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Trains: The History And Their Environments Role

Jan 8, 2008
The United States government made good use of the trains during the Civil War to move troops to new locations and to get them supplies. This was the main reason behind adding more miles of railroad tracks from 1861 to 1865. By the end of the war there were more than 30,000 miles of track available.

Even with all the miles of railroad tracks by 1916, many of them are in poor condition. It is not uncommon for many trails to derail due to these conditions. Private owners of the railroads have invested so much money in expansion they can't afford the repairs.

There have been plenty of advances in the area of trains and the railway industry in the last 100 years. It will be interesting to know how things change over the next 100 years. Luckily there are wonderful train museums that take the time to preserve all of the history of trains from the beginning and this way the future generations will be able to look back on it as well.

The environment

The biggest concern with trains and the environment is the amount of pollution they create. Designs have come a long way on train engines in order to reduce the amount of pollution they release. Many railway companies also continue to plant new trees in the areas along the train tracks. These trees help to remove the amount of carbon monoxide in the air. You may have seen pretty flower gardens next to train crossings and they are there to help the environment as well as to give you something nice to enjoy as you drive by.

Environmentalists become very upset when forests and other land areas are cleared in order to lay new stretches of railway tracks. While the additional routes help get materials and people to their destinations, it removes trees and robs animals of their natural habitat. Most railways do all they can to live the area intact and to only remove what is necessary for the train to get through the area.

Railway companies are often accused of wasting materials that have to be dealt with. But the steel they use for the railroad tracks and trains is recycled. And they also reuse up to 60% of the ballast that is placed underneath the railway tracks.
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