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1791-1841

1842-1881

1882-1927

1928-1980

1981-2000

and history continues!

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, a world class museum of railroad history in Strasburg, PA.

Railroad History Timeline

And History Continues ...

History never ends.  At any given time, the past is generally known, yet our commitment to preserve and interpret history must include a commitment to recognize what is contemporary, as that will be the history of tomorrow.

There are exciting developments occurring in the field of American railroads. These and others yet unknown will play out as the years unfold.

New, high speed technologies such as magnetic levitation to propel trains at very high speeds, and tilt technologies that allow passengers  to remain comfortable at such speeds.

Continued public debate over the role of government in subsidizing often-unprofitable long distance passenger travel. Amtrak, our national passenger service, faces financial stresses while government attempts to resolve policy.

The growing impact of computer controls and satellite services on railroad operations.

Mergers of large regional freight railroads into major national lines.

The emergence and role of small regional freight lines, often using abandoned or sold-off sections of larger lines, and capable of considerable entrepreneurial initiative and flexibility.

Increasing intermodal services, in which goods are transported part way by boat (internationally), part way by economical rail and part way by truck, making use of several container methods.

Continued research into more efficient locomotive design such as the use of alternating current in new ways.

The impact of world-wide energy depletion.

The continued balance between industrial latitude and government regulation.
   
   

Railroad History Timeline compiled by Kurt R. Bell
This page written by James Alexander Jr.

 

 

E44.

 

 

 

 

Amtrak.

 

 

 

 

RDC.

 

 

 

 

Caboose.

   
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