Railroad Industry Research Paper

861 Words 4 Pages
In 1812 railroad technology and steam engine technology collided changing the known world which helped form the world we know today. The Middleton Railway in Leeds, United Kingdom was the first to use a steam powered locomotive to generate revenue and has been in operaton ever since. The creation of the railroad and how it has connected the world has left it never the same again (railserve.com, n.d.). The railroad soon came to America in 1820 and began to immediately impact society. The “golden age” of railroad in America was from the 1880’s to the 1920’s; during this time the railroad would see its network double once in the 1880’s to 100,000 miles of rail and then double again to nearly 254,000 miles in 1916 (Encyclopedia.com, 2003). The …show more content…
In this study continents will be used to compare the railroad industries for two reasons. First, America cannot be compared to one single country in Europe because America is a union of fifty states. Germany for example encompasses 357,168 square kilometers (sq km) with a population of 80 million people and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of roughly 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars. California, the American state, encompasses 423,970 sq km with a population of 38.8 million people and a GDP of roughly 2.5 trillion U.S. dollars (Worldatlas.com, n.d.). Both Germany and California are the top economies on their continents. Likewise, China the top producer in its continent encompasses 9.5 million sq km, with 1.4 billion people and a GDP of 10.8 trillion U.S. dollars. Across the Earth population sizes, land areas, and wealth of countries vary in such a drastic manner that to allow for a fair comparison, continents will be …show more content…
One aspect that will be used to determine how the rail industry is performing in these continents to include the total kilometers (km) of railroad that is operational today. Another aspect will be how well the infrastructures of the railroad are. David Browne II, was a foreman with the Mobile Maintenance Crew (MMC) for BNSF, which is a conglomerate of over 400 different railroads that merged or were acquired over the last 160 years (BNSF.com, n.d.). Browne explains that the railroad is graded by the weight of a three foot section of rail. For example, one might hear a maintenance crew talk about laying 146 pound rail, which means the three foot section weighs 146 pounds. The higher weight of the rail depicts the amount of gross mega tons that are able to be transported across the tracks. This higher weight of the rail also allows the train to move at faster speeds, which makes the product more desirable (D. Browne II, personal communication, November 3, 2016). Browne also explained track gauge which is the distance between the two rail tracks. The distance is defined as narrow gauge, standard gauge, and wide gauge. The most commonly used gauge is standard gauge which is 1,435mm (4ft 8.5in). “If the gauge isn 't within standards either too tight the trains have to work harder and if too wide it can cause trains to come off the tracks and derail.” (D. Browne II, personal communication,

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