The Analysis of a Train


Trains consist of a combination of one or more locomotives and attached railroad cars, or a self-propelled multiple unit (or occasionally a single powered coach, called a railcar). A passenger train may consist of one or several locomotives, and one or more coaches. Alternatively, a train may consist entirely of passenger carrying coaches, some or all of which are powered as a “multiple unit“.

Basically the structure is made out of metal partitions.

The basic facilities that a passengers train has are the chairs, tables, toilets, air-condition, beds in overnight trips, bicycle attachments.

Further additions can transform the basic structure to a different type of use like passenger train, bogie train, motive power train, long distance trains(high-speed, mayler, intercity, regional), short distance trains(commuter, rapid, tram, light rail, monorail), freight trains etc.

A train can be a very flexible space if you consider the options you have in case of removing or adding facilities.

Examples of how flexible a train can be:

‘Expedition Zukunft’ in a train at Berlin central station during the official opening of the train on April 23, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.

Graphic designer Morag Myerscough has created the Deptford Project Café – a café inside a 1960s commuter train carriage in Deptford, southeast London.

Moving Art: Gallery Inside Subway Train, Moscow

Fashion show at Central line on London’s Underground.

A future plan for the monorail train in Dubai.

Ikea Mobile Showroom for Kobe new store’s opening: a monorail train furnished by Ikea inside out.

Relationship between public and private

Most of the trains are massive public transport means owed by private companies. The passenger must pay a fee in order to use the services of  a train. But there are also private rails called ‘Luxury Private Rail Cars’ and offers individuals, families and businesses the retro luxury experience of traveling by private rail car on most of the rail networks of Amtrak and VIA Rail.(

The Maharaja express in India

Railway tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property. Walking or playing on them is illegal. Trespassers are subject to arrest and fines. Too often the penalty is death.

Some other private trains are the Mongolia private rail, Orient express, Rovos rail, The blue train, Palace of wheels, La Robla.


Roads of rails called Wagonways were being used in Germany as early as 1550. These primitive railed roads consisted of wooden rails over which horse-drawn wagons or carts moved with greater ease than over dirt roads. Wagonways were the beginnings of modern railroads.

By 1776, iron had replaced the wood in the rails and wheels on the carts. Wagonways evolved into Tramways and spread though out Europe. Horses still provided all the pulling power. In 1789, Englishman, William Jessup designed the first wagons with flanged wheels. The flange was a groove that allowed the wheels to better grip the rail, this was an important design that carried over to later locomotives.

The invention of the steam engine was critical to the invention of the modern railroad and trains. In 1803, a man named Samuel Homfray decided to fund the development of a steam-powered vehicle to replace the horse-drawn carts on the tramways. Richard Threvithik (1771-1833) built that vehicle, the first steam engine tramway locomotive. In September, 1825, the Stockton & Darlington Railroad Company began as the first railroad to carry both goods and passengers on regular schedules using locomotives.

However, it was a road locomotive, designed for a road and not for a railroad. In 1812, Stephenson became a colliery engine builder, and in 1814 he built his first locomotive for the Stockton and Darlington Railway Line. Stephenson was hired as the company engineer and soon convinced the owners to use steam motive power and built the line’s first locomotive, the Locomotion. In 1825, Stephenson moved to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, where together with his son Robert built (1826-29) the Rocket.

Colonel John Stevens is considered to be the father of American railroads. Designed and built by Peter Cooper  1830, the Tom Thumb was the first American-built steam locomotive to be operated on a common-carrier railroad.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, considerable interest developed in the possibility of building tracked passenger vehicles that could travel much faster than conventional trains. From the 1970s, interest in an alternative high-speed technology centered on magnetic levitation, or maglev.  This vehicle rides on an air cushion created by electromagnetic reaction between an on-board device and another embedded in its guide way.

The urban setting of trains may differ from society to society. In Africa, the Soweto Business Express can hold up to 530 riders. This allows for oil consumption savings. In the United States transit riders use about one-half the amount of oil as do commuters who travel in single forms of transportation, such as a private car or a cab. China’s most used form of public transportation is the railways . The track usually consists of two rails,  but might also be a monorail or maglev guide way. Nowadays trains are for most people a kind of routine , a convenience tool like their toothbrush or the mobile phone.

People and stories

In that part I would like to introduce you the series Future express. A documentary TV series of The Future Express project is a cross-media project, consisting of an interactive website, a TV documentary series with weekly episodes, a digital TV channel and radio documentaries. In the TV series, several social and economic issues are discussed: globalization, migration, the search for identity in an ever faster changing world.

Future Express: Indonesia – Silent Anger
And directors interview here
The safety
Around the train:

A motorist is 40 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a collision involving another motor vehicle.

Approximately 50% of vehicle/train collisions occur at crossings with active warning devices (gates, lights, bells).

Most collisions occur within 40 kms of the motorist’s home.

Trains CANNOT stop quickly. An average freight train travelling at 100 km/h requires about 2 km to stop. A passenger train travelling at 160 km/h requires about the same distance to stop. Compare that to an automobile travelling at 90 km/h, which requires about 60 metres to stop.

The majority of highway/railway collisions occur when the train is travelling less than 80 km/h.

An approaching train activates flashing light signals and gates approximately 20 seconds before the train reaches the crossing.

DO NOT walk, run, cycle or operate all terrain vehicles (ATV’s) on railway tracks or rights-of-way or through tunnels.

Cross tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or railway crossings. Observe and obey all warning signs and signals.

DO NOT hunt, fish or bungee jump from railway trestles. They are not designed as sidewalks or pedestrian bridges – there is only enough clearance on the tracks for a train to pass.

DO NOT attempt to hop aboard railway equipment at any time. A slip of the foot can cost you a limb, or your life.

ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN. Trains DO NOT follow set schedules.

Train tunnels and bridges are built for trains, not people. If the train comes, there’s no room for you to get away. You can be hit by the train or fall from the bridge. Don’t take chances. STAY OFF!
A stopped train can suddenly start moving. If you are on or near the train, you could be badly hurt. Be smart and STAY AWAY!·  Putting things like rocks or wood or cans on the train tracks can cause accidents. When the train hits the object, it can fly up and hurt someone – even you. Objects placed on tracks can even cause the train to come off its tracks and crash. Don’t put things on tracks and don’t go on the tracks

·  ALWAYS use designated level crossings to cross train tracks.

·  ALWAYS obey the signs and signals near railway crossings – flashing lights and bells mean the train is coming so be safe and stay away.

·  ALWAYS stop, look and listen before you cross just to make sure it is safe.

·  ALWAYS stay away from the edge of the platform while waiting for the train at the station.     Stay behind the platform safety line.

·  ALWAYS stay away from trains and tracks and off railway property.

·  ALWAYS say “NO” to trespassing on tracks or railway property.

Safety on board:

Once you’re on board, take a seat or steady yourself by holding a grab rail if you are standing.

Avoid moving between carriages whilst the train is moving.

Passengers travelling with bicycles or surfboards are requested to avoid using peak hour trains where possible.

After 7pm, travel in the front carriage so you are close to the driver.

If there are other passengers on the train, sit near them, not by yourself.

Carry a phone card, spare change or mobile phone.

Make sure your luggage is stowed correctly and avoid blocking the aisle.

Please offer your seat to elderly people, those with special needs and pregnant women.

Boarding and getting off:

Stand behind the yellow line until the train comes to a complete stop.

Do not force the doors open or attempt to board when the train is leaving the platform.

Allow other passengers to step off the train before you board.

Drivers will assist passengers with special needs to board at the front carriage. Yellow or white markers on platforms indicate where the train will stop.

If you are travelling with a pram or shopping trolley, board at the front carriage so that you’re clearly visible to the driver.

When boarding the train enter the pram first and lift the back in if the train isn’t level with the platform. When exiting the train, step off first and then pull the pram towards you.

Use the grab rails to steady yourself when boarding or alighting.

Prepare to alight before reaching your destination station, but make sure you have something to hold onto.


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