Trains have been one of the major invention in the history of transportation. Our story with them begins in the late 19th century when the first steam models appeared and changed the way we perceive distance forever. They are now one of the main means of transportation on the globe, no matter if we are speaking about people or goods. The technological advancement that the trains suffered is simply amazing. When the trains were first invented they would go with 20 km/hour and this was considered a very high speed back then and some people were afraid to go with them because they believed that they could die from the speed. Nowadays we have high speed trains that reach more than 250 km/hour and can connect distant cities in a matter of hours. But not many people know the story behind these amazing high speed trains. We have listed some key moments in their history to better understand the technological advancement.
The dream of a high-speed train began in the early 20th century when the old diesel or coal trains started to be replaced with electric ones. Scientists and engineers realized that this is much more efficient and that the trains could go faster. There were many plans back then to build special rail roads for these trains of the future, especially in the United States. Sadly, none of the new trains reached the speed that their designer wanted.
The first true high-speed train appeared in 1933 in Germany and it connected Berlin and Hamburg. The diesel engine powered a train that reached 160 km/hour. The locals started calling them the “flying trains” since they were so fast. The usage of these trains unfortunately stopped just before the outbreak of the Second World War.
The French railway network also wanted to break the records. In the early 1950 they started working on a model that would go with more than 300 km/hour. This dream was achieved only in 1955 when during the test on a normal track the train reached the amazing speed of 333 km/hour. This was a start of a new era in transportation. France is nowadays one of the countries with the most high-speed trains in Europe.
But the biggest technological advancement came from Japan. After the Second World War the country had many import restrictions but still needed to transport the citizens from one point to another. The electrical trains seemed to be perfect for this task. During the 50’s a new rail road infrastructure program begun to support the new high-speed trains. Nowadays the high-speed train network in Japan has more than 2500 kilometers and it connects the main cities and regions bringing the economic areas closer. The top speed was also registered in Japan. In 2015 the new model of train reached the unbelievable speed of 360 km/hour. The Japanese railway system is also the safest in the world.