The History of Tram
A tram-train is one of the eco-friendly types of transport. Nowadays it’s becoming less popular in comparison with the underground or personal autos. The word “tram” is originated from the Old Germanic word meaning “trolley” or “sledge”. Watching the history of this kind of transport we can watch the whole history of technical progress.
The first trains had no engines. Being drawn by horses they had a number of advantages, such as low-cost and the ability to carry passengers in any weather. The newly-shaped steel wheels maintained a smooth ride. The fixed routes successfully regulated the flow of the passengers.
The first engine-empowered tram was developed in Europe. Empowered by steam this train had a far more opportunities to run through the narrow streets and transport a larger amount of passengers. However the open moving parts of its engine and especially the rotating wheels appeared to be dangerous for the passengers. After some examinations these parts were covered, but not only roe the safety reasons. The noise level measurements showed that the sound of working steam engine could be disturbing for the people who lived in the blocks of flats standing close to the tram-train rails.
The first modern-looking train was tested and launched in the United States, San-Francisco. It was brought to movement by a cable which maintained a steady pace and a stronger contact of rails and wheels. It was very useful in the locations with an uneven or hilly surface to prevent slipping off the rails. The problem was that the cable was frequently damaged. That caused accidents and wheel breaks.
The electric trams appeared to have the least amount of negative side effects on the environment. Unlike steam engines which needed coal they had particularly no poisonous emissions into the atmosphere. Besides these new trams produced less noise, still being capable of the transportation of rapidly growing flow of passengers. The old rails were replaced by the new wider ones and the floor surface of the electric tram was enlarged.
Gradually the system of the train routes was developed and expanded. Due to its heavy weight the tram-traim remains one of the safest type of city transport. The fixed routes prevent the traffic jams and maintain a stable time-table. The rails run to the most distant areas of the city carrying a vast number of passengers.
Tram-train as a tourist attraction is quite popular due to its low-cost and comparatively low speed. It is possible to catch all the views and even take a photo of a running animal. Some of these tourist routes are financed by the local charity organizations. They raise money from the museums of the tram-train history, tram rides and tram excursions. Some of these tourist routes are monitored and supervised by volunteers, among whom you can meet even elderly people. They are united by their common interest in the history and the functioning of the tram-train route system.