Objective of the book
The history of rail transport goes
further back than you might think - the first true
railway is actually thought to have been built in
the early 1600s, and consisted of a funicular
railway used to carry coal from a mine in
Shropshire, England down to the river Severn.
However, it wasn't until the invention and
development of the steam locomotive that commercial
rail travel became practical around two hundred
This book will provide a comprehensive overview of the history and development of rail travel across the world, including the creation of the overland railway networks that linked large towns and cities in countries like Britain, France and the USA during the 19th century, the development of underground railway networks in the world's cities, and modern innovations such as high speed and light railway systems. As well as discussing technological advances in engineering, power supply, signalling and safety, the book will also describe the role that railways have played in social and economic development, and will examine economic issues such as privatization versus public funding.
This book is intended to act as a reference for students, planners, engineers and general readers with an interest in railway transport, whether from a historical, technological or economic/policy perspective. We are seeking contributions from experts who can provide material on the latest developments in railway technology/engineering and rail infrastructure management, as well as future trends in railway transport.
Topics covered by this book include but are not limited to:
History of railway travel - wagonways/tramways, funicular railways e.g. for carrying coal
Invention of the steam locomotive
Power - steam, diesel, electricity
Modern light railway systems
High speed rail systems
Privatization versus public funding
Influence of high speed railway development on other forms of transport - decline of short haul flights