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kraftiekortie
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07 Dec 2022, 11:13 am

Can you IMAGINE what a boon railways were back in the 1830s? Before this, one could only ride horses, take a stagecoach, or go very slowly down a river in a boat.

Stagecoaches were supposed to be luxurious----but they were actually quite uncomfortable---especially if the horses bucked or whatever.

Railways immediately increased the COMFORT of the journey.



Dear_one
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07 Dec 2022, 11:27 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Can you IMAGINE what a boon railways were back in the 1830s? Before this, one could only ride horses, take a stagecoach, or go very slowly down a river in a boat.

Stagecoaches were supposed to be luxurious----but they were actually quite uncomfortable---especially if the horses bucked or whatever.

Railways immediately increased the COMFORT of the journey.


The first passengers were coal miners riding the empty coal cars to get to work. The owners started charging them for it. For a long time, passenger cars had no central aisle, but a series of stage-coach like compartments with individual doors. Criminals found them a great opportunity.

In other news, I once rode a Budd car - a self-powered passenger car with a 400 hp diesel. It was being run as a legal obligation taken on in exchange for a lot of real estate near the right of way.



naturalplastic
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07 Dec 2022, 11:58 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Can you IMAGINE what a boon railways were back in the 1830s? Before this, one could only ride horses, take a stagecoach, or go very slowly down a river in a boat.

Stagecoaches were supposed to be luxurious----but they were actually quite uncomfortable---especially if the horses bucked or whatever.

Railways immediately increased the COMFORT of the journey.


Not "immediately". Passenger cars had no shock absorbers (or no better than those of stagecoaches) for a long time. So you would get banged around like a piece of freight. Trains had to stop at restaurants - so the passengers could get off ...eat...then stampede to get back on the train in time. Took decades before got the idea of dinning cars.

On the other hand it was nice to cruise through a high mountain pass in the American west in even an early passenger steam train than it was to have to cross in a wagon train.



kitesandtrainsandcats
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07 Dec 2022, 12:31 pm

Elgee wrote:
But at some point, tracks can be too close


I'd say definitely at that point ...


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kraftiekortie
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07 Dec 2022, 12:33 pm

But the speed of travel was increased considerably by railways.



kitesandtrainsandcats
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07 Dec 2022, 12:40 pm

Elgee wrote:
There was once a train accident I became hyperfixated on. I was a proofreader for a court reporter. I had a case where a woman's family was suing the conductor and train company with the claim that he didn't toot the warning horn soon enough while the woman's car was stuck on the train tracks.


Is it safe to assume the case information covered US Federal regulations on sounding the horn :?:

https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-49/s ... I/part-222

Quote:
(2) Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(3) and (d) of this section, or when the locomotive horn is defective and the locomotive is being moved for repair consistent with section 229.9 of this chapter, the locomotive horn shall begin to be sounded at least 15 seconds, but no more than 20 seconds, before the locomotive enters the crossing. It shall not constitute a violation of this section if, acting in good faith, a locomotive engineer begins sounding the locomotive horn not more than 25 seconds before the locomotive enters the crossing, if the locomotive engineer is unable to precisely estimate the time of arrival of the train at the crossing for whatever reason.

(3) Trains, locomotive consists and individual locomotives traveling at speeds in excess of 60 mph shall not begin sounding the horn more than one-quarter mile (1,320 feet) in advance of the nearest public highway-rail grade crossing, even if the advance warning provided by the locomotive horn will be less than 15 seconds in duration.


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07 Dec 2022, 12:47 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
But the speed of travel was increased considerably by railways.

That was gradual. The first steam locomotives had to share the track with horse-drawn wagons. There were people wondering if it was possible to breathe if they got to 30 MPH, (50 kph) despite horses and winds being faster.
The standard gauge of 1435 mm is derived from the ruts worn by pairs of horses pulling Roman carts.



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07 Dec 2022, 12:56 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Can you IMAGINE what a boon railways were back in the 1830s? Before this, one could only ride horses, take a stagecoach, or go very slowly down a river in a boat.

Stagecoaches were supposed to be luxurious----but they were actually quite uncomfortable---especially if the horses bucked or whatever.

Railways immediately increased the COMFORT of the journey.


Back in the 1830's nearly all but a few railways were horse drawn, and it was extremely rare to find any purpose built passenger car with the rare exception of a seaside resort horse drawn tram.
Most of the early railways only carried people as a favour and they would sit ontop of the goods or minerals being carried in the waggon.
Most early steam locomotives were quickly converted for use as stationary steam pumps to pump water out of mines which was an urgent priority in those days. Moving goods and minerals was much preferred to be hauled by horse. Those early lines were layed to follow the land rather than use expensive to construct bridges, tunnels or cuttings, and a horse had the ability to pull waggons up a 1 in 4 hill, so one may understand the early concerns about steam.locomotives and traction, as some of those lines went up and down dips or embankments rather than the line being built as level as possible which is what later locomotives preferably needed. I read an early record of an early line in Wales where the passenger sat on top of the load in the waggon, and the steam engine (Talking of a journey taken earlier than the 1830's as the Neath Abbey locomotive works easily rivalled Stevensons locomotive works, though in those days all those making steam locos were sharing information because they all wanted to find ways that worked and did not see each other as competition but rather as a means to help each other make their designs work. Neath Abbey locomotive works (Building locos from around 1812 onwards if I recall correctly) invented a few advancements which were vreely shared with others so they could get their locos to work).
But this journey on an early line came across a field bank of a few feet high where the line was simply layed up and over it and a horse (Which the line was designed to be used for) would simply pull the waggons up and over, but in the case of this steam loco, the technique used was to offload the items in the waggons, let the locomotive go over the bank under its own power which the loco was able to do via a technique in its design which would maximise the steam going into its cylinders just to be able to get over such obsticles. Once over a rope was used to tow each waggon over where they were loaded on the other side and they carried on to their destination. Lines like this were common in those days and the gauge width of the line was made so a horse could walk in between the rails, but be not so wide that they could not negotiate sharp curves used in those days.
Another reason why a horse was preferred in the early days was that a horse did not need a run round loop to run it round to the other side of the train of waggons when it reached its destination. A horse would simply be uncoupled and walked round its train. In fact, this was such an advantage that horses were still used for shunting manovers on the British main network of railways right into the late 1950's and a little later, and were still used on narrow gauge coal mine railways right into the latter half of the 1970's on a few narrow gauge lines.

The 1830's were the first efforts to consider a national railway network to cover the wholeof the UK, as thoughts of the possibility of a practical railway network were first concieved, but it wasn't really for another two decades later that real progress was seriously being made, but this was still quick progress considering the sheer effort of such a venture.



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07 Dec 2022, 1:10 pm

Dear_one wrote:
kraftiekortie wrote:
But the speed of travel was increased considerably by railways.

That was gradual. The first steam locomotives had to share the track with horse-drawn wagons. There were people wondering if it was possible to breathe if they got to 30 MPH, (50 kph) despite horses and winds being faster.
The standard gauge of 1435 mm is derived from the ruts worn by pairs of horses pulling Roman carts.

By the time the 1860's came along, the Great Western Railway (UK) with its sturdy broad gauge was regularly hitting speeds in excess of 60mph where due to the increased speeds, they had to widen the 7ft gauge by an extra quarter of an inch to allow speeding trains to negotiate corners without putting excessive wear on the track and the wheels. Standard gauge which was once 4'8" was increased an extra half inch for the same reason.



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07 Dec 2022, 2:09 pm

Still an engineering marvel, nevertheless.

I would say the transition from stagecoach to railway was more dramatic than the transition from stagecoach to motor vehicle because of the existence of railways when motor vehicles began to supplant the horse and buggy.

https://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_ ... y%20season.

BTW----I know you folks know much more about railways than I do. I'm just saying that railways considerably increased the speed of travel over about 3 decades.



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07 Dec 2022, 2:51 pm

About that train accident:

The transcript that I proofread was like 300 pages: every detail you can imagine. The young woman had left a bar; it was around 2 am. She came to a RR crossing; the gate was already down. Evidence showed that she backed out and drove her car around the crossing, up a small hill to get on the tracks. She thought she could then just drive across the tracks before the train came.

But her car got stuck, and for some moments she was gunning it, trying to get unstuck, while the train was fast approaching from the distance.

The human factors expert, who gave the testimony, described in utter detail all about how the conductor would've first noticed a "blob" on the tracks in the distance, and how his brain would NOT have initially registered it as a car. But at some point, the brain will then realize it's a car, as the train gets closer and makes the blob more defined. Then the conductor would've blown the horn.

There was relentless Q & A about literally ONLY the time lapse between when the conductor realized the blob was a car on the tracks, and when he tooted the horn.

I don't know what the outcome of the case was. But clearly, this accident was NOT the fault of the conductor!

The woman should've just waited for the train to pass. Instead she just HAD to maneurver around up the little hill. What for? To save five minutes after partying at a bar?

She paid with her brain; ended up incapacitated and in a nursing home. A few years later, when I googled her name, I learned she had died. Total waste.



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07 Dec 2022, 4:17 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Still an engineering marvel, nevertheless.

I would say the transition from stagecoach to railway was more dramatic than the transition from stagecoach to motor vehicle because of the existence of railways when motor vehicles began to supplant the horse and buggy.

https://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_ ... y%20season.

BTW----I know you folks know much more about railways than I do. I'm just saying that railways considerably increased the speed of travel over about 3 decades.


Youre right. Steam trains, and steam ships revolutionized the world. welded continental sized countries together (like Canada the US and Czarist Russia) even changed our DNA. Instead of marrying folks from the next village folks got more mobile and met spouses from 100s of miles away.



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07 Dec 2022, 4:31 pm

Early locomotives were limited by the weight that the cast iron rails could take. If they weighed enough to get the traction needed to pull several cars, they broke the tracks regularly. Some were built with gear teeth wheels and racks added to the track. Steam engines began as mine pumps, and so the still-too-heavy locomotives had ready work available there.
Wrought iron rails cost over twice as much, but had to be adopted for the sake of progress. Much of the progress in technology is the flower of basic research into better materials. For a long time, people were afraid to use more than 15 PSI in steam engines, which gave terrible mileage. Over the 1800s, the price of steel dropped ten-fold. The first "thousand - horsepower car" was 30' long and only had room for the driver and two big engines. Now, you can get that power or much more and still get two luxury seats and luggage space into a normal parking spot with ease.
It was the bicycle, more than the train, that gave young people the mobility to stop breeding village idiots. It forced development of lighter materials and techniques - it is no accident that the Wright Bros. built bikes first.



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07 Dec 2022, 5:00 pm

Well didnt they go through a phase of making railroad tracks out of wood? With only an iron strip across the top where the wheels hit?

Sherman's army marching through Georgia would tear up the railroads, and stick the strips into fire, bend them, and hang them from trees. The resulting tree decorations were called "Sherman's hairpins".



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07 Dec 2022, 5:39 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Well didnt they go through a phase of making railroad tracks out of wood? With only an iron strip across the top where the wheels hit?

Sherman's army marching through Georgia would tear up the railroads, and stick the strips into fire, bend them, and hang them from trees. The resulting tree decorations were called "Sherman's hairpins".


In America, wood was much cheaper that iron, so the rails are lighter and the sleepers closer together. The iron-topped wooden rail was used for a while, but the ends had a nasty habit of curling up and then getting peeled up by the next wheel, sending the iron straight through the RR car. This was rather hard on the passengers.



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07 Dec 2022, 5:54 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Well didnt they go through a phase of making railroad tracks out of wood? With only an iron strip across the top where the wheels hit?

Sherman's army marching through Georgia would tear up the railroads, and stick the strips into fire, bend them, and hang them from trees. The resulting tree decorations were called "Sherman's hairpins".


The Romans used wooden side rails at one time to guide their chariots which is the earliest known railway system but it could be earlier as the Romans technology was not always theirs, as every nation they conquored, they were able to take and share whatever technology they found.
Some wooden railed tramroads (Not the same as the passenger carrying trams. In the UK the term "Tramroad" used to refer to horse drawn or people pushed narrow gauge industrial lightweight railway systems usually to serve mines or quarries and take the minerals to where they could be sold or/and processed) were still to be found in use in the UK right into the 1930's and even beyond. It mode depended on the financial availability of funds for the operation than the desire to build a longef lasting and a better railed system.

Its a bit like when Britain was building its castles and the often incorrect assumption was that castles in Britain started off being made from wood and that as technolpgy increased they later made them out of stone. The reality was that some in the UK who had seen the great walled cities in Israel and surrounding areas knew all to well that very substancial castles can be made out of stone, as the earliest wooden fortified enclosures were actually made by some of the Celts, some of whom were descendants of (Or were) some of the early Jewish (And Gentile) Christians who had to flee from Israel due to Jewish persecution.
These Celts set up "Lan's" in Wales Cornwall and other areas of the UK where they first settled (Called Llan in Wales which translated has more than one meaning, being "Village" (Usually fortified for protection), church or settlement). The meaning came from these early Christian settlements which were enclosed wooden fortified enclosures where people lived and was also the early form of what later became a church. In fact, many later stone built churches were built in or near these origional settlements.
But wooden fortifications continued to be made right into the days when some really well designed stone built castles were being made and this was because of the nature of why these wooden protective structutes were being built. Stone built castles took many years to build. Wooden protective "Castles" (Or forts) could be built in a matter of weeks, so if one needed protection in a hurry wood was used as being better than nothing! Also, one may be only staying in one area for a temporary period of time where the convenience of a wooden hillfort which was quick and easy to build can bea preferred option.
It is a complete fallacy to assume that after a certain date only stone built castles were made!

Another similar aspect where the experts assume a certain axe made from flint was built at an earlier date to an iron made axe also was found to be inaccurate as flint axes were still being made in one area of Cornwall right up to the 1930's as those who used them found them to be good and they just continued making them in that one area.

We assume certain technologies arrived atcertain dates, and while in general it maybe correct and true, there are often these exceptions found which later which prove us wrong!