Skip to main content

Questions tagged [railroads]

Transportation of goods and passengers with vehicles moving on rails. Having very large impact on the industrial era, railroads were one of the basis of modern capitalism.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3 votes
1 answer
162 views

Did the Pacific Rail Acts of 1862 create lines to nowhere?

This Video by 'ReasonTV' claims that the Pacific Rail Acts of 1862 subsidized railway construction based on distance, therefore causing rail lines to be unnecessarily extended to gain federal ...
17 votes
3 answers
3k views

How does one "ride on the brake beam"?

This would be a better fit for trains.stackexchange.com if it existed... but it doesn't, so I'm asking here. I started with the question of what it means when the narrator of Eliza's Son (1913) says ...
4 votes
0 answers
216 views

Does this WWII photo show a double-track railway?

Recently I found a Bellingcat article titled Solving World War II Photo Mysteries With Open Source Techniques. They close the article by saying: There are still many more images in the IBCC archives ...
13 votes
3 answers
5k views

What is the name of the color used by the SBB (Swiss Federal Railway) in the 1920s to paint their locomotive?

I am trying to find the name of the green color that the wonderful Ce 6/8 II "Crocodile" locomotives wore while driving across the alps during the 1920s and after. This green is very typical ...
-1 votes
1 answer
92 views

Who were the nine founding railroad members of the Chicago union stock yard? [closed]

All nine of the founding railroad companies of the Chicago stock yard. All presidents of the founding members during this time (1864)
27 votes
2 answers
5k views

What was a plausible timetable for a train journey across Europe in 1870?

I'm writing historical fiction set in 1870 (June, some weeks before the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war) in which some of the protagonists are traveling by train across Europe, from Calais to ...
5 votes
2 answers
305 views

Was Walden Pond ever the primary source for rail transported ice?

In his survey of global railway history, Blood, Iron, and Gold, Christian Wolmar, lists ice among the many surprising commodities transformed by rail transport: Another somewhat bizarre example, ...
3 votes
0 answers
112 views

Is there a breakdown for transported goods on different routes in the Persian corridor in WWII?

In August 1941, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom together occupied Iran. One motivation for that invasion was the establishment of a supply line to the Soviet Union through Iran, the so-called ...
1 vote
1 answer
263 views

What cars were used with the Crocodile Class Ce 6/8 locomotive during its active years, especially at the beginning?

The Crocodile Class Ce 6/8 locomotive was manufactured around a century ago, between 1919 and 1927. It was used by Swiss Federal Railways. Wikipedia claims that These locomotives were developed for ...
1 vote
1 answer
161 views

Was there a steam locomotive valve gear linked to pistons both in front of and behind the driving wheels, connected to the same set of linking rods?

Has there existed any steam locomotive with a valve gear such that there are pistons both in front of and behind the driving wheels, connected to the same set of linking rods? This would result in ...
1 vote
1 answer
682 views

What did a train ticket cost on a 1940 Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe train?

I would like to find out the cost of a train ticket on the Santa Fe & Topeka railroad around 1940, from Alpine Texas to Santa Fe via El Paso.
3 votes
1 answer
138 views

Why did Burgers' Transvaal try to build rail east?

According to shanskraal, [Thomas Burgers, president of the Transvaal Republic] considered a railway link with the non-British port of Delagoa Bay (Maputo) as essential for the economic survival of ...
1 vote
2 answers
270 views

When did the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad connect Baltimore city to any Ohio city?

Found a lot of information about Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (including a map from 1874 which both cities are connected), but can't find when and how, specifically, the company made the connection. ...
20 votes
1 answer
3k views

Did a fallen-out red signal lens ever cause a railway accident?

The Straight Dope (Cecil Adams, 1986) writes: When the first primitive railroad signaling devices were developed in the 1830s and 1840s, red meant “stop,” green meant “caution,” and clear (i.e., ...
5 votes
2 answers
951 views

How did Japan build an extensive rail network in Greater Tokyo?

Their rail network is like a spider web and also wondering how most of the lines are at-grade or eleveted excluding Tokyo Metro/Toei Subway lines, even though the suburbs are very dense with buldings. ...
6 votes
1 answer
300 views

How was the Karwendel railway important to Germany's plans for WW1?

While reading Max Hastings' book "Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes To War", I was surprised by the following paragraph (emphasis added): In 1912-13 Germany had declined to support a tough Austrian ...
24 votes
3 answers
6k views

What was the state of the German rail system in 1944?

Could an SS officer get from Auschwitz to Berlin by train in July/August/September 1944? I need to know how Allied bombing might have disrupted the system. For context: I am writing a mystery which ...
18 votes
1 answer
5k views

How much did it cost to buy a ticket on the Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul in 1914?

I'm trying to find out how much it cost to travel on the Orient Express in its heyday. Was it a luxury for the rich, or something middle-class people could reasonably afford? To be concrete: how much ...
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the average travel speed for railways between European capitals in the late 19th century?

Most sources I checked only present how the maximum train speed developed over time. For example, the top speed for a passenger train in 1854 was around 130 km/h. This record was set by a steam-...
5 votes
1 answer
451 views

How would an SS officer travel from Auschwitz to Berlin?

To get to Berlin from Auschwitz in early July 1944, before the attempt on Hitler's life, would an SS officer be apt to take a night train? How regularly would trains run from Oswiecim, i.e. would ...
6 votes
1 answer
327 views

How did the Railway Engines get to the Rainhill Trials?

The five locomotives that took part in the Rainhill Trials came from all over the UK. How were they transported to Rainhill? The rail network was pretty much non-existent, so presumably by road. I ...
41 votes
5 answers
22k views

What did Germany do in World War II about the different rail gauge in the Soviet Union?

One reason it was so hard for Germany to invade Russia/the Soviet Union in World War II (and I) was because the Russians had a different (wider) railroad gauge than that of most of the rest of Europe, ...
5 votes
1 answer
245 views

Where to get historical Finland railways map for 1939 year?

Where to get Finland railways map for 1939 year ? Just want to compare logistics possibilities during Winter War. It is map of USSR: http://soldat.ru/files/f/00000583.jpg
2 votes
0 answers
214 views

What happened to railroad workers whose jobs became redundant?

In the early 20th century, the steam locomotive was the king of land transportation. The railroad industry was one of the largest employers in the US, employing massive numbers of workers to build and ...
8 votes
2 answers
395 views

What trains were used on the Dakar-Niger Railway in the late 1950s and early 1960s?

What trains were used on the Dakar-Niger Railway in the late 1950s and early 1960s, i.e. the transition to independence? Are there any images available? I can find images of the railway from 1950 and ...
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did American Indians disrupt railroads in their regions?

In the Old West, many railroads went through Indian-occupied areas. Are there any documented instances of the Indians ever sabotaging the railroads? Please provide dates and circumstances where ...
8 votes
1 answer
924 views

During WW2, did the USSR re-gauge railways in conquered areas?

Basically, Germany uses 1435 mm gauge train track while Russia used 1524 mm. I recently came across this question about the Germans re-gauging the track that they could during their invasion of Russia....
4 votes
2 answers
277 views

What was the sentiment regarding government control of railroads in Gilded-Age America?

I know this is a bit of a broad question, but what did leading thinkers and the American public think about government control of railroads as they were coming into widespread use post-Reconstruction? ...
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why were there no increases in the train speed records between 1854-1934?

I and a couple other people were doing some stuff with some speed record data. Organizing the data, making some graphs, etc. While doing the train speed records, though, we noticed an oddity. For ...
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Were 12 prisoners used to demonstrate the first steam locomotive?

I have recently read in The Book of Secrets that the first time the steam locomotive started in England no one was willing to sit in it even after being paid money to do so because no one thought it ...
3 votes
0 answers
124 views

Questions regarding Royal Gorge Railroad War in Colorado

I am seeking information about the Colorado Railroad War, also known as the Royal Gorge Railroad War, in the Royal Gorge, Colorado. I am specifically wondering if this conflict was resolved through a ...
6 votes
0 answers
169 views

Why did the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company have a banking company?

I am reading newspapers from Savannah, GA 1842 (Oct. & Nov.) and they often mention the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company (originally called Georgia Railroad Company). I am not understanding ...
5 votes
4 answers
855 views

Why were terminal train stations built in Germany?

I talked to a friend who mentioned reading a theory about the placement of terminal vs passthrough train stations in Germany. In this theory, the Prussians were responsible for this decision during ...
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Were labor shortages ever a problem for the railroads in the Old West?

Many different rail lines were built in the western United States from the 1850s onwards. Was construction ever delayed/canceled due to difficulty in finding workers, or due to workers leaving the ...
5 votes
1 answer
225 views

When was the british rail strike when the workers fought by following the regulations?

I once heard about a strike in british railways. The workers decided to follow strictly the law regulations and that created chaos and that's how they proved the law was wrong. I can't find any ...
6 votes
1 answer
319 views

When was the last time period where one could travel by steam powered locomotive across the United States today?

I'm not sure that it is possible to travel the United States from coast to coast by one single steam powered train today, or that there are enough connected routes that a steam locomotive could run on....