transportation

The Legend of the Pony Express

The Legend of the Pony Express

On April 3, 1860, the Pony Express started delivering messages, newspapers, mail, even small packages from St. Joseph, Missouri across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento, California by horseback, using a series of relay stations. Although being an economic disaster, the Pony Express has become a U.S. national legend. Gold in California In January 1848, Gold was discovered in California, but the poor communication between…
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Benjamin Outram an the First Cast Iron Navigable Aqueduct

Benjamin Outram an the First Cast Iron Navigable Aqueduct

On April 1, 1764, English civil engineer, surveyor and industrialist Benjamin Outram was born. Outram was a pioneer in the building of canals and tramways. His commissions included becoming engineer for the Nottingham Canal in 1792, and the Derby Canal in 1793. For the latter, he erected the world‘s first cast iron navigable aqueduct (water bridge), the 13m long, single span, Holmes Aqueduct that carried the Derby Canal. Benjamin Outram – Early Years…
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Mixing Up a Plane with a Train – Franz Kruckenberg’s Schienenzeppelin

Mixing Up a Plane with a Train – Franz Kruckenberg’s Schienenzeppelin

On 21 June 1931, Franz Kruckenberg’s Schienenzeppelin (rail zeppelin) set a new world railway speed record of 230.2 km/h (143.0 mph) on the Berlin–Hamburg line between Karstädt and Dergenthin, which was not surpassed by any other rail vehicle until 1954. How to build faster Trains? The famous Schienenzeppelin was anticipated by the design of the Aerowagon, an experimental Russian high-speed railcar fitted with an aircraft engine and propeller traction invented by Valerian Abakovsky, a…
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My Hovercraft is full of Eels…

My Hovercraft is full of Eels…

On December 12, 1955, English engineer Christopher Cockerell filed the patent for his new invention, the hovercraft, a craft capable of traveling over land, water, mud or ice and other surfaces both at speed and when stationary. “My hovercraft is full of eels”…”Ahh matches!”. Many of you may know these famous sentences by Monty Python’s Flying Circus in ‘the Hungarian Phrase Book’. However, today its not all about the comedy group, but…
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Tōkaidō Shinkansen – the World’s First High Speed Train

Tōkaidō Shinkansen – the World’s First High Speed Train

On October 1, 1964, the world‘s first high speed train, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen started operation between Tokyo and Osaka. With more than 400,000 passengers per working day, it is considered to be the world’s busiest high-speed line. The Origin of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen Even though construction work started in 1959, the plans for the high speed train were made in the 1940s. It was planned to achieve a maximum speed of 150 km/h…
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William Wilson and the First German Railway

William Wilson and the First German Railway

On April 17, 1862, British mechanical engineer William Wilson passed away. He was the first engine driver of the locomotive Adler on the first German railway. There was a time, when every little boy wanted to become an engineer or engine driver. Master of the huge and powerful machine, driving the rails, faster and faster. But, this was already way before my time. I wanted to become an astronaut. What did I…
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Fin de Siècle at its best – The Paris Metro

Fin de Siècle at its best – The Paris Metro

On July 19 1900, Paris, cultural center of the Belle Époche, opened its Métro. The Paris Métro stations with their Fin de Siècle charme and Art Nouveau design have become a timeless icon of the city. The Paris Mètro was the sixth metro in the world after London (1863)[5], Liverpool (1893), Budapest and Glasgow (both 1896) and Vienna. Main achievements of the Exposition Universelle in 1900 were the introduction of escalators, talking films, the…
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Karl Drais and the Mechanical Horse

Karl Drais and the Mechanical Horse

On April 29, 1785, German inventor Karl Drais was born, who invented the Laufmaschine (“running machine”), also later called the velocipede or draisine, also nicknamed the dandy horse. Becoming an Inventor Karl Drais’ father was the Baden court and government councillor Karl Wilhelm Ludwig Friedrich von Drais von Sauerbronn, his mother Margarete Ernestine von Kaltenthal. Margrave Carl Friedrich von Baden took over his sponsorship. In 1790 the von Drais family moved from Sauerbronn to…
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Titanic – the Unsinkable Ship and the Iceberg

Titanic – the Unsinkable Ship and the Iceberg

On April 15, 1912, 2:20 AM, British passenger liner Titanic sank after colliding with an iceberg in the North Atlantic during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, US, causing more than 1,500 deaths. The Largest Vessel of the White Star Line The RMS Titanic was one of the largest vessels of the White Star Line with a length of 269.06 m (882 feet) and a total weight of 46,328 gross…
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How the Trabant 601 became a German National Icon

How the Trabant 601 became a German National Icon

On November 7, 1957, the first Trabant left the factory of the former East German car manufacturer VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau. Although it is often seen as symbolic of the defunct East Germany and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc in general, it was a sought-after car in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. During the early 1950s, vehicle construction in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was slow and…
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