Welsh places compete to have the longest name: a railway station was once called Gorsafawddacha'idraigddanheddogleddol-lรดnpenrhynareurdraethceredigion just to outdo the village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllanยญtysiliogogoยญgoch. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golโ€ฆ
Today I learned of "Harambee", a Swahili word that means "All pull together" and describes a tradition of community self-help. It comes from the Hindi "har har Ambeh"; Indian workers on the Uganda Railway invoked Amba, the Hindu god of strength, for tasks requiring a team effort, such as lifting heavy loads. bbc.com/travel/story/2020โ€ฆ
The oldest rapid transit system in the world was the Metropolitan Railway (precursor to the London Underground) in London, opened in 1863. For reference, America was in the midst of the American Civil War in the same year. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapโ€ฆ
In 2009 you had to be happy or else! Employees of Japan's Keihin Electric Express Railway faced morning smile checks, where they were subjected to software that analyzed their facial expression to produce a rating of their smile on a scale of zero to 100 japantoday.com/category/fโ€ฆ
Sir Rod Stewart created a giant railway city model over more than two decades bbc.com/news/entertainmenโ€ฆ
The Neapolitan song โ€œFuniculรฌ, Funiculร โ€ was written in 1880 to celebrate the opening of the first funicular railway on Mount Vesuvius. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funโ€ฆ
The Quintinshill rail disaster in 1915 was the worst railway accident in UK history, involving a 4 train crash with fire caused by gas lighting. Over 200 were killed, and a witness reported seeing an officer shooting people trapped in burning carriages with no hope of rescue en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiโ€ฆ
Britain removed all their road signs during World War II so that if the Germans invaded, they would get lost. These defensive preparations included the removal of signposts, milestones, and railway station signs. Gas pumps were also removed from service stations near their coast. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briโ€ฆ
A team of Torres Strait Islander workers broke the record for laying the most railway in a day, in the harsh heat of NW Australia. museum.wa.gov.au/explore/โ€ฆ
The longest railway in the world is the Yiwu-Madrid railway line. The railway is about 13,000 kilometers long starting in Yiwa, China and ending in Madrid, Spain. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yiwโ€ฆ
Today I learned of Kolberg, a Nazi propaganda film produced in 1945. Despite Germany being in retreat on all fronts at this time, 5,000 troops were used as extras and 100 railway cars were used to bring salt to the set to simulate snow. Ultimately the film was never released. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolโ€ฆ
The Japanese planted a false flag by detonating dynamite near its own railway line as an excuse to invade and occupy Manchuria en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukโ€ฆ
Rod Stewart always books two hotel rooms wherever he stays while on tour. One for him and one for his portable model railway set. aol.co.uk/2015/10/08/rod-โ€ฆ
In 1854 the London Necropolis Railway began carrying corpses from London to a cemetery 20 miles outside the city, as a response to a burial crisis created by lack of space to bury dead bodies. Hearse trains ran until World War II, only being stopped by German bombing of the city. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonโ€ฆ
Russia built a city in China as the terminus for the Trans-Siberian railway. Its Chinese name, Dalian, comes from the Russian word for "far away". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalโ€ฆ
Chinese Empress Cixi once remarked that she has heard much of Queen Victoria but she did not think that "her life is half as interesting and eventful as mine". Under her, China attained the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, telegraph, and an army and navy napoleon.org/en/magazine/โ€ฆ
Owney the dog became world famous in late 1800s for traveling the USA and the world as the beloved mascot for the railway post service. He became a good luck charm because no train he rode on got in an accident. Wherever he went, people hung tags on his harness, which he brought home regularly. postalmuseum.si.edu/exhibโ€ฆ
Today I learned of the Mount Washington Devilโ€™s Shingles. Workers who worked on the Mount Washington Cog Railway sometimes raced sleds down the 6,300 ft. mountain. One time a worker went from the summit to the base in 2 1/2 minutes, at points traveling as fast as 60-100 mph. bangshift.com/general-newโ€ฆ
A legal loophole in the UK allows alcohol to be sold without a license on a train in motion. An unlicensed distillery exploited this by setting up in a disused railway building, obtaining a steam train, and selling gin to customers while they road it back and forth from the distillery. thedrinksbusiness.com/201โ€ฆ
The Flying Train - Wuppertal Schwebebahn - is the oldest electric elevated railway with hanging cars in the world. Built between 1897 & 1903, the first track opened in 1901. The Schwebebahn is still in use today as a normal means of local public transport, moving 25 million passengers annually. youtube.com/watch?v=2Ud1aโ€ฆ
British and Irish railways used to use "slip coaches", which were disconnected while in motion to reduce the number of stops that express trains needed to make en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sliโ€ฆ
More people travel in Indian Railways daily than the entire population of Australia newindianexpress.com/statโ€ฆ
Today I learned of Airport Novels. Originally designed for railway travellers, they are fast paced boilerplate fiction novels mostly sold at airports, read for pace and plot not elegance of phrasing en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airโ€ฆ
Today I learned of Oland, an island in Germany with a population of only 16 people. Storms flood Oland every week during winter. It has a railway track which was built in 1923 and it takes 20 minutes for Olanders to reach the mainland through it. youtube.com/watch?v=9jqv-โ€ฆ
Today I learned of the Schwerer Gustav, a German railway gun used against allied forces in WWII. It took a crew of 2000 men to lay track and to operate. Weighing in at over 1,300 tons and firing a 15000 lb shell, it is the largest gun ever used in combat. interestingengineering.coโ€ฆ
In 1900s Britain, dogs would wait at railway stations to collect donations for the Railway Orphanage. After the dogs' death, they would be stuffed so they could keep collecting donations. childrenshomes.org.uk/LSWโ€ฆ
Today I learned of Big Hill-a section of railway on the Canadian Pacific line that proved so difficult to climb, spiral-shaped tunnels had to be bored to reduce the slope to a safe grade. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigโ€ฆ
The Ottomans Built a Railway Which Linked Istanbul to Madinah ilmfeed.com/the-ottomans-โ€ฆ
Railway employees in Japan use a system called โ€œPointing and Callingโ€ to reduce mistakes. This involves pointing at a sign or signal and calling out the status. Though it may look silly, making these gestures and saying the status maintains focus and attention, greatly reducing workplace errors. atlasobscura.com/articlesโ€ฆ
There is a 2 km Tunnel in Mauritania Known as the "Monument to European Stupidity in Africa." It Exists Only Because Spain and France Couldn't Come to an Agreement Over a Railway Built Across Open Desert en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choโ€ฆ
Dalian, China, was ruled by Russia and it became the southern tip of the Trans-Siberian Railway and the main port of the eastern Russian empire. The Chinese government resumed control following the Second World War, though the city was jointly run with Russia until 1955 wikitravel.org/en/Dalian
Agatha Christie kept a copy of the ABC railway guide beside her telephone and that's where she got the idea for "The ABC Murders". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theโ€ฆ
The Pizza Time song Funiculi Funicula was originally a promotional song for a funicular railway that carried sight seers to the top of Mount Vesuvius, with "let's go. Let's go, let's go to the top" as part of the chorus pompeiiinpictures.com/pomโ€ฆ
Japanese bullet trains have never had fatalities due to derailments or collisions, but once a boy had his finger stuck in the closing doors and was dragged along until dead. Court fined the station officer present $5k and had Japan Railways pay the boy's parents $440k in compensation. japantimes.co.jp/news/200โ€ฆ
In 19th-century South Africa, a baboon named Jack was employed as an assistant railway signalman for nine years. Reportedly, he never made a single mistake. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacโ€ฆ
Vince Coleman, a railway dispatcher, sacrificed his life in order to warn an incoming train of an imminent explosion. His telegraph said "Hold up the train. Ammunition ship afire in harbor making for Pier 6 and will explode. Guess this will be my last message. Good-bye boys." He saved 300 lives. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halโ€ฆ
In 1964 a super cyclone destroyed a town called Dhanushkodi, making it into a ghost town. The storm overturned a train entering it's railway station killing over 200 passengers. 4 radio operators braved the storm to continue broadcasting, and survived by clinging on to a bridge for 12 hours. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/196โ€ฆ
Today I learned of a Welsh village Llanfairยญpwllgwyngyllยญgogeryยญchwyrnยญdrobwllยญllanยญtysilioยญgogoยญgoch named as a publicity stunt in 1869 to give the railway station the longest name in Britain. It means: St Marys Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel Near to the Rapid Whirlpool of Llantysilio of the Red Cave. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llaโ€ฆ
One of Switzerlandโ€™s defense strategies is to demolish every main road, bridge and railway access into Switzerland in case of a foreign invasion, with at least 3,000 locations around the country prepared to blow at a momentโ€™s notice. expatica.com/ch/about/basโ€ฆ
Hachikล the Akita dog became famous in the 1920s for meeting his master every day at a railway station. He continued to make the journey nine years after his owner's death, and is held up in Japanese culture as an example of loyalty and fidelity. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacโ€ฆ
Hitler had France surrender in the same railway carriage at the same spot France and England made Germany surrender in WWI en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batโ€ฆ
India has used 3 time zones in the past - Bombay, Madras and Calcutta, with Madras time zone (being in between the other two) used by the railways all around the country. Neither of them had the arbitrary UTC+X(.5) time offset. The present day IST is closest to the Madras time. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timโ€ฆ
In the last days of WW1, the Germans blew up all the French factories, bridges and railways they could and flooded the mines in France's most industrial area. This was the reason why France asked reparations from Germany, French economy needed that to survive after what the Germans had done en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treโ€ฆ
In 1972, artist Dieter Meier installed a commemorative plaque at the railway station in Kassel, Germany, which read: "On 23 March 1994, from 3 to 4 pm, Dieter Meier will stand on this plaque". He honored the promise 22 years later. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieโ€ฆ
In south London in 1864, Thomas Webster Rammell built an atmospheric railway for passenger transportation, called Crystal Palace Pneumatic Railway, that went around 39.6 km/h (24.6 mph) through a 2.7x3m tunnel just by varying the air pressure in the tunnel before/behind the railway wagon. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryโ€ฆ
In 1873, the Northern Pacific Railway renamed the city to Bismarck, in honor of German chancellor Otto von Bismarck. It is the only US state capital named for a foreign statesman en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisโ€ฆ
LNER Peppercorn Class A1 60163 Tornado was the last steam locomotive built by British Railways. It is the only surviving example of an LNER Peppercorn Class A1 locomotive in existence. Construction began in 1994 and was completed in 2008. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNEโ€ฆ
A Russian railway company once proposed a super highway that would connect New York City to London by going west from NYC. cnn.com/travel/article/trโ€ฆ
The Mount Washington Cog Railway was the first mountain climbing railway in the world. theheartofnewengland.com/โ€ฆ
The Tsavo Man-Eaters were a pair of lions in the Tsavo region, Kenya. They were responsible for the deaths of over 135 workers during the construction of the Kenya-Uganda Railway between March and December 1898. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsaโ€ฆ

Please note that this site uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features, and to analyse web traffic. Click here for more information.