Going off the Rails: Most Amazing Trains

When James Watt patented the first “modern” steam engine in 1781, he probably thought something like “Man, this steam engine I just patented is great!” He probably didn’t think that within 25 years there would be steam-powered locomotives, and that within a century there would be railways spanning entire continents. But that’s what happened. Trains were the first viable overland mechanical transport humans invented, and they remain an intrinsic part of everyday life in the modern era. From hauling coal and grain across the countryside to carrying half-awake, hungover accountants and baristas to work beneath city streets, we are a culture dependent on trains.
Going off the Rails: Most Amazing Trains
Image credit: Ascensionearth2012.org
When James Watt patented the first “modern” steam engine in 1781, he probably thought something like “Man, this steam engine I just patented is great!” He probably didn’t think that within 25 years there would be steam-powered locomotives, and that within a century there would be railways spanning entire continents. But that’s what happened. Trains were the first viable overland mechanical transport humans invented, and they remain an intrinsic part of everyday life in the modern era. From hauling coal and grain across the countryside to carrying half-awake, hungover accountants and baristas to work beneath city streets, we are a culture dependent on trains.
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