locomotive

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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Stephenson’s Rocket wins the Rainhill Trials

Stephenson’s Rocket wins the Rainhill Trials

On October 8, 1829, George Stephenson‘s steam locomotive ‘The Rocket‘ won The Rainhill Trials, an important competition in the early days of steam locomotive railways, run in Rainhill, Lancashire (now Merseyside) for the nearly completed Liverpool and Manchester Railway. “George Stephenson told me as a young man that railways will supersede almost all other methods of conveyance in this country — when mail-coaches will go by railway, and railroads will become the…
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John Ericsson – Inventions in the Age of Steam Power

John Ericsson – Inventions in the Age of Steam Power

On July 31, 1803, Swedish-American inventor John Ericsson was born. Ericsson is regarded as one of the most influential mechanical engineers ever. Ericsson collaborated on the design of the steam locomotive Novelty, which competed in the Rainhill Trials on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, won by George Stephenson‘s Rocket.[4] In America he designed the US Navy’s first screw-propelled steam-frigate USS Princeton, in partnership with Captain Robert Stockton as well as the first…
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William Hedley – Puffing Billy and the Rise of Railway Transportation

William Hedley – Puffing Billy and the Rise of Railway Transportation

On January 9, 1843, British coal-mine official and inventor William Hedley passed away. Hedley was probably the first to build a commercially useful steam locomotive dependent on friction between wheels and rails as opposed to using a geared track. In 1813, he constructed the famous Puffing Billy, the world’s oldest surviving steam locomotive. Early Railways There have been ruts to guide carts on roads since prehistoric times. The development that led to the railway, however,…
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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. 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 Soviet engineer from Latvia. It…
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Tōkaidō Shinkansen – the Bullet Train

Tōkaidō Shinkansen – the Bullet Train

Tōkaidō Shinkansen passing tea fields between Shizuoka and Kakegawa On October 1, 1964, the world’s first high speed train, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen started operation between Tokyo and Osaka. 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 and connect the city of Tokyo with Shimonoseki. With a speed of 150 km/h, the…
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