Trains in America

  • Steam Engine Invented

    Thomas Savery invented the steam engine. It was basically a water pump.
  • First Train

    In the 1820's the first train was constructed in England.
  • Electric Motor Invented

    Anyos Jedlik invents the first rotating electric motor
  • Baltimore Steam Engine.

    Baltimore Steam Engine.
    Due to the decline of business in the harbor becuase of the Panama Canal the first steam engine began running in Baltimore.
  • James Wright

    James Wright of Columbia, PA invented cone tread to reduce resistance and prevent wear of flanges
  • Locomotive Power

    Locomotive Power
    Stephenson creates the Rocket which wins a competition for locomotive power at the Rainhill Trials on the Manchester & Liverpool Railway. The Rocket was capable of 30 mph with 30 passengers, starting the tradition of faster travel for people from place to place. This began a new way to make money which was important for society as well as government.
  • Tom Thumb

    Tom Thumb
    "Tom Thumb" was the first locomotive in the United States to carry passengers. Its trip lasted one hour and fifteen minutes over 13 miles of track on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The locomotive carried 26 passengers.
  • The Best Friend's First Innagural Run

    The Best Friend's First Innagural Run
    The Best Friend was built at the West Point Foundery at New York for the Charlston & Hamburg Railroad. It was the first completely American-built steam engine to go into scheduled passenger service. It was put into service for the first time on Christmas Day 1830 At that point in time, the only mode of transportation that was faster was an experienced horse and rider. It's passenger route was only 6 miles long.
  • De Witt Clinton

    De Witt Clinton
    The "DeWitt Clinton" was the fourth steam locomotive to be built in the U.S. and it was the first to run in New York. It weighed 3½ tons, hauled 5 stage coach bodies, and was able to go at 25 mph on the Mohawk-Hudson railroad.
  • The John Bull

    The John Bull
    The John Bull was shipped back to the U.S. from England. Isaac Dripps, the mechanic in charge outfitted the steam engine with a bell, headlight, and Cow Catcher.
  • Brother Jonathon

    Brother Jonathon
    The "Brother Jonathon" was the first ever locomotive to have a four wheeled leading truck. John B. Jervis was the designer. It was intended for the Mohawk and Huson Railroad.
  • American No. 1

    American No. 1
    John B. Jervis also designed the American No. 1 which was the first type of train of its class. It could consistently go 60 mph with 9.5" by 16" cylinders. Jervis was the Chief Engineer for the Mohawk and Huson Railroad, so this was the railroad it was designed for and ran on.
  • First Electric Train

    Robert Davidson of Aberdeen invents the first electric train using massive batteries
  • Expansion of Train Tracks

    Expansion of Train Tracks
    2,818 miles of track.
  • Expansion of Train Tracks

    Expansion of Train Tracks
    30,000 miles of track.
  • Pacific Railway Act

    Pacific Railway Act
    President Abraham Lincoln signs the Pacific Railway Act, which authorizes the construction of the first transcontinental railroad.
  • Knuckler Coupler

    Knuckler Coupler
    Major Eli Janney, a confederate veteran of the civil war, invents the knuckle coupler. This semi-automatic device locks upon the cars closing together without the rail worker getting between the cars. This replaces the "link and pin" coupler, which was a major cause of injuries to railroad workers. A "cut" lever at the corner of the car releases the coupler knuckle making uncoupling safer.
  • Transcontinental Railroad

    Transcontinental Railroad
    The First Transcontinental Railroad was joined on May 10, 1869, with the ceremonial driving of the "Last Spike" at Promontory Summit, Utah. It took the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads six years to complete the project. As of May 10, 1869 the railroad was in operation, but it was not considered completed until November 6, 1869.
  • Diesel Engine Invented

    Rudolph Diesel invents diesel engine in france
  • Federal Railway Safety Appliances Act

    Federal Railway Safety Appliances Act instituted mandatory requirements for automatic air brake systems and automatic couplers, and required standardization of the location and specifications for appliances such as handholds and grab irons necessary for employees' use. This applied only to interstate rail traffic.
  • Prohibit Steam Engines

    Prohibit Steam Engines
    New York state enacts legislation prohibiting the operation of steam locomotives on Manhattan Island in New York City south of the Harlem River after June 30, 1908. This spurred the electrification of New York City's trackage.
  • First Diesel Train

  • Railroad War Board

    Five days after the United States declared war on German and entered WWII the president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad called a meeting with all of the railroad executives. They all signed a resolution saying that they would support the war effort by running their lines in a coordination with each other. The actual board was a group of five people put in charge to oversee the plan.