The invention of the steam locomotive changed the world. Today, almost 200 years later, trains continue to be a top mode of transportation all over the world.
Did you know that:
- It was in the early 1800s when the train’s “modern age” began. This was after the expiration of James Watt’s original patent on the stationary steam engine.
- In 1830, America imported its first steam locomotive from England. They then built their first train later that year.
- A train trip inspired the first travel agency in the world. In 1814, Thomas Cook, an English Baptist minister, went on a train excursion to London with his 540 parishioners. He organized the event and negotiated a fixed fare for the passengers, which included tickets and a meal. Their first train experience was a success, and he decided to expand his operations in the UK, and then in the US. He provided train passengers complete packages including transportation fare, accommodations, and meals. By 1873, Cook’s travel agency, Thomas Cook and Son, had launched their full international railway timetable.
- In Japan, if a person commits suicide by jumping in front of a moving train, the train company is given the right to sue the family of the individual due to loss of income, the negative PR hit brought on by the suicide, and even cleanup fees.
- Trains in Japan are known for their punctuality. In fact, if a delay of over five minutes happened, the train personnel will offer a personal apology to the passengers and handout “delay certificate” for those who are on their way to work. If the delay is an hour or so, the event may likely be breaking news.
- In 1886, a misguided publicity stunt by a Texas train company killed three people and injured a lot more. The company promised a “good show” to the public and organized an event where two of their trains would crash head-on at full speed.
- In the movie Skyfall, Daniel Craig’s fight scene on a train was filmed on top of a real moving train. He also did all the stunts himself.
- In New York, an abandoned subway station with no train stops can be seen if you take the #6 train.
- Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express Train is an actual train that operates in Scotland up to now. The highland valleys and creeks seen in the movies are also real.
Here are some striking train transportation photos for you to enjoy!