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Encyclopedia > Rail transport operations
Rail transport
Operations
Stations
Trains
Locomotives
Rolling stock
History
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Modelling Railway tracks. ... Rail transport refers to the land transport of passengers and goods along railways or railroads. ... Passengers bustle around the typical grand edifice of Londons Broad Street station in 1865. ... In rail transport, a train consists of a single or several connected rail vehicles that are capable of being moved together along a guideway to transport freight or passengers from one place to another along a planned route. ... A locomotive (from lat. ... Not to be confused with railcar. ... The history of rail transport dates back nearly 500 years, and includes systems with man or horse power and rails of wood or stone. ... Rail terminology is a form of technical terminology. ... Various terms are used for passenger rail lines and equipment. ... This page provides an index of articles on Rail transport by country. ... Model railroading (US) or Railway modelling (UK) is a hobby in which rail transport systems are modeled at a reduced scale, or ratio. ...

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A rail transport or railroad system is a complex synergy of components which may be classified into two groups: extrinsic factors and intrinsic factors. Extrinsic factors concern the geography, present and historical, of a system, while intrinsic factors tend to be more technical in nature. Both must be taken into consideration when constructing, operating and managing a railroad system. Rail transport refers to the land transport of passengers and goods along railways or railroads. ... Management (from Old French ménagement the art of conducting, directing, from Latin manu agere to lead by the hand) characterises the process of leading and directing all or part of an organization, often a business, through the deployment and manipulation of resources (human, financial, material, intellectual or intangible). ...

Contents


Background factors (feasibility)

Each transport system represents a contribution to a country's infrastructure, and as such must make economic sense or eventually close. From this, each will have a particular role or roles to perform. These may change with time but they will affect the specifications of each particular system. The word economy can refer to any of several things: The economy of the world — see world economy The economy of a country — see economics and economic system Economy is financial soundness or affordability. ...


Extrinsic factors

Rail transport systems are built into the landscape, including both the physical geography (hills, valleys, etc) and the human geography (location of settlements). The rail transport system may in turn feedback into the human geography. Photograph of a landscape A landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land, including physical elements such as landforms, living elements of flora and fauna, abstract elements such as lighting and weather conditions, and human elements, for instance human activity or the built environment). ... Physical geography or physiogeography is a subfield of geography that focuses on the systematic study of patterns and processes within the hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere. ... Human geography is a branch of geography that focuses on the systematic study of patterns and processes that shape human interaction with the environment, with particular reference to the causes and consequences of the spatial distribution of human activity on the Earths surface. ...


Physical geography

The permanent way of a system must pass through the geography and geology of its region. This may be flat or mountainous, may include obstacles such as water and mountains. These will determine in part the intrinsic nature of the system. The slope at which trains run needs also be calculated correctly. In this stage, it is decided where tunnels will pass. The permanent way refers to the rails and sleepers of a railway line. ... Geology (from Greek γη- (ge-, the earth) and λογος (logos, word, reason)) is the science and study of the Earth, its composition, structure, physical properties, history and the processes that shape it. ... A disused railway tunnel now converted to pedestrian and bicycle use, near Houyet, Belgium A tunnel is an underground passage. ...


Human geography

Rail transport systems affect the human geography. Large cities (such as Nairobi) may be founded by a railroad passing through. Historically, when a station has been built outside the town or city it is intended to serve, that town has expanded to include the station, or buildings (especially Inns) sprung up near the station. The existence of a station may increase the number of commuters who live in a town or village and so cause it to become a dormitory town. Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. ... Inns are establishments where travellers can procure food, drink, and lodging. ... Commuting is the process of travelling between a place of residence and a place of work. ... This article or section should be merged with Bedroom community A dormitory town is generally a rural town where a large proportion of its population commute to nearby cities. ...


Historical factors

Rail transport systems are often used for purposes for which they were not designed, but have evolved into due to changes in the human geography. Politics can play a large part in decisions about railways, such as the Beeching Axe. Also in the UK, building or rebuilding a railway requires an Act of Parliament. Politics is a process by which collective decisions are made within groups. ... Many railway lines were closed as a result of the Beeching Axe The Beeching Axe was an informal name for the British governments attempt in the 1960s to control the spiralling cost of running the British railway system by closing what it considered to be little-used and unprofitable... In Westminster System parliaments, an Act of Parliament is a part of the law passed by the Parliament. ...


Intrinsic factors

Belgian NMBS/SNCB railroad workers.
Belgian NMBS/SNCB railroad workers.

NMBS/SNCB railroad workers repairing the tracks. ... NMBS/SNCB railroad workers repairing the tracks. ... The NMBS (Nationale Maatschappij der Belgische Spoorwegen) or SNCB (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Belges, not to be confused with SNCF) is the Belgian national railway company. ...

Permanent way and railroad construction

Main articles: permanent way, railroad construction The permanent way refers to the rails and sleepers of a railway line. ...


The permanent way trails through the physical geography. The tracks' geometry is limited by the physical geography.


Types of rail system

  • Light rail systems are designed for lower speeds and loadings and often have simplified specifications.
  • High-speed rail is a rail system designed to withstand high speed trains.
  • Monorails are sometimes used instead of light rail systems for commuter transport, etc.
  • Maglev is a recent development with as yet only one real implementation.
  • Industrial railway refers to specialized rail systems, such as those used inside factories or mines.

A Connex commuter train stands by the platform in Melbourne, Australia Regional rail systems, or commuter rail systems, usually provide a rail service through a central business district area into suburbs or other locations that draw large numbers of people on a daily basis. ... Metro and Subway redirect here. ... track Rail tracks are used on railways (or railroads), which, together with railroad switches (or points), guide trains without the need for steering. ... This article is about light rail systems in general. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This Virgin Trains High Speed Train is shown here running along the Dawlish sea-front. ... H-Bahn Dortmund Tama-Monorail (Japan) A monorail is a transit system, resembling a metro or railroad with a track nominally consisting of a single rail (actually a beam), as opposed to the traditional track with two parallel rails. ... Transrapid at the Emsland test facility Maglev in Shanghai Inside the Shanghai maglev Magnetic levitation transport, or maglev, is a form of transportation that suspends, guides and propels vehicles via electromagnetic energy. ... The rack rail on a cog railway. ... A mountain railway is a railway that ascends and descends a mountain slope that has a steep grade. ... A display of a narrow gauge industrial sand train An industrial railway is a type of private railway used exclusively to serve a particular industry inside a mine or factory compound. ...

Signalling

Main article: railway signalling A gantry of British semaphore signals seen from the cab of a steam locomotive. ...


Railway signals are an aspect of railroad safety. A signal is a mechanical or electrical device that indicates to train drivers information about the state of the line ahead, and therefore whether he or she must stop or may start, or instructions on what speed the train may go. ...


Types of vehicle

Main articles: trains, locomotives, railroad cars In rail transport, a train consists of a single or several connected rail vehicles that are capable of being moved together along a guideway to transport freight or passengers from one place to another along a planned route. ... A locomotive (from lat. ... Not to be confused with railcar. ...


Trains are pushed/pulled by one or more locomotive units. Two or more locomotives coupled in multiple traction ("twins") are frequently used in freight trains. Railroad cars or rolling stock consist of passenger cars, freight cars, maintenance cars and in America cabooses. Modern passenger trains sometimes are pushed/pulled by a tail and head unit, of which not both need to be motorised or running. Some passenger trains, mostly commuter trains or trains on quiet rural lines and metros consist of a multiple unit. A single GWR autocoach capable of push-pull operation. ... A locomotive (from lat. ... Knuckle couplers in use. ... Rolling Stock. ... Restored passenger cars on display at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, WI. A passenger car is a piece of railroad rolling stock that is designed to carry passengers. ... A railroad car (or, more briefly, car), also known as an item of rolling stock in British parlance, is a vehicle on a railroad or railway that is not a locomotive - one that provides another purpose than purely haulage, although some types of car are powered. ... Maintenance of way (often abbreviated as M of Way, MOW or MW) refers to the maintenance of railroad rights of way. ... Motto: Official (Latin): E pluribus unum (1789 to 1956) (Translated: Out of Many, One) In God We Trust (1956 to present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at federal level; English de facto Government  â€¢ President  â€¢ Vice President Federal... Two cupola cabooses, a transfer caboose and a bay window caboose in Ohio. ... Metro is: a general term, synonymous with rapid transit, subway or underground, for an urban underground rail public transit system (see list of rapid transit systems); any of several specific public transport systems, including: Bi-State Development Agency in Missouri and Illinois, d/b/a Metro since 2003 Buffalo Metro... A classic Belgian multiple unit of type 74 A modern high speed British diesel multiple unit of type 220 A multiple unit is a passenger train whose carriages have their own motors, either diesel (DMUs) or electric (EMUs), and do not need to be hauled by a locomotive. ...

Freight wagons filled with limestone await unloading, at sidings in Rugby, England
Freight wagons filled with limestone await unloading, at sidings in Rugby, England

A freight train awaits unloading at Rugby in England: Photo by G-Man 2003 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... A freight train awaits unloading at Rugby in England: Photo by G-Man 2003 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Not to be confused with railcar. ... Limey shale overlaid by limestone. ... Rugby is a market town in the county of Warwickshire in central England upon the River Avon. ...

Passenger operations

Most public transport passenger operations happen in the train station and in the passenger car. The passenger buys a ticket, either in the station, or on the train at an higher fare. There are two ways of validating a ticket. In one case the passenger validates the ticket himself (by perforating it, for instance) and this is randomly checked by a ticket controller. A conductor checks all persons on the train, validates the ticket and devaluates it, so it can't be used again. Some passenger cars, especially in long distance high speed trains have a restaurant or bar. These need to be catered. In recent times, train catering has been diminished somewhat by vending machines in the train station or on the train. Skytrain Bangkok. ... Passengers bustle around the typical grand edifice of Londons Broad Street station in 1865. ... Restored passenger cars on display at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, WI. A passenger car is a piece of railroad rolling stock that is designed to carry passengers. ... Ticket (unseperated) of the Kurkino in Berchtesgaden CeBIT Home 1998 student day ticket with barcode A Parisians transport ticket Ticket can mean one of several things: // Permission A ticket is a voucher to indicate that one has paid for admission to a theatre, movie theater, amusement park, zoo, museum... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... A ticket controller is a person who randomly checks tickets on public transport in systems where one can enter the vehicle without being checked. ... The conductor of a train, whether passenger or freight, often referred to as the captain or guard of the train or foreman, is the senior employee in charge of that train, responsible for the safe movement of the train. ... A vending machine is a machine that dispenses merchandise when a customer deposits money, validated by a currency detector, sufficient to purchase the desired item (as opposed to a shop, where the presence of personnel is required for every purchase). ...


Freight operations

Freight or cargo trains are loaded and unloaded in freight yards, by using cranes. Cargo is a term used to denotes goods or produce being transported generally for commercial gain, usually on a ship, plane, train or lorry. ... A tower crane with a pivoted main boom Cranes on the Shenska River, Cherepovets, Russia A crane is a tower or derrick equipped with cables and pulleys that is used to lift and lower materials. ...


Locomotive operations

When inactive, locomotives are housed in a train depot. In engine facilities locomotives are cleaned, repaired, etc. Decommissioned locs are sometimes used to heat passenger cars and defrost railroad switches in winter. After this period, locomotives (and other rail vehicles) are turned into scrap or are left to rust in a train depot. Some end up in railway museums or are bought by railway preservation groups. Double switch aka scissors crossovers A railroad switch (known in British and Australian English as (a set of) points or, in technical usage, a turnout) is a mechanical installation provided at a point where rail track A divides into two tracks B and C. It can be set in either... A scrapyard Scrap is a term used to describe the recycling of metal. ...


Steam locomotives are housed in a circular train depot, a roundhouse that surrounds a turntable. Roundhouse in 1909, turntable in the front Steam locomotives sit in the Chicago and Northwestern roundhouse at the Chicago, Illinois freight yards, December 1942. ... A small turntable at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA. In rail terminology, a turntable is a device used to turn railroad rolling stock. ...


Train composition and operations

Trains are composed in a classification yard. These large, uninviting structures are excellent locations for train spotting and graffiti sighting. Switcher or shunter locomotives help the composing. Chicago and North Western Railways Proviso Yard in Chicago, Illinois, December 1942. ... This article is about the hobby of train spotting, for other uses see Trainspotting. ... For the handwriting system, see Graffiti (Palm OS). ... A modern US switcher, an EMD SW1500. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Rail transport - definition of Rail transport in Encyclopedia (1538 words)
Rail transport is one of the most energy efficient means of mechanised land transport known.
Rail transport is also one of the safest modes of transport, and also makes a highly efficient use of space: a double tracked rail line can carry more passengers or freight in a given amount of time than a four-laned road.
In the late 18th century iron rails began to appear: British civil engineer William Jessop designed edge rails to be used with flanged wheels for use on a scheme in Loughborough, Leicestershire (in 1789 and subsequently opened an iron-works to produce more rails).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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