For centuries, railways have been used for trade and business purposes. The earliest known railway systems date back to the mid 16th century in Germany. These early forms of railways were hauled by horses. Later, steam-powered vehicles were invented in Great Britain in the 19th century. These British railway systems stand today as one of the oldest functional systems of rails in the world.
Advancement in science and technology has had revolutionary impacts on the various means of transport including railways. Commencing as horse-driven wagonways, the railway systems today have advanced to the level of electric bullet trains, thanks to the developments in science and technology.
The business sector has almost always benefited from the railway transport. Carrying goods and passengers across lengthy distances, trains have been proving their worth ever since they were made.
In fact, there are some traces which suggest that the Diolkos, a paved pathway near Corinth, Greece, used to be a railway track that operated from 600 BC to the mid-1st century AD. This shows that railways have been an important asset for the business sector for a very long time.
There are a lot of different forms of railways, some of which are rudimentary and exist only in books or museums while others are helping us humans transport people and goods at this very moment.
Types of Railway Transport
As mentioned before, the earliest forms of trains consisted of wagons hauled by horses, and in certain cases even by humans. These are no longer in use, but can easily be called as the ancestors of the modern-day trains, carrying various goods and commodities from one place to another. When it comes to modern freight trains, we can classify them into various types on different bases. Here we have classified them into 3 types.
Mixed Freight Trains
As the name indicates, these trains carry goods of different types. Each of the cars carrying the goods has a specific destination where it is to be delivered. Therefore, the arrangement of cars behind the locomotive depends upon the order of the stations where the train will arrive.
In contrast to mixed trains, the unit trains carry only one particular type of commodity. This train usually has a single route, thus carrying its freight from the same source to the same destination.
Examples of unit trains include coal-carrying “coal trains”, automobile carrying “auto trains”, and grain carrying “grain trains”.
The benefit of a unit train is that it does not stop along the way, unlike mixed trains, which undergo an interrupted journey as they deliver goods at multiple stops on the way.
These trains have greatly improved the speed of transport of goods and commodities. Basically, intermodal trains carry goods inside containers. The containers can easily be loaded onto roadway vehicles, trains, and even ships, using cranes, thus speeding up the transfer of goods from one mode of transport to another. This saves much time and energy and has become an important tool in business.
Railway transport is an asset that allows us to transport huge quantities of all forms of goods along with a variety of distances. Many railway systems that were made centuries ago are still functioning and have proved the worth of this amazing means of transport. Even though people use it worldwide as passengers, the business sector greatly benefits from it as well.
Cars, grains, coal, oil, automobiles, clothes, and so many other forms of goods are transported each day in freight trains, and at very reasonable prices. Railway transport, indeed, is a very important luxury for us human beings in our private lives as well as our business.
Ayesha Rafi is a medical student living with her family in Islamabad. For long, she has used social media to convey her word to the world. She has recently entered the world of freelancing. Find more about her on facebook