Friday, August 23, 2013

9 Most Awesome Train Railways

Maeklong Market Railway (Thailand).

The food market in Maeklong, Thailand, is located on top of train tracks. Several times a day shopkeepers swiftly pack up their food stalls and pull back their canopies to let the trains pass. Once the trains have rumbled through, the crates of vegetables, fish and eggs are placed back into position and shoppers return to the tracks they use as a path through the market.

Napier-Gisborne Railway (New Zealand).

The Napier to Gisborne Railway Line is unique in the world in that it crosses the main runway of the Gisborne Airport. Trains have to stop and seek clearance from the air traffic control tower to cross the runway and continue down the line; not exactly a common sight, a 1939 steam train in the middle of an airport runway!

Tren a las Nubes - Train to the Clouds (Argentina).

The Tren a las Nubes (Train to/of the Clouds) is a touristic train service in Salta Province, Argentina. The service runs along the eastern part of the C-14 line of the Ferrocarril General Manuel Belgrano, that connects the Argentine Northwest with the Chilean border in the Andes mountain range, over 4,220 metres (13,850 ft) above mean sea level, the third highest railway in the world. Originally built for economic and social reasons, it is now primarily of interest to tourists as a heritage railway. The railway line has 29 bridges, 21 tunnels, 13 viaducts, 2 spirals and 2 zigzags. Because of the design decision not to use a rack-and-pinion for traction, the route had to be designed to avoid steep grades. The zigzags allow the train to climb up driving back and forth parallel to the slope of the mountain.

Tunnel of Love (Ukraine).

 Tunnel of Love is a beautiful spot in Klevan, Ukraine. A three kilometer railway section leads to the fibreboard factory. The train goes three times a day and delivers wood to the factory. However, the trees make a green corridor, which attracts many couples, as well as photographers for its eye catching avenue. It is said that if you and your beloved come to the Tunnel of Love and sincerely make a wish, it will come true.

Georgetown Loop Railroad (USA).

 The Georgetown Loop Railroad was one of Colorado's first visitor attractions. Completed in 1884, this spectacular stretch of three-foot narrow gauge railroad was considered an engineering marvel for its time. The thriving mining towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume lie two miles apart in a steep, narrow mountain canyon. To connect them, the railroad's builders designed a “corkscrew” route that traveled twice the distance, slowly gaining more than 600 feet in elevation. It included horseshoe curves, grades of up to 4%, and four bridges across Clear Creek, including the massive Devil's Gate High Bridge.

The Danger Railway (Thailand).

The Burma Railway, also known as the Danger Railway, is a 415 kilometres (258 mi) railway between Bangkok, Thailand, and Rangoon, Burma. More than 90,000 workers and 16,000 Allied prisoners of wars died during the construction of this railway, a horrific episode that forms the backdrop for David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai. A ride on a surviving section of the route is now a popular activity for visitors to Kanchanaburi, to the northwest of the Thai capital. The train hugs the sides of sheer cliffs, and passes over a number of rickety wooden bridges.

Gyeonghwa Station (South Korea).

There are 340,000 cherry trees in in Jinhae, South Korea. When they bloom in the spring, they create a dazzling display of falling blossoms. Gyeonghwa Station, where this photo was taken, is a popular tourist attraction for that reason.

Trans-Siberian, World's Longest Railway (Russia).

 The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. It is the longest railway line in the world. There are connecting branch lines into Mongolia, China and North Korea. It has connected Moscow with Vladivostok since 1916 and is still expanded.

The Landwasser Viaduct (Switzerland).

Switzerland has large areas of land that are mountainous. In the 19th Century and before, the mountainous terrain meant that it was difficult to travel across country and consequently communications were relatively poor. The Swiss railway engineers of the ninetieth and twentieth century had to be extremely innovative, imaginative and courageous to build a complex and efficient mountain railway system. This not only included planning and building difficult mountain routes but also the many bridges and tunnels needed to cross and go under mountainous areas. The Swiss are still investing heavily in their railway network, making it one of the most efficient and advanced in the world.

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