Did you know that we are currently seeing a resurgence in U.S. rail traffic? There are a number of reasons for this, not the least of which are today’s high fuel costs. Railroads can haul three times the freight as trucks for the same amount of fuel. Obviously, our healthy economy and the boom in container shipping – expected to grow 5-7% per year for the next five – is also having a positive impact.
The history of “rail roads” goes back to as early as 1550 when roads of rails – called wagonways – came into use in Germany. The first tram road was laid down in England in 1776 with cast-iron angle bars on timber ties. In 1789, Englishman William Jessup designed the first wagons with flanged wheels to run the rails.