Deutsche bahn, despite all the recent controversies on labor wages, takes pride in its history. Deutsche bahn went through some changes too, to provide better service to its passengers. Check out DB information here (db auskunft). The railroad is one of the most revolutionary inventions of all time. It was only through them that inexpensive travel became possible. It connects countries and entire continents with one another – and brings many advantages to business and industry.
How it all started: History of Train and Railways
In the past, as now, three things were needed for the railroad: the wheel, the rail and a drive. The wheel was developed early on and soon gave people the idea of the rails. Because as soon as the as yet unpaved ancient streets became damp, the wheels of the carts sank and left ruts.
What was more of a disadvantage in the quagmire was an advantage on stone. The wagons stayed on track and could not stray from the path.
Presumably, the ancient Greeks built the first roads with ruts. But these routes were only the exception and were only used to transport heavy equipment over a short distance.
It was only the Roman road builders who worked to a greater extent in paved streets with grooves to make it easier for horse-drawn carts to get around.
Old Roman road with ruts
In the middle of the second millennium after Christ, this idea revived in mines. Usually wooden rails were laid on which carts transported the overburden, i.e. the rock that did not contain any raw materials.
Since wood was not a suitable material for heavy weights, cast iron rails were used from 1750 onwards. However, these were too brittle and were replaced by rolled rails at the beginning of the 19th century. In principle, these are the rails that are still used today.
The first locomotives
In the late 18th century, engineers first thought about how to replace draft horses with a more powerful drive. At that time, only the steam engine came into question, as it was perfected by James Watt from 1769. However, Watt’s low-pressure steam engines were too weak and large for a mobile machine.
It was not until the British inventor and engineer Richard Trevithick who succeeded in constructing a usable locomotive in 1804. He mounted a small and powerful high-pressure steam engine on a chassis.
This first locomotive always pulled five wagons with ten tons of iron and 70 workers in an iron works in Wales. Even if Trevithick ultimately failed due to the then still quite fragile cast-iron rails and a lack of investors, he nevertheless paved the way for all subsequent developments.
For example, for George Stephenson, another British engineer. He took the steel horses out of the iron and mines and improved the rail technology.
On September 27, 1825, the world’s first railway line was opened under his construction management. Stephenson had mainly rolled rails laid between the English cities of Stockton and Darlington, on which his locomotive Locomotion covered the first 40 kilometers of modern railway history.
For many people, the railway was still the work of the devil at that time. People were afraid of the high speeds and feared they would make them sick. The clouds of smoke from the locomotives would kill birds flying through, and cows near the train stations would no longer give milk. But the protests subsided as quickly as the railroad moved on.