Travel for rail enthusiasts

Nearly from the dawn of railways, there have been people fascinated with the technology of trains, their design and the engineering feats that made rail travel possible in difficult terrain. Today many people travel far and wide to see or ride specific trains and lines or to visit museums.

. . . Travel for rail enthusiasts . . .

Since their inception, railways have been about more than just transporting goods and people from A to B. The puffing of the earliest steam locomotives captivated the cities and towns wherever it arrived and today the sheer power of freight trains, the elegance and streamlined sleekness of modern high speed rail or the modern marvels of engineering that are train stations, bridges, tunnels or marshaling yards are a sight to behold and a reason for tourism all in itself. You don’t have be an enthusiast listing numbers and dates of train sightings in a book to appreciate the beauty and fascination that is rail travel and everything associated with it.

Station buildings can be impressive landmarks that are appreciated by architecture buffs as well as railway enthusiasts. They often represent the styles and tastes of their time of origin – spanning over one and a half centuries and include “bourgeois cathedrals” of the late 19th and early 20th century as well as hyper-modern “glass palaces” of the renaissance of rail travel (and railways) since the beginning of the 21st century. One of the most striking examples of the latter is perhaps Berlin52.5254913.369131 Hauptbahnhof, which was built for the 2006 soccer World Cup. Unfortunately, stations built in the period from the start of World War II to the end of the 20th century tend to be rather dull affairs, perhaps symbolising the prevailing mindset of the period that rail travel was antiquated, and private car ownership and air travel was the way forward.

Longest name for a rail station, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch, Wales
  • 41.15-100.831 Bailey Yard, North Platte, Nebraska. The world’s largest freight railway yard. The 41.144-100.8291 Golden Spike Tower offers a panoramic view over the goings-on. (updated Apr 2016)
  • 53.40472210.0563891 Maschen Marshalling Yard (Rangierbahnhof Maschen), Maschen, Lower Saxony south of Hamburg. Maschen, which also hosts the Maschen Autobahn junction (A7, A1 and A39) is the biggest freight rail hub in Europe. Built in the 1970s, it serves the traffic from the North Sea ports to the industrial centers of Europe as well as freight throughout Europe. Its size is only surpassed globally by the Bailey Yard mentioned above. (updated Apr 2016)
  • 35.200833-118.5369441 Tehachapi Loop, Kern County. A marvel of late 19th-century engineering, this loop allows heavy freight trains to climb the steep grade by crossing over itself. This loop is very busy with freight to this day and has been a favorite for railfans for decades. (updated Nov 2016)

. . . Travel for rail enthusiasts . . .

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. . . Travel for rail enthusiasts . . .