- - The history of railways ( ) - ()

The history of railways ( ) - ()

: 2006.

    The history of railways

The railway is good example of system evolved in variousplaces to fulfil need and then developed empirically. In essence it consists f parallel tracks or bars of metal or wood, supported transversely by other bars stone, wood, steel and concrete have been used so that th load of the vehicle is spread evenly through the substructure. Such tracks were used in the Middle Ages for mining tramways in Europe; railways came to England in the 16th century and went back to Europe in the 19th century as an English invention.

    English railways

The first Act of Parliament for railway, giving right of way over other people's property, was passed

in 1758, and the first for public railway, to carry the traffic of all comers, dates from 1801. The Stockton and Dailington Railway, opened on 27 September 1825, was the first public steam railway in the world, although it had only one locomotive and relied on horse traction for the most part, with stationary steam engines for working inclined planes.

The obvious advantages of railways as means of conveying heavy loads and passengers brought about proliferation of projects. The Liverpool & Manchester, 30 miles (48 km) long and including formidable engineering problems, became the classic example of steam railway for general carriage. It opened on 15 September 1830 in the presence of the Duke of Wellington, who had been Prime Minister until earlier in the year. On opening day, the train stopped for water and the passengers alighted on to the opposite track; another locomotive came along and William Huskisson, an and great advocate of the railway, was killed. Despite this tragedy the railway was great success; in its first year of operation, revenue from passenger service was more than ten times that anticipated. Over 2500 miles of railway had been authorized in Britain and nearly 1500 completed by 1840.

Britain presented the world with complete system for the construction and operation of railways. Solutions were found to civil engineering problems, motive power designs and the details of rolling stock. The natural result of these achievements was the calling in of British engineers to provide railways in France, where as consequence left-hand rujning is still in force over many lines.

    Track gauges

While the majority of railways in Britain adopted the 4 ft 8. 5 inch (1. 43 m) gauge of the Stockton &

Darlington Railway, the Great Western, on the advice of its brilliant but eccentric engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, had been laid to seven foot (2. 13 m) gauge, as were many of its associates. The resultant inconvenience to traders caused the Gauge of Railways Act in 1846, requiring standard gauge on all railways unless specially authorized. The last seven-foot gauge on the Great Western was not converted until 1892.

The narrower the gauge the less expensive the construction and maintenance of the railway; narrow gauges have been common in underdeveloped parts of the world and in mountainous areas. In 1863 steam traction was applied to the 1 ft 11. 5 inch (0. 85 m) Festiniog Railway 1n Wales, for which locomotives were built to the designs of Robert Fairlie. then led campaign for the construction of narrow gauges. As result of the export of English engineering and rolling stock, however, most North American and European railways have been built to the standard gauge, except in Finland and Russia, where the gauge is five feet (1. 5 m).

    Transcontinental lines

The first public railway was opened in America in 1830, after which rapid development tookplace. famous 4-2-0 locomotive called thePioneerfirst ran from Chicago in 1848, and that city became one of the largest rail centres in the world. The Atlantic and the Pacific oceans were first linked on 9 1869, in famous ceremony at the meeting point of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific lines at Promontory Point in the state of Utah. Canada was crossed by the Canadian Pacific in 1885; completion of the railway was condition of British Columbia joining the Dominion of Canada, and considerable land concessions were granted in virtually uninhabited territory. The crossing of Asia with the Trans-Siberian Railway was begun by the Russians in 1890 and completed in 1902, except for ferry crossing Lake Baikal. The difficult passage round the south end of the lake, with many tunnels, was completed in 1905. Today more than half the route is electrified. In 1863 the Orient Express ran from Paris for the first time and eventually passengers were conveyed all the way to Istanbul (Constantinople).

    Rolling stock

In the early days, coaches were constructed entirely of wood, including the frames. 1900, steel frames were commonplace; then coaches were constructed entirely of steel and became very heavy. One American 85-foot (26 m) coach with two six-wheel bogies weighed more than 80 tons. New lightweight steel alloys and aluminium began

    to be used; in the 1950s the Budd company in America was

building an 85-foot coach which weighed only 27 tons. The savings began with the bogies, which were built without conventional springs, bolsters and so on; with only two air springs on each four-wheel bogie, the new design reduced the weight from 8 to 2, 5 tons without loss f strength or stability. In the I880s, 'skyscraper' cars were two-storey wooden vans with windows used as travelling dormitories for railway workers in the USA; they had to be sawn down when the railways began to build tunnels through the mountains. After World War II double-decker cars of mr compact design were built, this time with plastic domes, so that passengers could enjoy the spectacular scenery on the western lines, which pass through the Rocky Mountains.

Lighting on coaches was by means of oil lamps at first; then gas lights were used, and each coach carried cylinder f gas, which was dangerous in the event of accident or derailment. Finally dynamos on each car, driven by the axle, provided electricity, storage batteries being used for when the car was standing. Heating on coaches was provided in the early days by metal containers filled with hot water; then steam was piped from the locomotive, an extra drain on the engine's power; nowadays heat as well as light is provided electrically.

Sleeping accommodations were first made on the Cumberland Valley Railroad in the United States in 1837. George Pullman's first cars ran on the Chicago & Alton Railroad in 1859 and the Pullman Palace Car Company was formed in 1867. The first Pullman cars operated in Britain in 1874, year after the introduction of sleeping cars by two British railways. In Europe in 1876 the International Sleeping Car Company was formed, but in the meantime George Nagelmackers of Liege and an American, Col William D'Alton nn, began operation between Paris and Viennain 1873.

Goods vans [freight cars] have developed according to the needs of the various countries. On the North American continent, goods trains as long as 1, 25 miles are run as far as 1000 miles unbroken, hauling bulk such as raw materials and foodstuffs. Freight cars weighing 70 to 80 tons have two four wheel bogies. In Britain, with denser population and closely adjacent towns, large percentage of hauling is of small consignments of manufactured goods, and the smallest goods vans of any country are used, having four wheels and, up to 24, 5 tons capacity. number of bogie wagons are used for special purposes, such as carriages fr steel rails, tank cars for chemicals and 50 ton brick wagons. The earliest coupling system was links and buffers, which allowed jerky stopping and starting. Rounded buffers brought snugly together by adjustment of screw links with springs were an improvement. The buckeye automatic coupling, long standard in North America, is now used in Britain. The coupling resembles knuckle made of steel and extending horizontally; joining utomtika11 with the coupling of the next r when pushed together, it is released by pulling pin.

The first shipment of refrigerated goods was in 1851 when butter was shipped from New York to Boston in wooden van packed with ice and insulated with sawdust. The bulk of refrigerated goods were still carried by rail in the USA in the, 1960s, despite mechanical refrigeration in motor haulage; because of the greater first cost and maintenance cost of mechanical refrigeration, rail refrigeration is still mostly

provided by vans with ice packed in end bunkers, four to six inches (10 to 15 cm) of insulation and fans to circulate the cool air.

    Railways in wartime
    The first war in which railwaysfigured prominently
    was the American Civil War (1860-65), in which the Union

(North) was better able to organize andmake use of its railways than the Confederacy (South). The war was marked by famous incident in which 4-4-0 locomotive

    called the General was hi-jacked by Southern agents.
    The outbreak of World War 1 was caused in part by the

fact that the mobilization plans of the various countries, including the use f railways and rolling stock, was planned to the last detail, except that there were n provisions for stopping the plans once they had been put into action until the armies were facing each other. In 1917 in the United States, the lessons of the Civil War had been forgotten, and freight vans were sent to their destination with n facilities for unloading, with the result that the railways were briefly taken over by the government for the only time in that nation's history.

In World War 2, by contrast, the American railways performed magnificently, moving 2, 5 times the level of freight in 1944 as in 1938, with minimal increase in equipment, and supplying more than 300, 000 employees to the armed forces in various capacities. In combat areas, and in later conflicts such as the Korean war, it proved difficult to disrupt an enemy's rail system effectively; pinpoint bombing was difficult, saturation bombing was expensive and in any case railways were quickly and easily repaired.

    State railways

State intervention began in England withpublic demand for safety regulation which resulted in Lord

    Seymour's Act in 1840; the previously mentioned Railway

Gauges Act followed in 1846. Ever since, the railways havebeen recognized as one of the most important of nationalresources in each country. In France, from 1851 onwards concessions were granted for a planned regional system for which the Government provided ways and works and the companies provided track and roiling stock; there was provision for the gradual taking over of the lines by the State, and the Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF) was formed in 1937 as company in which the State owns 51% of the capital and theompanies 49%.

The Belgian Railways were planned by the State from the outset in 1835. The Prussian State Railways began in 1850; b the end of the year 54 miles (87 km) were open. Italian and Netherlands railways began in 1839; Italy nationalized her railways in 1905-07 and the Netherlands in the period 1920-38. In Britain the main railways were nationalized from 1 January 1948; the usual European pattern is that the State owns the main lines and minor railways are privately owned or operated by local authorities.

In the United States, between the Civil War and World Wr 1 the railways, along with all the other important inndustries, experienced phenomenal growth as the country developed. There were rate wars and financial piracy during period of growth when industrialists were more powerful than the national government, and finally the Interstate Commerce Act was passed in l887 in order to regulate the railways, which had near monopoly of transport. After World War 2 the railways were allowed to deteriorate, as private car ownership became almost universal and public money was spent on an interstate highway system making motorway haulage profitable, despite the fact that railways are many times as efficient at moving freight and passengers. In the USA, nationalization of railways would probably require an amendment to the Constitution, but since 1971 government effort has been made to save the nearly defunct passenger service. On 1 May of that year Amtrack was formed by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation to operate skeleton service of 180 passenger trains nationwide, serving 29 cities designated by the government as those requiring train service. The Amtrack service has been heavily used, but not adequately funded by Congress, so that bookings,

    especially for sleeper-car service, must be made far in
    The locomotive

Few machines in the machine age have inspired so much affection as railway locomotives in their 170 years of operation. Railways were constructed in the sixteenth century, but the wagons were drawn by muscle power until l804. In that year an engine built by Richard Trevithick worked on the Penydarren Tramroad in South Wales. It broke some cast iron tramplates, but it demonstrated that steam could be used for haulage, that steam generation could be stimulated by turning the exhaust steam up the chimney to draw up the fire, and that smooth wheels on smooth rails could transmit motive power.

    Steam locomotives
    The steam locomotive is robust and
    simple machine. Steam is admitted to cylinder and by

expanding pushes the piston to the other end; on the return stroke port opens to clear the cylinder of the now expanded steam. By means of mechanical coupling, the travel of the piston turns the drive wheels of the locomotive. Trevithick's engine was put to work as stationary engine at Penydarren. During the following twenty-five years, limited number of steam locomotives enjoyed success on colliery railways, fostered by the soaring cost of horse fodder towards the end of the Napoleonic wars. The cast iron plateways, which were L-shaped to guide the wagon wheels, were not strong enough to withstand the weight of steam locomotives, and were soon replaced by smooth rails and flanged wheels on the rolling stock.

John Blenkinsop built several locomotives for collieries, which ran on smooth rails but transmitted power from toothed wheel to rack which ran alongside the running rails. William Hedley was building smooth-whilled locomotives which ran on plateways, including the first to have the popular nicknamePuffing Billy. In 1814 George Stephenson began building for smooth rails at Killingworth, synthesizing the experience of the earlier designers. Until this time nearly all machines had the cylinders partly immersed in the boiler and usually vertical. In 1815 Stephenson and Losh patented the idea of direct drive from the cylinders by means of cranks on the drive wheels instead of through gear wheels, which imparted jerky motion, especially when wear occurred on the coarse gears. Direct drive allowed simplified layout and gave greater freedom to designers.

In 1825 only 18 steam locomotives were doing useful work. One of the first commercial railways, the Liverpool & Manchester, was being built, and the directors had still not decided between locomotives and bl haulage, with railside steam engines pulling the cables. They organized competition which was won by Stephenson in 1829, with his famous engine, theRocket, now in London's Science Museum. Locomotive boilers had already evolved from simple

flue to return-flue type, and then to tubular design, in which nest of fire tubes, giving more heating surface, ran from the firebox tube-plate to similar tube-plate at the smokebox end. In the smokebox the exhaust steam from the cylinders created blast on its way to the chimney which kept the fire up when the engine was moving. When the locomotive was stationary blower was used, creating blast from ring f perforated pipe into which steam was directed. further development, the multitubular boiler, was patented by Henry Booth, treasurer of the Liverpool & Manchester, in 1827. It was incorporated by Stephenson in theRocket, after much trial and error in making the ferrules of the copper tubes to give water-tight joints in the tube


After 1830 the steam locomotive assumed its familiar form, with the cylinders level or slightly inclined at the smokebox end and the fireman's stand at the firebox end.

As soon as the cylinders and axles were n longer fixed in or under the boiler itself, it became necessary to provide frame to hold the various components together. The bar frame was used on the early British locomotives and exported to America; the Americans kept the bar-frame design, which evolved from wrought iron to cast steel construction, with the cylinders mounted outside the frame. The bar frame was superseded in Britain by the plate frame, with cylinders inside the frame, spring suspension (coil or laminated) for the frames and axleboxes (lubricated bearings) to hold the


As British railways nearly all produced their own designs, great many characteristic types developed. Some designs with cylinders inside the frame transmitted the motion to crank-shaped axles rather than to eccentric pivots on the outside of the drive wheels; there were also compound locomotives, with the steam passing from first cylinder or cylinders to another set of larger ones.

When steel came into use for building boilers after 1860, higher operating pressures became possible. By the end of the nineteenth century 175 psi (12 bar) was common, with 200 psi (13. 8 bar) for compound locomotives. This rose to 250 psi (17. 2 bar) later in the steam era. (By contrast, Stephenson'sRocketonly developed 50 psi, 3. 4 bar. ) In the l890s express engines had cylinders up to 20 inches (51 cm) in diameter with 26 inch (66 cm) stroke. Later diameters increased to 32 inches (81 cm) in places like the USA, where there was more room, and locomotives and rolling stock in general were built larger. Supplies of fuel and water were carried on separate tender, pulled behind the locomotive. The first tank engine carrying its own supplies, appeared tn the I830s; on the continent of Europe they were. confusingly called tender engines. Separate tenders continued to be common because they made possible much longer runs. While the fireman stoked the firebox, the boiler had to be replenished with water by some means under his control; early engines had pumps running off the axle, but there was always the difficulty that the engine had to be running. The injector was invented in 1859. Steam from the boiler (or latterly, exhaus steam) went through cone-shaped jet and lifted the water into the boiler against the greater pressure there through energy imparted in condensation. clack (non-return valve)

    retained the steam in the boiler.

Early locomotives burned wood in America, but coal in Britain. As British railway Acts began to include penalties for emission of dirty black smoke, many engines were built after 1829 to burn coke. Under Matthetty Kirtley on the Midland Railway the brick arch in the firebox and deflector plates were developed to direct the hot gases from the coal to pass over the flames, so that relatively clean blast came out of

the chimney and the cheaper fuel could be burnt. After 1860 this simple expedient was univers11 adopted. Fireboxes were protected by being surrounded with water jacket; stays about four inches (10 cm) apart supported the inner firebox from the outer.

Steam was distributed to the pistons by means of valves. The valve gear provided for the valves to uncover the ports at different parts of the stroke, so varying the cut-off to provide for expansion of steam already admitted to the cylinders and to give lead or cushioning by letting the steam in about 0. 8 inch (3 mm) from the end of the stroke to begin the reciprocating motion again. The valve gear also provided for reversing by admitting steam to the opposite side of the piston.

Long-lap or long-travel valves gave wide-open ports for the exhaust even when early cut-ff was used, whereas with short travel at early cut-off, exhaust and emission openings became smaller so that at speeds of over 60 mph (96 kph) one-third of the ehergy of the steam was expanded just getting in and out of the cylinder. This elementary fact was not universal1y

accepted until about 1925 because it was felt that too much extra wear would occur with long-travel valve layouts.

Valv operation on most early British locomotives was by Stephenson link motion, dependent on two eccentrics on the driving 1 connected by rods to the top and bottom of an expansion link. block in the link, connected to the reversing lever under the control of the driver, imparted the reciprocating motion t the valve spindle. With the block at the top of the link, the engine would be in full forward gear and steam would be admitted to the cylinder for perhaps 75% of the stoke. As the engine was notched up by moving the lever back over its serrations (like the handbrake lever of r), the cut-off was shortened; in mid-gear there was no steam admission to the cylinder and with the block at the bottom of the link the engine was in full reverse. Walschaert's valvegear, invented in 1844 and in general use after 1890, allowed more precise adjustment and easier operation for the driver. An eccentric rod worked from return crank by the driving axle operated the expansion link; the block imparted the movement to the valve spindle, but the movement was modified by combination lever from crosshead on the piston rod.

Steam was collected as dry as possible along the top of the boiler in perforated pipe, or from point above the boiler in dome, and passed to regulator which controlled its distribution. The most spectacular development of steam locomotives for heavy haulage and high speed runs was the introduction of superheating. return tube, taking the steam back towards the firebox and forward again to header at the front end of the boiler through an enlarged flue-tube, was invented by Wilhelm Schmidt of Cassel, and modified by other designers. The first use of such equipment in Britain was in 1906 and immediately the savings in fuel and especially water were remarkable. Steam at 175 psi, for example, was generated 'saturated' at 371'F (188'); by adding 200'F (93'C) of superheat, the steam expanded much more readily in the cylinders, so that twentieth-century locomotives were able to work at high speeds at cut-offs as short as 15%. Steel tyres, glass fibre boiler lagging, long-lap piston valves, direct steam passage and superheating all contributed to the last

    phase of steam locomotive performance.
    Steam from the boiler was also for other purposes.
    Steam sanding was introduced for traction in 1887 on th
    Midland Railway, to improve adhesion better than gravity
    sanding, which often blew away. Continuous brakes were

operated by vacuum created on the engine or by mpressed air supplied by steam pump. Steam heat was piped to the carriages, arid steam dynamos [generators] provided electric light.

Steam locomotives are classified according to the number of wheels. Except for small engines used in marshalling rds, all modern steam locomotives had leading wheels on a pivoted bogie or truck to help guide them around urves. The trailing wheels helped carry the weight of the firebox. For many years the 'American standard' locomotive was a 4-4-0, having four leading wheels, four driving wheels and no trailing wheels. The famous Civil War locomotive, theGeneral, was 4-4-0, as was the New York Central Engine No 999, which set speed record 1 112. 5 mph (181 kph) in 1893. Later, common freight locomotive configuration was theMikado type, 2-8-2. Continental classification counts axles instead f wheels, and another modification gives drive wheels letter of the alphabet, so the 2-8-2 would be 1-4-1 in France and IDI in Germany.

The largest steam locomotives were articulated, with two sets of drive wheels and cylinders using common boiler. The sets f drive wheels were separated by pivot; otherwise such large engine could not have negotiated curves. The largest ever built was the Union PacificBig o, 4-8-8-4, used to haul freight in the mountains of the western United States. Even though it was articulated it could not run on sharp curves. It weighed nearly 600 tons, compared to less than five tons for Stephenson'sRocket. Steam engines could take lot of hard use, but they are now obsolete, replaced by electric and especially diesel-electric locomotives. Because of heat losses and incomplete combustion of fuel, their thermal efficinc was rarely more than 6%.

    Diesel locomotives

Diesel locomotives are most commonly diesel-electric. diesel engine drives dynamo [generator] which provides power for electric motors which turn the drive wheels, usually through pinion gear driving ring gear on the axle. The first diesel-electric propelled rail car was built in 1913, and after World War 2 they replaced steam engines completely, except where electrification of railways is economical.

Diesel locomotives have several advantages over steam engines. They are instantly ready for service, and can be shut down completely for short eriods, whereas it takes some time to heat the water in the steam engine, especially in cold weather, and the fire must be kept up while the steam engine is on standby. The diesel can go further without servicing, as it consumes n water; its thermal efficiency is four times as high, which means further savings of fuel. Acceleration and

high-speed running are smoother with diesel, which means less wear on rails and roadbed. The economic reasons for turning to diesels were overwhelming after the war, especially in North America, where the railways were in direct competition with road haulage over very long distances.

    Electric traction

The first electric-powered rail car was built in 1834, but early electric cars were battery powered, and the batteries were heavy and required frequent recharging. d 1tri trains are not self-contained, which means that they get their power from overhead wires or from third rail. The power for the traction motors is collected from the third rail

by means of shoe or from the overhead wires by pantograph. Electric trains are the most nomical to operate,

provided that traffic is heavy enough to repay electrification of the railway. Where trains run less frecuentl over long distances the cost of electrification is prohibitive. DC systems have been used as opposed to because lighter traction motors can be used, but this requires power substations with rectifiers to convert the power to D from the of the commercial mains. (High voltage DC power is difficult to transmit over long distances. ) The latest development

of electric trains has been the installation of rectifiers in the cars themselves and the use of the same frequency as the commercial mains (50 Hz in Europe, 60 Hz in North America), which means that fewer substations are necessary.

    Railway systems

The foundation of modern railway system is track which does not deteriorate under stress of traffic. Standard track in Britain comprises a flat-bottom section of rail weighing 110 lb per yard (54 kg per metre) carried on 2112 cross-sleepers per mile (1312 per km). Originally creosote-impregnated wood sleepers [cross-ties] were used, but they are now made of post-stressed concrete. This enables the rail to transmit the

pressure, perhaps as much as 20 tons/in2(3150 kg/cm2) fromthe small area of contact with the wheel, to the ground below the track formation where it is reduced through the sole plate and the sleeper to about 400 psi (28 kg/cm2). In soft ground, thick polyethylene sheets are generally placed under the ballast to prevent pumping of slurry under the weight of trains.

The rails are tilted towards one another on 1 in 20 sl. Steel rails tnay last 15 or 20 years in traffic, but to prolong the undisturbed life of track still longer, experiments have been carried out with paved concrete track (PAC) laid by slip paver similar to concrete highway construction in reinforced concrete. The foundations, if new, are similar to those for motorway. If on the other'hand, existing railway formation is to be used, the old ballast is s1d with bitumen emulsion before applying the concrete which carries the track fastenings glued in with cement grout or epoxy resin. The track is made resilient by use of rubber-bonded cork packings 0. 4 inch (10 mm) thick. British Railways purchases rails in 60 ft (18. 3 m) lengths which are shop-welded into 600 ft (183 m) lengths and then welded on site into continuous welded track with pressure-relief points at intervals of several miles. The contfnuotls welded rails make for

steadier and less noisy ride for the passenger and reduce the tractive effort.


The second important factor contributing to safe rail travel is the system of signalling. Originally railways relied on the time interval to ensure the safety of a succession of trains, but the defects rapidly manifested themselves, and a space interval, or the block system, was adopted, although it was not enforced legally on British passenger lines until the Regulation of Railways Act of 1889. Semaphore signals

became universally adopted on running lines and the interlocking f points [switches] and signals (usually accomplished mechanically by tappets) to prevent conflicting movements being signalled was also requirement of the 1889 t. Lock-and-block signalling, which ensured safe sequence of movements by electric checks, was introduced on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway in 1875.

Track circuiting, by which the presence of train is detected by an electric current passing from one rail to another through the wheels and axles, dates from 1870 when William Robinson applied it in the United States. In England the Great Eastern Railway introduced power operation of points and signals at Spitaifields goods yard in 1899, and three years later track-circuit operation of powered signals was in operation on 30 miles (48 km) of the London and Sout Western Railway main line.

Day colour light signals, controlled automatically by the trains through track circuits, were installed on the Liverpool Overhead Railway in 1920 and four-aspect day colour lights (red, yellow, double yellow and green) were provided on Southern Railway routes from 1926 onwards. These enable drivers of high-speed trains to have warning two block sections ahead of possible need to stop. With track circuiting it became usual to show the presence f vehicles on track diagram in the signal cabin which allowed routes to be controlled remotely by means of electric relays. Today, panel

operation of considerable stretches of railway is common-l; at Rugby, for instance, signalman can control the points at station 44 miles (71 km) away, and the signalbox at London Bridge controls movements on the busiest 150 track-miles of British Rail. By the end of the I980s, the 1500 miles (241 km) of the Southern Region of British Rail are to be controlled from 13 signalboxes. In modern panel installations the trains are not only shown on the track diagram as they move from one section to another, but the train identification number appears electronically in each section. mputer-assisted train description, automatic train rporting and, at stations such as London Bridge, operation of platform indicators, is now usual.

Whether points are operated manually or by an electric point motor, they have to be prevented from moving while a train is passing over them and facing points have to be locked, nd roved t lkd (r 'detected' ) before th relevant signal can permit train movement. The blades of the points have to be closed accurately (. 16 inch or 0. 4 cm is the maximum tolerance) so as to avert any possibility of wheel flange splitting the point and leading to derailment.

Other signalling developments of recent years include completely automatic operation of simple point layouts, such as the double crossover at the Bank terminus of the British Rails's Waterloo and City underground railway. On London ransport's underground system plastic roll operates junctions according to the timetable by means of coded punched holes, and on the Victoria Line trains are operated automatically once the driver has pressed two buttons to indicate his readiness to start. also acts as the guard, controlling the opening f th doors, closed circuit television giving him view along the train. The trains are controlled (for acceleration and braking) by coded impulses transmitted through the running rails to induction coils mounted on the front of the train. The absence of code impulses cuts off the current and applies the brakes; driving and speed control is covered by command spots in which frequency of 100 Hz corresponds to one mile per hour (1. 6 km/h), and l5 kHz

shuts off the current. Brake applications are so controlled that trains stop smoothly and with great accuracy at the desired place on platforms. Occupation of the track circuit ahead by train automatically stops the following train, which cannot receive code.

On ritish main lines an automatic warning system is being installed by which the driver receives in his b visual and audible warning of passing distant signal at caution; if he does not acknowledge the warning the brakes are applied automatically. This is accomplished by magnetic induction between magnetic unit placed in the track and actuated according to the signal aspect, and unit on the train.

    Train control

In England train control began in l909 on the Midland Railway, particularly to expedite the movement f coal trains and to see that guards and enginemen were relieved at the end of their shift and were not called upon to work excessive overtime. Comprehensive train control systems, depending on complete diagrams of the track layout and records of the position of engines, crews and rolling stock, were developed for the whole of Britain, the Southern Railway being the last to adopt it during World War 2, having hitherto given great deal of responsibility to signalmen for the regulation of trains. Refinements f control include advance traffic information(ATI) in which information is passed from yard to yard by telex giving types of wagon, wagon number, route code, particulars f the load, destination

    station and consignee. In l972 British Rail decided to

adopt computerized freight information and traffic control system known as TOPS (total operations processing system) which was developed over eight years by the Southern Pacific company in the USA.

Although great deal of rail 1rffi in Britain is handled by block trains from point of origin to destination, about onefifth of the originating tonnage is less than a train-load. This means that wagons must be sorted on their journey. In Britain there are about 600 terminal points on a 12, 000 mile network whitch is served by over 2500 freight trains made up of varying assortments of 249, 000 wagons and 3972 locomotives, of witch 333 are electric. This requires the speed of calculation and the information storage and classification capacity of the modern computer, whitch has to be linked to points dealing with or generating traffic troughout the system. The computer input, witch is by punched cards, covers details of loading or unloading of wagons and their movements in trains, the composition of trains and their departures from and arrivals at yards , and the whereabouts of locomotives. The computer output includes information on the balanse of locomotives at depots and yards, with particulars of when maintenanse examinations are due, the numbers of empty and loaded wagons, with aggregate weight and brake forse, and wheder their movement is on time, the location of empty wagons and a forecast of those that will become available, and the numbers of trains at any location, with collective train weigts and individual details of the component wagons. A closer check on what is happening troughoud the

system is thus provided, with the position of consignments in transit, delays in movement, delays in unloading wagons by customers, and the capasity of the system to handle future traffic among the information readily available. The computer has a built-in self-check on wrong input information.

    Freight handling
    The merry-go-round system enables coal for power
    stations to be loaded into hopper wagons at a colliery

without the train being stopped, and at the power station the train is hauled round a loop at less than 2mph (3. 2 km/h), a trigger devise automatically unloading the wagons without the train being stopped. The arrangements also provide for automatic weighing of the loads. Other bulk loads can be dealt with in the same way.

Bulk powders, including cement, can be loaded and discharged pneumatically, using either ri1 wagons or containers. Iron ore is carried in 100 ton gross wagons (72 tons of payload) whose coupling gear is designed to swivel, so that wagons can be turned upside down for discharge without uncoupling from their train. Special vans take palletized loads of miscellaneous merchandise or such products as fertilizer, the van doors being designed so that all parts of the interior can be reached by fork-lift truck.

British railway companies began building their stocks of containers in 1927, and by 1950 they had the largest stock of large containers in Western Europe. In 1962 British Rail decided to use International Standards Organisation sizes, 8 ft (2, 4 m) wide by 8 ft high and 1, 20, 30 and 40 ft (3. 1, 6. 1, 9. 2 and 12. 2 m) long. The 'Freightliner' service of container trains uses 62. 5 ft (19. 1 m) flat wagons with air-operated disc brakes in sets f five and was inaugurated in 1965. At depots

'Drott' pneumatic-tyred cranes were at first provided but rail-mounted Goliath cranes are now provided.

Cars are handled by double-tier wagons. The British car industry is big user of 'omn' trains, which are operated for single customer. Both Ford and Chrysler use them to exchange parts between specialist factories nd the railway thus becomes an extension of factory transport. Company trains frequent1 consist of wagons owned by the trader; there are about 20, 000 on British railways, the oil industry, for example, providing most f the tanks it needs to carry 21 million tons of petroleum products by rail each year despite competition from pipelines.

Gravel dredged from the shallow seas is another developing source of rail traffic. It is moved in 76 ton lots by 100 ton gross hopper wagons and is either discharged on to belt conveyers to go into the storage bins at the destination or, in another system, it is unloaded by truck-mounted discharging machines.

Cryogenic (very low temperature) products are also transported by rail in high capacity insulated wagons. Such products include liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen which are taken from central plant to strategically-placed railheads where the liquefied gas is transferred to road tankers for the journey to its ultimate destination.


Groups of sorting sidings, in which wagons [freight cars] can be arranged in order s that they can be

detached from the train at their destination with the least possible delay, are called marshalling yards in Britain and classification yards or switchyards in North America. The work is done by small locomotives called switchers or shunters, which move 'cuts' of trains from one siding to another until the desired order is achieved.

    As railways became more complicated in their system

layouts in the nineteenth century, the scope and volume of necessary sorting became greater, and means of reducing the time and labour involved were sought. ( 1930, for every 100 miles that freight trains were run in Britain there were 75 miles of shunting. ) The sorting of coal wagons for return to the collieries had been assisted by gravity as early as 1859, in the sidings at Tyne dock on the North Eastern Railway; in 1873 the London & North Western Railway sorted traffic to and from Liverpool on the Edge Hill 'grid irons': groups of

sidings laid out on the slope of hill where gravity provided the motive power, the steepest gradient being 1 in 60 (one foot of elevation in sixty feet of siding). Chain drags were used for braking he wagons. shunter uncoupled the wagons in 'cuts' for the various destinations and each cut was turned into the appropriate siding. Some gravity yards relied on code of whistles to advise the signalman what 'road' (siding) was required.

In the late nineteenth century the hump yard was introduced to provide gravity where there was n natural slope of the land. In this the trains were pushed up an artificial mound with gradient of perhaps 1 in 80 and the cuts were 'humped' down somewhat steeper gradient on the other side. The separate cuts would roll down the selected siding in the fan or 'balloon' of sidings, which would nd in slight upward slope to assist in the stopping of the wagons. The main means of stopping the wagons, however, were railwaymen called shunters who had to run alongside the wagons and apply the brakes at the right time. This was dangerous and required excessive manpower.

Such yards rd all over North America and north-east England and began to be adopted elsewhere in England. Much ingenuity was devoted to means of stopping the wagons; German firm, Frohlich, came up with hydraulically operated retarder which clasped the wheel of the wagon as it went past, to slow it down to the amount the operator throught nssar.

    An entirely new concept came with Whitemoor yard at
    March, near Cambridge, opened by the London & North

Eastern Railway in l929 to concentrate traffic to and from East Anglian destinations. When trains arrived in one of ten reception sidings shunter examined the wagon labels and prepared 'cut card' showing how the train should be sorted into sidings. This was sent to the control tower by pneumatic tube; there the points [switches] for the forty sorted sidings were preset in accordance with the cut card; information for several trains could be stored in simple pin and drum device.

The hump was approached by grade of 1 in 80. On the far side was short stretch of 1 in 18 to accelerate the wagons, followed by 70 yards {64 m) at 1 in 60 where the tracks divided into four, each equipped with Frohlich retarder. Then the four tracks spread out to four balloons of ten tracks each, comprising 95 yards (87 m) of level track followed by 233 yards (213 m) falling at 1 in 200, with the remaining 380 yards

(348 m) level. The points were moved in the predetermined sequence by track circuits actuated by the wagons, but the operators had to estimate the effects on wagon speed of the retarders, depending to degree on whether the retarders were grease or oil lubricated.

Pushed by an 0-8-0 small-wheeled shunting engine at 1. 5 to 2 mph (2. 5 to 3 km/h), train of 70 wagons could be sorted in seven minutes. The yard had throughput of about 4000 wagons day. The sorting sidings were allocated: number one for Bury St Edmunds, two for Ipswich, and s forth. Number 31 was for wagons with tyre fastenings which might be ripped off by retarders, which were not used on that siding. Sidings 32 t 40 were for traffic to be dropped at wayside stations; for these sidings there was an additional hump for sorting these wagons in station order. Apart from the sorting

    sidings, there were an engine road, brake van road,

'cripple' road for wagons needing repair, and transfer road to three sidings serving tranship shed, where small shipments not filling entire wagons could be sorted.

British Rail built series of yards at strategic points; the yards usually had two stages of retarders, latterly electropneumatically operated, to control wagon speed. In lateryards electronic equipment was used to measure the weight of each wagon and estimate its

rolling resistance. By feeding this information into computer, suitable speed for the wagon could be determined and the retarder operatedautomatically to give the desired amount of braking. These predictions did not always prove reliable.

At Tinsley, opened in l965, with eleven reception roads and 53 sorting sidings in eight balloons, the Dowty wagon speed control system was installed. The Dowty system uses many small units (20, 000 at Tinsley) comprising hydraulic rams on the inside of the rail, less than wagon length apart. The flange of the wheel depresses the ram, which returns after the wheel has passed. speed-sensing device determines whether the wagon is moving too fast from thehump; if the speed is too fast the ram automatically has retarding action.

Certain of the units are booster-retarders; if the wagon is moving too slowly, hydraulic supply enablesthe ram to accelerate the wagon. There are 25 secondary sorting

    sidings at Tinsley to which wagons are sent over

secondary hump by the booster-retarders. If individual unitsfail the rams can be replaced.

An automatic telephone exchange links ll the traffic and administrative offices in the yard with the railway controlffi, Sheffield Midland Station and the local steelworks(principal source of traffic). Two-w loudspeaker systems are available through all the principal points in the yard, and radio telephone equipment is used t speak to enginemen. Fitters maintaining the retarders have walki-talkie equipment.

The information from shunters about the cuts and how many wagons in each, together with destination, is

conveyed by special data transmission equipment, punched tape being produced to feed into the point control system for each train over the hump. As British Railways have departed from the wagon-load system there is less employment for marshalling yards. Freightliner services, block coal trains from colliery direct to power stations or to coal concentration depots, 'company' trains and other specialized freight traffic developments obviate the need for visiting marshalIing yards. Other factors are competition from motor transport, closing of wayside freight depots and of many small coal yards.

    Modern passenger service

In Britain network of city tocity services operates at speeds of up to 100 mph (161 km/h) and at regular hourly intervals, or 30 minute intervals on such routes as London to Birmingham. On some lines the speed is soon to be raised to 125 mph (201 km/h)with high speed diesel trains whos prototype has been shown to be

capable of 143 mph (230 km h). With the advanced passenger train (APT) now under development, speeds of 150 mph (241 km/h) are envisaged. The Italians are developing system capable of speeds approaching 200 mph (320 km/h) while the Japanese and the French already operate passenger trains at speeds of about 150mph (241 km/h).

The APT will be powered either by electric motors or by gas turbines, and it can use existing track because of its pendulum suspension which enables it to heel over when travelling round curves. With stock hauled by conventional locomotive, the London to Glasgow electric service holds the European record for frequency speed over long distance. When the APT is in service, it is expected that the London to Glasgow journey time of five hours will be reduced to 2. 5 hours.

    In Europe number of combined activities organized
    through the International Union af Railways included the

Trans-Europe-Express (TEE) network of high-speed passenger trains, similar freight service, and network of railway-ssociated road services marketed as Europabus.

    Mountain railways

Cable transport has always been associated with hills and mountains. In the late 1700s and early 1800s the wagonways used for moving coal from mines to river or sea ports were hauled by cable up and down inclined tracks. Stationary steam engines built near the top of the incline drove the cables, which were passed around drum connected to the steam engine and were carried on rollers along the track. Sometimes cable-worked wagonways were self-acting if loaded wagons worked downhill, fr they could pull up the lighter empty wagons. Even after George Stephenson perfected the travelling steam locomotive to work the early passenger railways of the 1820s and 1830s cable haulage was sometimes used to help trains climb the steeper gradients, and cable working continued to be used for many steeply-graded industrial wagonways throughout the 1800s. Today few cable-worked inclines survive at industrial sites and for such unique forms of transport as the San Francisco tramway [streetcar] system.

    The first true mountain railways using steam

locomotives running on railway track equipped for rack and pinion (cogwheel) propulsion were built up Mount Washington, USA, in 1869 and Mount Rigi, Switzerland, in 1871. The latter was the pioneer of what today has become the most extensive mountain transport system in the world. Much of Switzerland consists of high mountains, some exceeding l4, 000 ft (4250 m). From this development in mountain transport other methods were developed and in the following 20 years until the turn of the century funicular railways were built up number of mountain slopes. Most worked on similar principle to the cliff lift, with two cars connected by cable balancing each other. Because of the length of some

lines, one mile (1. 6 km) or more in few cases, usually only single track is provided over most of the route, but a short length of double track is laid down at the halfway point where the cars cross each other. The switching of cars through the double-track section is achieved automatically by using double-flanged wheels on one side of each ar and flangeless wheels on the other so that one car is always guided through the righthand track and the other through the left-hand track. Small gaps are left in the switch rails to allow the cable t pass through without impeding the wheels. Funiculars vary in steepness according to location and may have gentle curves; some are not steeper than 1 in 10 (10per cent), others reach maximum steepness of 88 per cent. On the less steep lines the cars are little different from, but smaller than, ordinary railway carriages. On the steeper lines the cars have number of separate compartments, stepped up one from another so that while floors and seats are level a compartment at the higher end may be I0 or even 15 ft (3 or 4 m) higher than the lowest compartment at the other end. Some of the bigger cars seat 100 passengers, but most carry fewer than this.

Braking and safety are of vital importance on steep mountain lines to prevent breakaways. Cables are regularly inspected and renewed as necessary but just in case the cable breaks a number of braking systems are provided to stop the car quickly. On the steepest lines ordinary wheel brakes would not have any effect and powerful spring-loaded grippers on the r underframe act on the rails as soon as the cable becomes slack. When cable is due for renewal the opportunity is taken to test the braking system by cutting the cable nd checking whether the cars stop within the prescribed

    distance. This operation is done without passengers

The capacity of funicular railways is limited to the two cars, which normally do not travel at mr than about 5 to 1 mph (8 to 16 km/h). Some lines are divided 1nt sections with pairs f cars covering shorter lengths.

    Rack railways
    The rack and pinion system principle dates
    from the pioneering days of the steam locomotive between
    1812 and 1820 which coincided with the introduction of
    iron rails. 0ne engineer, Blenkinsop, did not think that
    iron wheels on locomotives would have sufficient grip on

iron rails, and on the wagonway serving Middleton colliery near Leeds he laid an extra toothed rail alongside one of the ordinary rails, which engaged with cogwheel on the locomotive. The Middleton line was relatively level and it was soon found that on railways with only gentle climbs the rack system was not needed. If there was enough weight on the locomotive driving wheels they would grip the rails by friction. Little more was heard of rack railways until the 1860s, when they began to be developed for mountain railways in the USA and Switzerland.

The rack system for the last 100 years has used an additional centre toothed rail which meshes with cogwheels under locomotives and coaches. There are four basic types of rack varying in details: the Riggenbach type looks like steel ladder, and the Abt and Strub types use vertical rail with teeth machined out of the top. 0ne or other of these systems is used on most rack lines but they are safe only on gradients n steeper than 1 in 4 (25 per cent). One line in Switzerland up Mount Pilatus has gradient of 1 in 2 (48 per cent) and uses the Locher rack with teeth cut on both sides of the rack rail instead of on top, engaging with pairs of

    horizontally-mounted cogwheels on each side, drivihg and
    braking the railcars.

The first steam locomotives for steep mountain lines had vertical boilers but later locomotives had boilers mounted at an angle to the main frame so that they were virtually horizontal when on the climb. Today steam locomotives have all but disappeared from most mountain lines nd survive in regular service on only one line in Switzerland, on Britain's only rack line up Snowdon in North Wales, and handful of others. Most of the remainder have been electrified or few converted to diesel.

    Trams and trolleybuses

The early railways used in mines with four-wheel trucks and wooden beams for rails were known as tramways. From this came the word tram for four-wheel rail vehicle. The world's first street ri1w, or tramway, was built in New York in 1832; it was mile (1, 6 km) long and known as the New York & Harlem Railroad. There were two horse-drawn rs, each holding 30 people. The one mile route had grown to four miles (6. 4 km) by 1834, and cars were running every 15 minutes; the tramway idea spread quickly and in the 1880s there were more than 18, 000 horse trams in the USA and over 3000 miles (4830 km) of track. The building f tramways, or streetcar systems, required the letting of construction contracts and the acquisition of right-of-way easemerits, and was an area of political patronage and corruption in many cit governments. The advantage of the horse tram over the horse bus was that steel wheels on steel rails gave smoother ride and less friction. horse could haul on rails twice as much weight s on roadway. Furthermore, the trams had brakes, but buses still relied on the weight of the horses to stop the vehicle. The American example was followed in Europe and the first tramway in Paris was opened in 1853 appropriately styled 'the American Railway'. The first line in Britain was opened in Birkenhead in 1860. It was built by George Francis Train, an American, who also built three short tramways in London in 1861: the first f these rn from rbl Arch for short distance along the Bayswater Road. The lines used type of step rail which stood up from the road surface and interfered with other traffic, so they were taken up within year. London's more permanent tramways began running in 1870, but Liverpool had 1in working in November 1869. Rails which could be laid flush with the road surface were used for these lines.

steam tram was tried out in Cincinatti, Ohio in 1859 and in London in 1873; the steam tram was not widely successful because tracks built for horse trams could not stand up t th weight of locomotive.

The solution to this problem was found in the cable r. Cables, driven by powerful stationary steam engines at the end of the route, were run in conduits below the roadway, with an attachment passing down from the tram through slot in the roadway to grip the cable, and the car itself weighed n more than horse car. The most famous application of cables to tramcar haulage was Andrew S Hallidie's 1873 system on the hills of San Franciscostill in use and great tourist attraction today. This was followed by others in United States cities, and by 1890 there were some 500 miles (805 km) of cable tramway in the USA. In London there were only two cable-operated linesup Highgate Hill from 1884 (the first in Europe) and up the hill between Streatham and Kennington. In Edinburgh, however, there was an extensive cable system, as there was in Melbourne.

The ideal source of power for tramways was electricity, clean and flexible but difficult at first to apply. Batteries were far too heavy; converted horse r with batteries under the seats and single electric motor was tried in London in 1883, but the experiment lasted only one day. Compressed air driven trams, the invention of jr Beaumont, had been tried out between Stratford and Leytonstone in 1881; between 1883 and 1888 tramcars hauled by battery locomotives ran on the same route. There was even coal-gas driven tram with an Otto-type gas engine tried in Croydon in 1894.

There were early experiments, especially in the USA and Germany, to enable electricity from power station to be fed to tramcar in motion. The first useful system emp1d small two-wheel carriage running on top of an overhead wire and connected t the tramcar by cable. The circuit was completed via wheels and the running rails. tram route on this system was working in Montgomery, Alabama, as early as 1886. The cohverted horse cars had motor mounted on one of the end platforms with chain drive to one axle. Shortly afterwards, in the USA and Germany there wer trials on similar principle but using four-wheel overhead carriage known as troller, from which the modern word trolley is derived.

Real surcess came when Frank J Sprague left the US Navy in 1883 to devote more time to problems of using electricity for power. His first important task was to equip the Union Passenger Railway at Richmond, Virginia, for lectrical working. There he perfected the swivel trolley 1 which could run under the overhead wire instead of above it. From this success in 1888 sprang all the subsequent tramways of the world; by 1902 there were nearly 22, 000 miles (35, 000 km) of

ltrified tramways in the USA alone. In Great Britain there were electric trams in Manchester from 1890 and London's first electric line was opened in 1901.

    Except in Great Britain and countries under British
    influence, tramcars were normally single-decked. Early

electric trams had four wheels and the two axles were quite close together so that the car could take sharp bends. Eventually, as the need grew for larger cars, two bogies, or trucks, were used, one under each end of the car. Single-deck cars of this type were often coupled together with single driver and one or two conductors, Double-deck cars could haul trailers in peak hours and for time such trailers were common sight in London. The two main power collection systems were from

    overhead wires, as already described though modern

tramways often use pantograph collecting devi held by springs against the underside of the wire instead of the traditional trolleyand the conduit system. This system is derived from the slot in the street used for the early cablecars, but instead of moving cable there are current supply rails in the conduit. The tram is fitted with device called plough which passes down into the conduit. On each side of the plough is contact shoe, one of which presses against each of the rails. Such system was used in inner London, in New York and Washington DC, and in European cities. Trams were driven through controller on each platform. In single-motor car, this allowed power to pass through resistariceas well as the motor, the amount f resistanc being reduced in steps by moving handle as desired, to feed more power to the motor. In two-motor cars much more economical ntrol was used. When starting, the two motors were nnctd in series, so that each motor received power in turnin effect, each got half th power available, the amount of power again being regulated b resistances. As speed rose

the controller was 'notched up' to further set of steps in which the motors were connected in parallel so that each reived current direct from the power source instead o sharing it. The ntrllr could also be moved to further set of notches which gave degrees of 1trical braking, achieved by connecting the motors so that they acted as generators, the power generated being absorbed by the resistances. n merican tramcar revival in the I930s resulted in the design of new tramcar known as the type after the Electric Railway Presidents nfrnce Committee which commissioned it. These cars, of which many hundreds were built, had more refined controllers with more steps, giving smoother acceleration.

The decline of the tram springs from the fact that while tram route is fixed, bus route can be changed as the need for it changes. The inability of tram to draw in to the kerb to discharge and take on passengers was handicap when road traffic increased. The tram has continued to hold its own in some cities, especially, in Europe; its character, however, is changing and tramways are becoming light rapid transit railways, often diving underground in the centres of cities. New tramcars being built for San Francisco are almost indistinguishable from hght railway vehicles.

The lack of flexibility of the tram led to experiments to dispense with rails altogether and to the trolleybus, r trackless tram. The first crude versions were tried out in Germany and the USA in the early 1880s. The current llection system needed two cables and collector arms, sine there were n rails. short line was tried just outside Paris in 1900 and an even shorter one 800 feet (240 m) opened in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in l903. In England, trolleybuses were operating in Bradford and Leeds in 1911 and other cities

    soon followed their example. America and Canada widely

changed to trolleybuses in the early l920s and many cities had them. The trolleybuses tended to look, except for their mllector arms, like contemporary motor buses. Londons first trolleybus, introduced in 1931, was based on six-wheel bus chassis with an electric motor substituted for the engine. The London trolleybus fleet, which in 1952 numbered over 1800, was for some years the largest in the world, and was composed almost entirely of six-wheel double-deck vehicles. The typical trolleybus was operated by means of pedal-operated master control, spring-loaded to the 'off' position, and a reversing lever. Some braking was provided by the electric motor controls, but mechanical brakes were relied upon for safety. The same lack of flexibility which had ndemned trams in most parts f the world also condemned thetrolIeybus. They were tied as firmly to the overhead wires as were the trams

    to the rails.
    Monorail systems

Monorails are railways with only one rail instead f two. They have been experimentally built for more than hundred years; there would seem to be an advantage in that one rail and its sleepers [cross-ties] would occupy less space than two, but in practice monorail construction tended to be complicated on account of the necessity of keeping the cars upright. There is also the problem of switching the cars from one line to another.

The first monorails used an elevated rail with the cars hanging down on both sides, like pannier bags [saddle bags] on pony or bicycle. monorail was patented in 1821 by Henry Robinson Palmer, engineer to the London Dock Company, and the first line was built in 1824 to run between the Royal Victualling Yard and the Thames. The elevated wooden rail was plank on edge bridging strong wooden supports, into which it was set, with an iron bar on top to take the wear from the double-flanged wheels of the cars. similar line was built to carry bricks to River Lea barges from brickworks at Cheshunt in 1825. The cars, pulled by horse and tow r, were in two parts, one on each side of the rail, hanging from a framework which carried the wheels. Later, monorails on this principle were built by Frenchman, F M T Lartigue. put his single rail on top of series of triangular trestles with their bases on the ground; he also put guide rail on each side of the trestles on which ran horizontal wheels attached to the cars. The cars thus had both vertical and sideways support nd were suitable for higher speeds than the earlier type.

steam-operated line on this principle was built in Syria in 1869 by J L Hadden. The locomotive had two vertical boilers, n on each side f the pannier-type vehicle.

An electric Lartigue line was opened in central France in 1894, and there were proposals to build network of them on Long Island in the USA, radiating from Brooklyn. There was demonstration in London in 1886 on short line, trains being hauled by two-boiler Mallet steam locomotive. This had two double-flanged driving wheels running on the raised centre rail and guiding wheels running on tracks on each side of the trestle. Trains were switched from one track to anothe

by moving whole section of track sideways to line up with another section. In 1888 line on this principle was laid in Ireland from Listowel to llybunion, distance of 9, 5 miles; it ran until 1924. There were three locomotives, each with two horizontal boilers hanging one each side of the centre wheels. They were capable of 27 mph (43. 5 km/h); the carriages wr built with the lower parts in two sections, between which were the wheels.

The Lartigue design was adapted further by F B Behr, who built three-mil electric line near Brussels in l897. The mnri1 itself was again at the top of n '' shaped trestle, but there were two balancing and guiding rails on each side, s that although the weight of the r was carried by one rail, ther were really five rails in ll. The r weighed 55 tons and had two four-wheeled bogies (that is, four wheels in line n each bogie). It was built in England and had motors putting

out total of 600 horsepower. The r ran at 83 mph (134 km/h) and was said to have reached 100 mph (161 km/h) in private trials. It was extensively tested by representatives of the Belgian, French and Russian governments, and Behr came near to success in achieving wide-scale application of his design. An attempt to build monorail with one rail laid on the ground in order to save space led to the use of gyroscope to keep the train upright. gyroscope is rapidly spinning flywheel which resists any attempt to alter the angle of the axis on which it spins.

true monorail, running on single rail, was built for military purposes by Louis Brennan, an Irishman who also invented steerable torpedo. Brennan applied for monorail patents in 1903, exhibited large working model in 1907 and full-size 22-ton car in 190910. It was held upright by two gyroscopes, spinning in opposite directions, and carried 50 people or ten tons of freight.

similar r carrying only six passengers and driver was demonstrated in Berlin in 1909 by August Scherl, who had taken out patent in 1908 and later m to an agreement with Brennan to use his patents also. Both systems allowed the cars to lean over, like bicycles, on curves. Scherl's was an electric car; Brennan's was powered by an internal combustion engine rather than steam so as not to show any tell-tale smoke when used by the military. steam-driven gyroscopic system was designed by Peter Schilovsky, Russian nobleman. This reached only the model stage; it was held upright by single steam-driven gyroscope placed in the tender.

The disadvantage with gyroscopic monorail systems was that they required power to drive the gyroscope to keep the train upright even when it was not moving. Systems were built which ran on single rails on the ground but used guide rail at the top to keep the train upright. Wheels on top of the train engaged with the guiding rail. The structural support necessary for the guide rail immediately nullified the economy in land use which was the main argument in favour of monorails.

    The best known such system was designed by Tunis

and built by August Belmont. It was 1, 2 miles long (2. 4 km) and ran between Barton Station on the New York, New

    Haven & Hartford Railroad and City Island (Marshall's

Corner) in 1, 2 minutes. The overhead guide rail was arranged to make the single car lean over on curve and the line was designed for high speeds. It ran for four months in l9I0, but on 17 July f that year the driver took curve too slowly, the guidance system failed and the car crashed with 100 people on board. It never ran again.

    The most successful modern monorails have been the

invention of Dr Axel L Wenner-Gren, an industrialist born in Sweden. Alweg lines use concrete beam carried on concrete supports; the beam can be high in the air, at ground level or in tunnel, as required. The cars straddle the beam, supported by rubber-tyred wheels on top f the beam; there are also horizontal wheels in two rows on each side underneath, bearing on the sides of the beam near the top and bottom of it. Thus there are five bearing surfaces, as in the Behr system, but combined to use single beam instead of massive steel trestle framework. The carrying wheels m up into the centre line of the cars, suitably enclosed. Electric current is picked up from power lines at the side

of the beam. number of successful lines have been built on the Alweg system, including line 8. 25 miles (13. 3 km) long between Tokyo and its Haneda airport.

There are several other 'saddle' type systems on the same principle as the Alweg, including small industrial system used on building sites and for agricultural purposes which can run without driver. With all these systems, trains are diverted from one track to another by moving pieces of track sideways to bring in another piece of track to form new link, or by using flexible section of track to give the same result.

    Other systems

Another monorail system suspends the car beneath an overhead carrying rail. The wheels must be over the centre line of the car, so the support connected between

ri1 and car is to one side, or offset. This allows the rail to be supported from the other side. Such system was built between the towns of Barmen and Elberfeld in Germany in 1898-1901 and was extended in 1903 to length of 8. 2 miles (13 km). It has run successfully ever since, with remarkable safety record. Tests in the river valley between the towns showed that monorail would be more suitable than conventional railway in the restricted space available because monorail cars could take sharper curves in comfort. The rail is suspended on steel structure, mostly over the River Wupper itself. The switches or points on the line are in the form of switch tongue forming an inclined plane, which is placed over the rail; the car wheels rise on this plane and are thus led to the siding.

An experimental line using the same principle of suspension, but with the r driven by means f an aircraft propeller, was designed by George Bennie and built at Milngavie (Scotland) in 1930. The line was too short for high speeds, but it was claimed that 200 mph (322 km/h) was possible. There was an auxiliary rail below the car on which horizontal wheels ran to control the sway. modern system, the SAFEGE developed in France, has

suspended cars but with the 'rail' in the form of steel box section split on the underside to allow the car supports to pass through it. There are two rails inside the b, one on each side of the slot, and the cars are actually suspended from four-wheeled bogies running on the two rails.

    Underground railways

The first underground railways were those used in mines, with small trucks pushed by hand or, later, drawn by ponies, running on first wooden, then iron, and finally steel rails. Once the steam railway had arrived, howevr, thoughts soon turned to building passenger railways under the ground in cities to avoid the traffic congestion which was already making itself felt in the streets towards the middle of the 19th century.

The first underground passenger railway was opened in London on 1 January, 1863. This was the Metropolitan Railway, 3. 75 miles (6 km) long, which ran from Paddington to Farringdon Street. Its broad gauge (7 ft, 2. 13 m) trains, supplied by the Great Western Railway, were soon carrying nearly 27, 000 passengers day. Other underground lines followed in London, and in Budapest, Berlin, Glasgow, Paris and later in the rest of Europe, North and South America, Russia, Japan, China, Spain, Portugal and Scandinavia, and lans and studies for yet more underground railways have already been turned into reality r soon will be all over the world. Quite soon every major city able to d so will have its underground railway. The reason is the same as that

which inspired the Metropolitan Railway over 100 years ago traffic congestion. The first electric tube railway [subway] in the world, the City and South London, was opened in 1890 and all subsequent tube railways have been electrically worked. Subsurface cut-and-cover lines everywhere are also electrically worked. Th early locomotives used on undergroundrailways have given way to multiple-unit trains, with separate motors at various points along the train driving the wheels, but controlled from single driving b. Modern underground railway rolling stock usually has

plenty of standing space to cater for peak-hour crowds and alarge number of doors, usually opened and closed by the driver or guard, so that passengers can enter and leave the trains quickly at the many, closely spaced stations. Average underground railway speeds are not highoften between 20 and 25 mph (32 to 60km/h) including stops, but the trains are usually much quicker than surface transport in the same area. Where underground trains emerge into the open on the dge

of cities, and stations are greater distance apart, they can often attain well over 60 mph (97 km/h).

The track and ltricit supply are usually much the same as that of main-line railways and most underground lines use forms f automatic signalling worked by the trains themselves and similar to that used by orthodox railway systems. The track curcuit is the basic component of automatic signalling of this type on ll kinds of railways. Underground railways rely heavily on automatic signalling because of the close headways, the short time intervals between trains.

Some railways have n signals in sight, but the signal 'aspects' green, yellow and red are displayed to the driver in the of his train. Great advances are being made also with automatic driving, now in use in number of cities. he Victoria Line system in London, the most fully automatic line now in operation, uses codes in the rails for both safety signalling and automatic driving, the codes being picked up by coils on the train and passed to the driving and monitoring equipment.

Code systems are used on other underground railways but sometimes they feed information to central computer, which calculates where the train should be at any given time, nd instructs the train to slow down, speed up, stop, or take any other action needed.

© , 2012