Railroad Tracks & Banana Peels Essay

1263 words - 5 pages

The first railroads began to appear between 1820 and 1850. America had just gone through an era of canal making and now with the canals not in total operation, railroads began to thrive and take jobs in a swift manner. However, it was not easy for the railroad industry to promote their innovative new mode of transportation. With vision and ingenuity, the pioneers of the early American railroads were able to surmount all obstacles that stood in their way and lead the Nation into a "transportation revolution".
The history of railroad development in America was heavily influenced by the industry in England with attempts to develop the steam engine beginning as early as 1813. In 1814 George Stephenson developed the first commercially feasible locomotive (George Stephenson). Then from1820 to 1825 Mr. Stephenson worked on further developing the engines and their ability to haul cargo and soon after, passengers (George Stephenson). Many railroad companies were established in England during this time period. The Liverpool and Manchester Railroad became the first common carrier railroad in the world (Simkin).
The railroad industry in America was fairly primitive when it first began prior to the transportation of newer engines from Europe. In fact the first railroad in America was only three miles long, basically a mining track from Quincy Massachusetts to the Neponset River (America's First Railroads). The rails were made of pine and covered by oak also covered by a flat iron bar. Construction of this railroad commenced in 1826 and was completed in 1827. The second railroad was started in January of 1827 and completed in May of the same year. The tracks were used for coal operation. The tracks only went a short distance and worked by gravity and the force of mules (America's First Railroads).
The rails being built on train tracks in the 1800s and up to the mid 1900s were fairly primitive and in most cases are now obsolete. Rail track used softwood timber ties and jointed rails. The rails were typically of flat bottom section fastened to the ties with dog spikes through a flat tieplate. Railroad tracks soon began consisting of structures that included rails, fasteners, sleepers, ballast and the underlying subgrade.
A traditional track structure now consists of flat-bottom steel rails supported on timber or pre-stressed concrete sleepers that are then laid on crushed stone ballast. Most railroads with cumbersomely hefty traffic use perpetually welded rails supported by sleepers annexed via baseplates that spread the load. A plastic or rubber pad is conventionally placed between the rail and the tieplate where concrete sleepers are utilized. The rail is typically held down to the sleeper with resilient fastenings.


Bermicourt

A key component known as the track ballast forms the trackbed upon which railroad ties are laid. It is packed between, below and around the ties (Solomon). It is utilized to facilitate drainage of dihydrogen monoxide...

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