The Rail Transport is the best choice when it comes to the transportation of the goods from the livestock, agricultural and industrial regions to the ports and the storage facilities. Furthermore, it is way more cheaper than the freight trucks.
Though the first trains used massive steam locomotives, they use two kind of different fuels nowadays: Diesel and Electric Power. While the Diesel Locomotives are driven by internal combustion engines, the Electric Locomotives use external
sources such as the Third Rail...
...or the Catenaries with the overhead wire...
...also, other sources like batteries inside the trains. The whole train or “Rolling Stock” is divided into two groups: one consists on the Locomotives, while the other one consists in the passenger trains and wagons of the freight trains. While the Passenger Trains vary between 3 and 10 cars, the Freight Trains can carry miles
The train is sustained by the Chassis (or Bogie), guided by the rails. Depending on the type of train and the amount of use that it has, they usually use Two Rails for the normal traffic within the cities, Four Rails where two Inter-City
trains are added, and One Rail where there’s no intense use:
At the same time, the tracks are supported by the Sleepers, placed on a bed of Ballast, usually made by cracked stone:
In some places, trains need to be guided from one track to another. For that purpose, they use the Railroad Switch:
Depending on the country, there’s a wide variety of distances between the rails, called Track Gauge. Most of the Railways in the world use
the Standard Gauge of 1435 mm. And in order to control the Railway
traffic, there’s the Signalling, from block signals to automatic devices
and personnel of the Railway. The Signalling tells the trains whether
they can advance or not:
Depending on the country, there’s a wide variety of distances between the rails, called Track Gauge. Most of the Railways in the world use the Standard Gauge of 1435 mm. And in order to control the Railway traffic, there’s the Signalling, from block signals to automatic devices and personnel of the Railway. The Signalling tells the trains whether they can advance or not. Appart from completely change the new industrial world, the Railways became a clear symbol of progress for those who built it. The Railways finished their routes on epic Central Stations, often built with magnificent architectural styles to show that progress. Every region in the world had the chance to give these stations its own style. Since its boom in the 19th Century, the Railways evolved very fast. The tramways and the subways were born from them and the cities grew exponentially, as well as the new connection between the towns on the countrysides and the cities. The Railways were and still are one of the most important creations of the History of the Humanity.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, the cities change drastically. Instead of the old carriages, the people began to use their own private transportation with the new Cars. At the same time, as an alternative within these new vehicles war born the Bus, who became a direct competitor to the tramways and cablecars, specially after the World War 2, and particularly on the American continent. The Bus can usually carry from 50 to 100 passengers.
Both the Bus and the Car use the Internal Combustion Engine, fueled by Gasoline or Diesel, and new alternatives such as Biodiesel (vegetable oil) and Electric Batteries. Also, the main parts of the Car and the Bus are supported by the Chassis, a vehicle frame who supports the engine, the transmission, the drive shaft and suspension. While it’s actually common to see the Automatic Transmission on Buses, most of the Cars in the world still use the Manual Gearbox. While the Engine of the Car is placed on the front the Buses usually have their Engines behind the seats. Though the Driving Wheel historically was through Mechanical Contact, most of the cars nowadays use the Hydraulic System, who gives the driver the possibility of a smoother control on the wheels. And in order to control the speed of the vehicle, there’s two types of Brakes: the Foot Brake over the four wheels, by pressing the foot over the pedal, and the Parking Brake or Hand Brake, used to keep the vehicle stationary.
Parallel to the birth of the Car and the Bus, there was a significant increase on the construction of routes, which in many case evolved into Multi-Lane Highways in order to admit more car, bus and truck traffic. Though the first big network of highways were the german Autobahns in the 1920s, today the biggest network lies in the U.S.A. with a remarkable presence in cities like Los Angeles and some areas of states such as Texas. Both the Routes and the Highways have the same function, but the Highways and Freeways have more lanes and their sophisticated safety systems allow bigger maximum speed numbers.
The Cars and the Buses radically changed the way we travel everyday. Unlike the Railways, the Cars have the Comfort and Privacy as their main strengths, and it even became a symbol of status, also becoming, as a result, an essential piece of the 20th Century.