivostok, this is arguably one of the most famous train journeys in the world.
At DH Scaffold Services, we deal with railways on a regular basis. From ensuring our railways are safe to providing Network Rail Category 3 checks anywhere in the UK, our team are on-hand to help – contact us today.