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Rail Transportation

Stevens Pass Railroad Tunnels & Switchback System
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Rail TransportationEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 1900Stevens PassState: WAZip: 98826Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/project/stevens-pass-railroad-tunnels/Creator: Stevens, John F.

In the years following the Civil War, the land west of the Mississippi River was being settled and the Pacific Northwest explored. There remained, however, a large portion of Montana, Idaho, and Washington that contained enormous quantities of timber and minerals, but was not accessible by rail. By far the most grueling stretch was the Stevens Pass area in the Cascade Mountains.

YearAdded:
1993
Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/SeattleretroImage Caption: Railroad development in Stevens Pass made accessible a timber and mineral rich region of Montana, Idaho, and Washington.Era_date_from: 1900
Joining of the Rails - Transcontinental Railroad
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Rail TransportationEra: 1860-1869DateCreated: 1869Golden Spike RdPromontoryState: UTZip: 84307Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/project/joining-of-the-rails--transcontinental-rr/Creator: Union Pacific Railroad, Central Pacific Railroad

"May God continue the unity of our Country as this Railroad unites the two great Oceans of the world."  
- Inscription on the ceremonial Golden Spike 

The symbolic Golden Spike, staked in Promontory, Utah in 1869, marked the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, joining the Union Pacific Railroad from the East and the Central Pacific Railroad from the west. 

Image Credit: Courtesy of the National Park ServiceImage Caption: A crowd of 1,500 assembled in Promontory for the ceremony to join the rails and, symbolically, the nation.Era_date_from: 1869
Horseshoe Curve
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Rail TransportationEra: 1840-1849DateCreated: 1847-1854Horse Shoe Curve ParkAltoonaState: PAZip: 16601Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/project/horseshoe-curve-pennsylvania-rr/Creator: Consolidated Rail Corporation

One of the earliest and most impressive of America's great railroad engineering feats, the Horseshoe Curve was built as a means of overcoming a straight-line grade over the geological feature known as the Allegheny Escarpment or Allegheny front, which separates the ridge-and-valley section of Pennsylvania (on the east) from the Allegheny Front (on the west). Such a straight-line route would have made commercial railroad operations unfeasible from both and economic and technical standpoint.

Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/US Geological SurveyImage Caption: The Horseshoe Curve was built as a means of overcoming a straight-line grade over the geological feature known as the Allegheny Escarpment.Era_date_from: 1847
Hoosac Tunnel
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Rail TransportationEra: 1850-1859DateCreated: 1855-1876North AdamsState: MAZip: 10013Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Hoosac-Tunnel/Creator: Shanley, Walter and Francis

When first proposed in 1819, the Hoosac Tunnel seemed so logical. It would provide an efficient and direct route for the Boston and Albany Railroad, whose pathway meandered 20 miles along precipitous grades. Early proponents, however, could not have imagined that blasting a 4.75 mile tunnel through the Hoosac Mountain would require over 20 years of labor. The project took so long to complete that it was commonly referred to as "The Great Bore." 

YearAdded:
1975
Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Acela2038 Image Caption: The 4.75 mile Hoosac tunnel, which was bored through the Hoosac Mountain, required over 20 years of labor.Era_date_from: 1855
Granite Railway
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Rail TransportationEra: 1800-1829DateCreated: 1826Quincy and MiltonState: MAZip: 02169Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Granite-Railway/Creator: Bryant, Gridley

The Granite Railway Company of Quincy was the first commercial railway in the United States. Incorporated in 1826 and designed by Gridley Bryant, the railway relied on horses, rather than steam locomotives, to draw the cars along the tracks. Its primary purpose was to transport granite from Quincy to build the Bunker Hill Monument. 

YearAdded:
1975
Image Credit: Courtesy Library of CongressImage Caption: The Granite Railway Company of Quincy was the first commercial railway in the United States.Era_date_from: 1826
Dublin-Belfast Rail Link
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Rail TransportationEra: 1840-1849DateCreated: 1842-1855Dublin to BelfastCountry: IrelandWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Dublin-Belfast-Rail-Link/

The Dublin to Belfast Rail Link established a vital connection between the capitals of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The line's most notable engineering feature was the 1,760-foot-long Boyne Bridge; it represented one of the earliest uses of calculated stresses, the first large-scale use of wrought iron latticed girders, and the first full scale test of continuous beams. Tests performed on the wrought iron columns and struts were published and provided invaluable information for engineers who would design similar structures in the future. 

YearAdded:
1996
Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Henry ClarkImage Caption: The Dublin to Belfast Rail Link established a vital connection between the capitals of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.Era_date_from: 1842
Tokaido Shinkansen
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: Rail TransportationEra: 1960-1969DateCreated: 1964Tokyo Station
State: Tokyo-toZip: 100-0005Country: JapanWebsite: https://www.asme.org/about-asme/who-we-are/engineering-history/landmarks/211-tokaido-shinkansenCreator: Shima, Hideo

In 1964, Shinkansen (which means "new trunk line" and is also known as the bullet train) between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka became the world's first high-speed railway system, running at a maximum business speed of over 200 km/h (130-160 mph). 

YearAdded:
2000
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Roger Wollstadt (CC BY-SA 2.0)Image Caption: Tokaido ShinkansenEra_date_from: 1964
St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Line
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: Rail TransportationEra: 1830-1839DateCreated: 18352817 Canal Street
New OrleansState: LACountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-m-z/rail-transportation---2/-101-st--charles-avenue-streetcar-line-%281835%29, https://www.asme.org/getmedia/40ef6e7c-697d-4f77-8daa-059a37f698b3/101-St-Charles-Avenue-Streetcar-Line-1835.aspxCreator: Perley A. Thomas Car Company

The St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Line is the oldest surviving interurban-urban passenger rail transportation system in the United States. Originally incorporated as the New Orleans Carrollton Rail Road in 1833, service began in 1835. A variety of motive power had been used including horses, mules, overhead cable, steam engines, and ammonia engines before electrification in 1893. The 900-series cars presently in service were designed and built by the Perley A. Thomas Car Company of High Point, North Carolina, in 1923 to 1924.

YearAdded:
1984
Image Credit: Original Image: Courtesy Wikipedia/Falkue (CC BY-SA 3.0)Image Caption: St. Charles Avenue Streetcar LineEra_date_from: 1835
Pioneer Zephyr
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: Rail TransportationEra: 1930-1939DateCreated: 1934 Museum of Science and IndustryChicagoState: ILCountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-m-z/rail-transportation---1/-58-pioneer-zephyr-%281934%29, https://www.asme.org/getmedia/ce78f690-8505-4687-9a2a-0b39b5876006/58-Pioneer-Zephyr-1934.aspxCreator: Budd Company

In the late 1920s, the automobile cut railroad passenger service by more than half. The debut of the Pioneer Zephyr heralded a comeback in 1934, touring the country and being seen by some two million people in 222 cities.

YearAdded:
1980
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Steve Wilson (CC BY 2.0)Image Caption: Pioneer ZephyrEra_date_from: 1934
Pilatusbahn - the world's steepest cog railway
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: Rail TransportationEra: 1880-1889DateCreated: 1882Brünigstrasse 4
605
AlpnachCountry: SwitzerlandWebsite: https://www.asme.org/about-asme/who-we-are/engineering-history/landmarks/220-pilatusbahn, https://www.asme.org/getmedia/8c4b369d-83fd-4b9e-9248-b6d78b28628c/220-Pilatusbahn-1882.aspxCreator: Locher, Eduard , Locher Systems

The Pilatusbahn—the steepest rack railway in the world—has operated successfully since its opening in 1889 over a route of 4.62 kilometers (2.87 miles) between Alpnachstad on Lake Lucerne and Pilatus Kulm, rising 6,791 feet (2,070 meters) above sea level. This results in a gradient of 48%, or a rise of nearly one meter in two meters of run on the steepest sections of the line, which amounts to about a quarter of its length.

YearAdded:
2002
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Stephane Dewarrat (CC BY-SA 2.0)Image Caption: PilatusbahnEra_date_from: 1882
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