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 26, 1860 The first public railway in present-day South Africa made its official debut. The Natal Railway formally began operations at 11:00 a.m. in the seaport town (now city) of Durban amid a great deal of fanfare and with the inaugural run of the steam locomotive Natal. (Durban was part of the British colony... 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 →

April 22, 1904 The Visalia Electric Railroad (VERR) Company was incorporated under the laws of California to provide transit service within the central region of the Golden State.  Paul Shoup was president of the fledgling enterprise, while H.A. Culloden was named its secretary. A wholly owned subsidiary of the Southern Pacific Railroad, VERR was a... Continue Reading →

April 19, 1884 The first funicular railway serving Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon made its official debut. This railway, which is best known as the Elevador do Lavra, was built to carry people up and down a steep incline called Calçada do Lavra. This section of Lisbon currently straddles the border of Santo António and... Continue Reading →

December 27, 1956 The Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Tunisiens (SNCFT), the national railway of Tunisia, was established. The railway’s founding took place just over nine months after Tunisia achieved its independence from France. Railways have long been a key means of transportation in Africa’s northernmost country. Muhammad III as-Sadiq, who ruled Tunisia from... Continue Reading →

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