This web page contains train facts for kids and is an excellent resource for anyone of any age looking to learn about trains. Our goal is to provide you with accurate, up to date facts about trains. In addition to facts about trains, we provide additional resources to help you with your research on this revolutionary transportation method.
The train facts below will help you learn about who invented the first train, how a trains works, the different types of trains, how we use trains today, how we used trains in the past and other train related facts. We hope these train facts are interesting and help you learn more about this transportation method.
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26 Train Facts for Kids
- A train is a series of connected vehicles that travel along railroad tracks.
- Trains are powered by a locomotive, also known simply as an engine.
- A locomotive engine can be powered by steam, diesel or electricity.
- Prior to locomotive engines, trains were powered by humans, horses or gravity.
- The first commercially successful steam powered locomotive was the Salamanca built by English steam engine and machine tool manufacturer Matthew Murray in 1812.
- The first electric locomotive was invented and built by Scottish inventor Robert Davidson in 1837.
- The first diesel-powered locomotive was operating on the Winterthur-Romanshorn railway in 1912.
- Prior to diesel and electric trains, steam powered trains were dominate.
- Modern trains either use diesel or electricity, but steam powered trains still exist for recreational purposes.
- A train can be used to transport people and cargo over a short or long distance.
- There are two common types of a trains, a passenger train and a freight train.
- A passenger train is used to transport people to and from different locations.
- A passenger train has one or more locomotives and multiple passenger cars.
- A passenger train can be a long-distance train or a short-distance train.
- A long-distance passenger train transports people over long distances (across the country).
- A short-distance passenger train transport people over short distances (across a metropolitan area).
- A freight train is used to transport cargo to and from different locations.
- A freight train has one or more locomotives and multiple freight cars.
- In 2017, the entire worldwide rail transportation network had over 851,000 miles of railroad tracks.
- In 2017, the top three countries with the largest rail transportation networks were the USA, China and Russia.
- The United States of America had over 125,000 miles of railroad tracks in 2017.
- China had over 99,000 miles of railroad tracks in 2017.
- Russia had over 89,000 miles of railroad tracks in 2017.
- The fastest steam locomotive in the world is the Mallard with a top speed of 126 miles per hour.
- The fastest diesel-power locomotive in the world was an HST with a top speed of 148 miles per hour.
- The fastest commercial electric-powered locomotive in the world is the Shanghai Maglev train with a top speed of 268 miles per hour.
Additional Resources with Train Facts
- How Trains Work – Learn how trains work on the HowStuffWorks website.
- History of the American Railroads – Discover the history of the American railroads on the Standford University website.
- Pictures of Trains – View some cool pictures of trains on the Flickr website.
- Train – Wikipedia – Explore the Wikipedia website to learn more about trains.