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Top 50 Amazing and Interesting Facts About Railway



April 24, 2024

  • Certainly! Here are 50 amazing and interesting facts about railways:
  1. The world’s first recorded railway, known as “Wagonway,” was built in England in the early 17th century to transport coal from mines to rivers.
  2. George Stephenson is often considered the “Father of Railways” for his pioneering work in developing steam locomotives.
  3. The first passenger railway, the Stockton and Darlington Railway in England, opened in 1825.
  4. The world’s oldest operational railway station is Mount Clare station in Baltimore, USA, built in 1829.
  5. The world’s first recorded railway accident happened in 1830 when a locomotive derailed and killed four people in England.
  6. The world’s longest railway platform is at Gorakhpur Junction in India, measuring about 1,366.33 meters (4,480.7 feet).
  7. The Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia is the longest continuous railway line in the world, spanning over 9,289 kilometers (5,772 miles).
  8. The highest railway station in the world is Tanggula Railway Station in Tibet, China, situated at an elevation of 5,068 meters (16,627 feet) above sea level.
  9. Japan’s Shinkansen, or “Bullet Train,” was the world’s first high-speed rail system and began operation in 1964.
  10. The world’s fastest conventional train, the Shanghai Maglev, can reach speeds of up to 431 kilometers per hour (267 mph).
  11. The London Underground, opened in 1863, was the world’s first underground railway system.
  12. The New York City Subway, opened in 1904, is the largest subway system by number of stations (472) and route length (1,368 kilometers or 849 miles).
  13. The Channel Tunnel, also known as the Eurotunnel, is an undersea railway tunnel connecting the United Kingdom and France. It’s the longest undersea tunnel in the world.
  14. The Indian Railways is one of the largest railway networks in the world, employing over 1.3 million people.
  15. Switzerland has one of the densest railway networks in the world, with over 5,000 kilometers (3,107 miles) of track in a relatively small country.
  16. The world’s steepest railway is the Katoomba Scenic Railway in Australia, with a gradient of 52 degrees.
  17. The highest railway bridge is the Duge Bridge in China, standing at a height of 565 meters (1,854 feet).
  18. The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is one of the world’s most luxurious and iconic luxury trains, known for its art deco interiors.
  19. The “Golden Spike” was a ceremonial final spike driven to join the rails of the First Transcontinental Railroad in the USA in 1869.
  20. In the past, the “cowcatcher” on locomotives was designed to deflect obstacles like cattle from the tracks.
  21. Japan’s Seikan Tunnel is the world’s longest undersea railway tunnel, stretching for 53.85 kilometers (33.48 miles).
  22. The world’s largest railcar manufacturer is the China North Railway Group Corporation (CNR).
  23. The Indian Railways’ Fairy Queen is the world’s oldest operating steam locomotive, built in 1855.
  24. The Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films was a real working steam train, the Jacobite, operating in Scotland.
  25. The term “turnpike” originated from early railways, where a pike or gate would be turned to allow passage for a toll.
  26. The Trans-Mongolian Railway connects Moscow, Russia, to Beijing, China, passing through Mongolia.
  27. The Canadian Pacific Railway completed in 1885 is considered a crucial factor in Canada’s unification as a nation.
  28. In Switzerland, the Glacier Express is known as the “slowest express train in the world” due to its leisurely pace through scenic mountain landscapes.
  29. The world’s shortest regular passenger railway service operates in the Welsh village of Talsarnau, covering a distance of just 207 meters.
  30. The Royal Gorge Route Railroad in Colorado, USA, is known for its scenic route through the Royal Gorge Canyon.
  31. The Indian Railways employs elephants to help clear tracks of snow in the winter months.
  32. The “bullet” in “bullet train” does not refer to the speed but to the streamlined shape of the train.
  33. The first known recorded use of the term “railroad” dates back to 1776 in England.
  34. The narrow-gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in India, nicknamed the “Toy Train,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  35. The Orient Express, famous for luxury travel, ran from Paris to Istanbul and is the setting for many detective novels, including Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.”
  36. In the United States, the first coast-to-coast railway was completed in 1869 when the First Transcontinental Railroad linked the East and West coasts.
  37. Switzerland’s Glacier Express travels from Zermatt to St. Moritz and offers breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps.
  38. The “Streamliner” trains of the 1930s and 1940s featured sleek, aerodynamic designs and were a symbol of modernity.
  39. The Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter series departs from Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station in London.
  40. The world’s largest model railway, Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany, covers an area of over 1,490 square meters (16,038 square feet).
  41. The Indian Railways runs a special “hospital train” that provides medical services to underserved areas of the country.
  42. The first subway in the Americas opened in Boston in 1897.
  43. Japan’s Kyushu Railway Company introduced the world’s first tilting train, the 381 series, in 1972.
  44. The Amtrak Acela Express is the fastest train in the United States, reaching speeds of up to 240 kilometers per hour (150 mph).
  45. The Indian Railways also operates the Palace on Wheels, a luxury tourist train that travels through Rajasthan.
  46. The world’s largest locomotive, the Big Boy, was built for the Union Pacific Railroad in the United States.
  47. The Samjhauta Express is a train service between India and Pakistan that promotes cross-border diplomacy.
  48. The longest continuous railway track in the world is a 1,200-kilometer-long (746-mile) stretch in Australia.
  49. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Colorado is famous for its picturesque route through the San Juan Mountains.
  50. The world’s highest cogwheel railway, the Jungfrau Railway in Switzerland, climbs to an elevation of 3,454 meters (11,332 feet).
  • These fascinating facts showcase the rich history, engineering marvels, and cultural significance of railways around the world.