Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Knowing The Facts About Trains

Trains Magazine has an article online backing up this month's cover article. The cover article itself posed an interesting question. You're at a party when, wonder of wonders, someone discovers that you're a train geek and they start talking about the "little known facts" of railroading, which actually could be myths. Do you know which are true facts and which are mythical falsehoods?
  • Standard gauge came from the width of a horses backside/a Roman chariot
  • Rails-to-trails and then trails-to-rails actually works
  • A passenger train's carbon footprint is less than the number of fully-loaded automobiles
  • Trucks are losing the battle against freight trains
  • Money-losing Amtrak costs more than highways or airlines
  • A mile of railroad costs more than a mile of highway
  • Maglev will never be more than a novelty
Are any of these true? You'll have definitive answers to these issues and more if you read the current issue of trains. Next time you're at a party, you might save yourself with these answers. Or maybe you'll just smile and nod as they go on in their ignorance.

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