August 6, 1889 Railroad promoter and builder George Laidlaw died at the age of 61 near the community of Coboconk in the south-central region of Ontario, Canada. Laidlaw, who was born in the Highlands of Scotland in 1828, had an irrepressibly adventurous approach to life. This was in large part the driving force for him to... Continue Reading →

July 31, 1865 In the northeastern section of Australia, the inaugural train run of the world’s first narrow-gauge mainline railway occurred on a Monday morning in the colony (present-day state) of Queensland. A large number of people gathered to witness the record-setting railway’s formal debut, which took place on what the Queensland Times called a... Continue Reading →

July 16, 1902 In what is now the state of Kerala in southwestern India, the newly built Cochin Railway (commonly known today as the Shoranur Junction-Cochin Harbour Terminus section) was opened to passenger traffic. This took place more than six weeks after the railway was opened to freight traffic. At the time, this part of... Continue Reading →

July 10, 1904 The final section of the Albula Railway in Switzerland’s easternmost and largest canton (member state) of Graubünden made its formal debut. This 1.9-mile (3-kilometer)-long segment links the municipality of Celerina with the village and internationally renowned spa resort of St. Moritz, and it began operations a year after the opening of the... Continue Reading →

July 3, 2014 A new transportation record for India was set when a WAP-5 electric locomotive hauled a passenger train from the urban district and nation’s capital city of New Delhi to the city of Agra within 90 minutes and at a speed of 100 miles (160 kilometers) per hour. (The distance between those locations... Continue Reading →

June 25, 1954 In southeastern Australia, the final section of the Walhalla railway line in the Gippsland region of the state of Victoria was closed. This shutdown took place just over 44 years after the Walhalla railway -- one of a few narrow gauge lines of the Victorian Railways (the operator of most of the... Continue Reading →

June 13, 1867 Construction engineer Gridley Bryant, who built the first commercial railroad in the United States, died at the age of 77 in Scituate, Massachusetts. Bryant was born in the seacoast town in 1789.  He demonstrated strong engineering abilities early on in life. Bryant recalled as an adult, "I was generally at the head... Continue Reading →

May 10, 1869 The First Transcontinental Railroad – originally called the Pacific Railroad -- was officially completed with the tracks of the eastbound Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR) joining those of the westward Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) during ceremonies at Promontory Summit in what was then the Territory of Utah. “The long-looked-for moment has arrived,” reported... Continue Reading →

In the western section of the United States, thousands of Chinese laborers played a pivotal role in building the Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR) line between 1865 and 1869. The CPRR encompassed 690 miles (1,110 kilometers) of track from California’s capital city of Sacramento to Promontory Summit in what was then the Territory of Utah. It... Continue Reading →

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