Monday, March 03, 2008


A railroad or railway is a guided means of land transport, designed to be used by trains, for transporting both passengers and goods. It consists of two parallel rails, usually made of steel, and wooden or concrete sleepers or ties that hold the rails accurately at the proper distance from each other. Rail transport is one of the most energy well-organized means of mechanised land transport known. The rails offer very smooth and hard surfaces on which the wheels of the train may roll with a minimum of friction. This is added comfortable and saves energy. Trains also have a tiny frontal area in relation to the load they are carrying, which cuts down on air resistance and thus energy usage. In all, under the right situation, a train needs 50-70% less energy to transport a given tonnage of freight (or given number of passengers), than by road.


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