Over decades, rail transport has been playing a key role in building nations by carrying thousands of goods and people across a particular nation on trips of business, discovery and pleasure, as well as opening up the vast open spaces, thereby creating development and market opportunities. To this end, the following are the most notable rail distances in the world:
1. A rail trip between Moscow in Russia and Pyongyang in North Korea is the longest distance rail trip in the world with a space of 10,267 km. The usual time always planned for the trip is 206 hours. This means it takes a train not less than 8 days to complete the journey.
2. A rail trip from Moscow in Russia to Vladivostok in Russia is the 2nd longest rail trip in the world with a space of 9, 289 km, the normal hours for the trip is 144 hours. In order words, it takes a train 6 days to complete the journey.
3. Moscow in Russia to Beijing in China through Harbin railroad is the 3rd longest rail trip in the world with a space of 8,984 rail km; the journey will take 6 days or 145 hours.
4. Moscow in Russian to Beijing in China through Ulaanbaatar railroad is a distance of 7,826 km and it will take 127 hours or 5 days and few hours to complete the journey.
5. The rail distance between Moscow and Tommot in Russia is 7,318 km and a train is expected to use 140 hours or 5 days and few hours to complete the journey.
6. From Kashgar to Yingtan in China is a rail distance of 5,166 km, and itwill take 72 hours 39 minutes or 3 days and few hours for a train to complete the journey.
7. A trip between Guangzhou to Lhasa in China is about 4,980 km; such a trip will take 53 hours or 2 days and some hours for a train to complete the journey.
8. Shanghai to Yining in China is 4,742 km and its normal travel time for a train to complete the journey on the route is 55 hours 43 minutes or 2days and few hours.
9. Guangzhou to Urumqi in China is a 2 days journey of 4,684 km distance; a train is expected to spend 49 hours, 34 minutes.
10. From Toronto to Vancouver in Canada is 4,466 km railroad; such a trip will take a train 86 hours or better still 3 days and few hours.
Category: Railway transport (Page 1 of 2)
Generally speaking, passengers’ attitudes have an influence in determining whether to choose rail transport for their long distance trips or not. The huge benefits of travelling a long distance by rail have heavily influenced the public perceptions in choosing the rail for their long distance trips. However, there arelist of benefits that both the passengers and the service providers will enjoy in long distance trips by rail. Here are the benefits:
1. Long distance rail trips are cost efficient. For instance, what will cost a train to move several tons of goods on a single journey may cost nothing less than 10 trailers to move the same goods at a higher cost.
2. The origin and destination of travelling a long distance by air ends in the airport, but travelling a long distance by rail can take you to a desired city, town or village that is located along the rail road corridors.
3. Many air passengers who fail to use busy airline may end up waiting more than necessary for their flight and they may also have to pay higher fares. Passengers in long distance rail trips pay cheaper fares for their trips andthey embark on their trips without much delay.
4. Travelling a long distance by road may increase your trip time more than necessary, why? This is because your driver may want to take breaks for rest and meal and also, you may come across several check points; all of these significantly increase your trip time. These are not so in rail transportation. No several check points and the train does not need to stop for anyone to take meals.
5. At times, a driver on a long distance trip may deliberately decide not to take break for rest or meal in order to save time and money. This may result to an unnecessary stress, fatigue and other factors that may impair the ability to drive safely on the road, wherefore, putting his own life and the lives of other innocent people at risk. However, passengers on long distance rail trips travel without stress or danger to others; they move freely and safely. The passengers can eat and even sleep without any cause for alarm while the journey progresses.
6. The train can quickly make many intermediate stops without using much
fuel. This is not possible in air transport.
7. Railway stations are less expensive to build and also easy to operate when you compare it to airports.
8. A long distance rail links many markets together, thereby generating more economic revenues.
9. A long distance rail trip helps generate more revenues to the rail company and also enables the company to spend less when you compare it to short distance operations.
10. Train use fuel more efficiently than air and road transport, for instance, a train can use a gallon of fuel to move one ton worth of goods more than 400 miles, this is not possible with road transport, while air craft on its own burns almost half of its fuel in landings and take offs.
The people’s attitudes and perceptions towards long distance trips by rail are important in determining potential passengers. Also, they are capable of creating
either positive or negative impact on rail transport. These days, mostly in Europe,railway transport companies provide both national and international long
distance transport services to their potential passengers. Therefore, traveling a
long distance by rail becomes unique and the attitudinal behavior of people toward long distance journeys by rail becomes a major factor in determining the sustainability of long distance journeys by rail and the prosperity of rail transport
companies engaging in long distance trips.
Without any element of doubt, long distance trips by rail and the rate at which
people use the train for their long distance trips are increasingly growing these days as more affordable mode to either of road or air transport. The value and the importance of long distance trips by rail transport cannot be overlooked; it connects different towns, villages and cities and many markets along the route together to produce greater revenue.
Despite the importance of long trip rail transport, it is important to know that the belief and the perception of the people can affect the demand for long distance
rail trips both positively and negatively. There are factors that can determine the
attitude of passengers toward long distance rail transport. Such factors are:
Safety: This is one of the major factors that can affect the attitude of passengers. Potential passengers must be sure that they are safe from harm or danger when engaging in a long distance trip by train. They must have confidence that the service providers are conscious of their safety throughout the journey. You can
imagine what the attitude of passengers would be if the train they are traveling
on a distance trip is stuck down for two days in the middle of the journey, probably, in a thick forest where they are not close to any town or village. Such an experience will surely discourage passengers to travel by rail, especially during along distance trip.
Accessibility: It’s important to note that long distance rail trips provide access to many cities, towns, villages and market places. This will likely encourage people to
choose the train for their trips and more importantly, rail transport itself must be
easily accessible by potential passengers; people must find it possible to choose the train for their trips. If the rail transport is not easily accessible then it will not be attractive or possible for passengers to choose the train for their longer trips.
Affordability: The use of transport cannot be neglected either by individuals or
organizations. More importantly, nations can’t afford to neglect transport in its
economy. These explain why transport is important and why it must be easily affordable to everyone. Rail transport must be cost effective; people must be able to choose the train for their long distance trips without having serious problem to pay for it. If many people are unable to afford train transport for their needs due to high rate of transport fare, this may discourage many potential passengers.
However, it’s interesting to note that, till date, railway transport still provides
more avoidable service to the public when you compare it to other modes of
Convenience: Rail transport companies must ensure that people choosing the train for their long distance trips must be free from any form of stress. Transport companies must add features to the train that will make long distance trips luxurious. A train traveling on a long distance, probably for two days, is expected to have vital features that will reduce the burden of the passengers in such a long distance trip. It is also interesting to note that most trains used for distance
journeys have many features to make such long trips stress free.
Comfort: For instance, a train on an international trip moving from Moscow in Russia to Pyongyang in North Korea will have to spend at least 206 hours to cover 10,267 kilometers. This means between Moscow and Pyongyang a train is
expected to spend not less than 8 days, wherefore, passengers in such a long
distance trip may feel worry, be upset and frighten during the journey. As a result
of this, the number of passengers on long distance trips may be reduced.
Therefore, every rail transport company must do everything possible to make
every long distance trip an enjoyable experience for all passengers on board. Rail
transport providers must ensure that passengers are content with regard to their
well-being throughout the journey. All passengers must enjoy all the comfort they
deserve; even their seats must be designed for comfort. A dissatisfied passenger may be dangerous. However, the railway transport companies should ensure that
their passengers are comfortable throughout all journeys.
Security: The fear of rap, terrorist attack, armed robbery and other forms of crime
may discourage people mostly female passengers from choosing the rail transport for their long distance trips. Therefore, measures must be taken by service providers to guard against any form of attack or crime during trips. Adequate
security must not be neglected to ensure that people are free from fear and
anxiety during their journeys.
Nevertheless, choosing rail transport for long distance journey is good; therefore
the rail transport service providers must continue to guide the belief and
perception of their passengers by providing them quality services that are free
from any form of danger or harm.
A picture showing inside of a train driver’s compartment. Source: www.alamy.com
The word ‘driver’ is a common word people use to refer to a person who moves or drives any type of motor vehicle such as car, bus, trailer, heavy duty truck, among others on the public roads. Therefore, everyone knows who a driver really is. And so, a car driver, bus driver, truck driver among others are all types of drivers in road transportation.
Who is a Train Driver?
Similarly, on the other hand, a train driver is a person who drives or moves a train on its tracks. However, to become a qualified train driver requires more intensive training program than to become a road driver. Moving people and cargo, in their large number, to their destinations effectively and safely indeed demands a lot of training and skills coupled with technical know-how or (mechanical knowledge) needed for safe operation. These, among others, explain why it’s a noble career in overland transportation.
It’s important to note that the train driver’s occupation has different names it’s called or known by in different countries. For instance, in Canada and America, the train drivers are called engineers(not synonymous with mechanical engineer) while in some other countries they are called, engine drivers, train drivers, loco pilots, motormen, and train operators. However, whatever names they are called is not the essence of this article; rather it’s really about the occupation, its role and importance in railway transportation.
It is no longer new that some railway transport companies in Europe are planning to be fully automated. It means that trains, as it were, will be operated through the computer and will be also monitored remotely from a station-based control room. However, in line with this new development, a research study was carried out by researchgate.net/publication to know the likely problems related to this
The research, however, revealed that there are hidden core values of a train driver that must not be compromised by any railway industries. Quoting from the said research work, train drivers ‘anticipate, observe, interpret, and react to events in the surrounding environment. Furthermore, they are a significant interaction link between different actors…’
Nevertheless, the conclusion of this research work was that these inevitable roles of a train driver must be reckoned with otherwise, running a fully automated train transport system can affect transport safety and the quality of service rendered to the public.
Notable Responsibilities of a train driver
The task of a train driver as it’s noted above is far more than moving a train only on its track. The train driver performs more important functions during train operations that makes its role inevitable. As a result, the following are the responsibilities of a train driver:
1. Customer care: Train driver is expected to provide good customer care to passengers such that will enable them to patronize the service provider again for other trips. He is expected to build a good relationship with passengers during each operation, such as good and timely communication, operating according to the laid down rules and procedures for efficient and smooth transportation.
2.Safety: In transportation, safety always comes first; it is the first thing that must be considered, and therefore, one of the important responsibilities of the train driver is to ensure the safety of all the passengers during the operations. We all know that the train carries goods and passengers in large number. Therefore, safety and security in public transport operation is very important. He is expected to strictly adhere to safety rules.
3. Effective communication: The train driver also plays an important role in giving necessary information to both the passengers and the management at the right time. If there’s any problem during the operation, he is expected to communicate to the passengers in a calm manner that will not lead to any form of panic. He must be a good communicator both in verbal and written forms.
He also uses the radio communication to find out the state or the condition of the route he is traveling on. For instance, there may be problem on a section of the track; the engineer could be at work on the track, there could also be a blockage probably due to an accident at a level crossing, etc. In any of these situations, the radio communication could be used from the control room probably to divert the train to another route that is free and safer.
4. Concentration: He also demonstrates such a skill as focusing his attention for long periods of time during a long journey. This, he does, to enable him know the track layouts so as to plan stops for signals and stations since we know that the train cannot stop suddenly like a car or motor vehicle. Hence, stopping a train at any particular location must be planned ahead of time. This, indeed, is an additional responsibility in daily schedule of a train driver.
5. A vigorous alert: A professional train driver is expected to be watchful and able to think clearly to perceive a potential danger and to quickly act to avoid it. At times, tracks can be run through a dangerous territory and if the train driver is not vigilant enough this may lead to an unwanted rail accident.
The potential and capacity benefits of a train driver in rail transportation have made the services of train drivers a noble career in rail transportation system. Therefore, to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in railway transportation as well as to enhance its smooth operations, the need for the services of a train driver cannot be over-looked.
It is an undeniable fact that rail accidents have become a significant concern in the world and this explains why several efforts have been made by different countries concerned to reduce the rate of accident in their countries. However, in this article are the 3 major types of railway accident and the list of their causes.
3 Major Types of Railway Accidents
- Collision Accidents
- Derailment Accidents and
- Other Means of Accidents 1. Rail Accident by Collision
A collision is a crash in which 2 trains hit each other. In other words, a collision occurs when a train runs into another or an object. Once it happens, the result is always very serious, if not fatal. This is why collision is the most dangerous accident in rail transports. However, the major types of collisions include:
* Head-on collision,
* Rear-end collision and
* Side collision
Types of Rail Accident by Collision
Since a collision involves 2 or more objects crashing into one another, hence this type of crash includes:
- Collision involving Trains
- Collision involving a Train and a Motor Vehicle
- Collision Involving a Pedestrian
Collision involving Trains
This is a head-on collision between 2 trains. This kind of accident always results to great disasters.
Collision involving a train and a motor vehicle
Several motorists and passengers have lost their lives in level crossing accidents. It is very difficult if not impossible for a train to stop like a motor vehicle for any object at the level crossing.
Collision involving Pedestrian
As a collision can occur between a train and a motor vehicle, likewise pedestrians, in fact, a collision involving a pedestrian or pedestrians is more likely to result infatality.
- Rail Accident by Derailment
A derailment occurs when a train leaves its tracks; better still, a derailment is
said to occur when a moving rail suddenly runs off its tracks. When a single car or coach derails, it may affect other cars and at times, you see the whole train derails completely.
A derailment can be due to a defaulted plain track, over speed at a cross section, junction or a collision, among others.
- Rail Accident by other means
During a railway operation, a fire accident may occur in a train, probably due to a
vehicular electrical fault, or an attack by terrorists. People sitting on top of a train
and people hanging on a moving train may also fall down. These, among other
means, are possible ways by which accidents can occur in rail transport.
List of Causes of Rail Accident
There many factors that can cause rail accident, below are the list of some of these factors:
- Communication Errors
- Brake Rigging Defects
- Hand Brake Defects
- Other Brake Defects
- Over Speed
- Body Defects
- Center-Plate/Car- body Defects
- Wrong Use of Switches
- Coupler Defects
- Track and Structure Defects
- Truck Structure Defects
- Side-bearing, Suspension Defects
- Level Crossing Collisions
- Bearing Failure
- Axle Defects
- Track-Train Intersection
- Broken Wheels
- Other Wheel Defects
- Signal Failures
- TOFC/COFC Defects
- Road-bed Defects
- Non-Traffic Weather Causes
- Loco Electrical and Fires
- All other Locomotive Defects
- Track Geometry ( excl. Wide Gauge )
- All Other Car Defects
- Stiff Truck
- Rail Defects at Bolted Joint
- Joint Bar Defects
- Broken Rails or Welds
- Brake Operation (Main Line)
- Other Rail and Joint Defects
- Failure to Obey/Display Signal
- Train Length ( Car-mile- related and train-mile- related accident)
- Employee Physical Condition
All over the world where rail transportation exists, the high demand for it cannot
be denied. People like to travel by rail for both long and short distances within
and outside the country. Rail transport is becoming more attractive and popular,
mostly in Europe, North America and other parts of the world. Rail transport has
been an effective means of transporting people and goods in their large number
for over 10 decades.
In some countries such as India, North America, U.S., Canada, Japan, China to
mention but few, it will not take you a longer time before you see trains in their
large numbers in operation moving large number of people and goods along
thousands of miles in both urban and rural areas. One may wonder why many
people like to travel by rail.
In fact, in India, it will surprise you to see how many people patronize rail
transport. It is a common sight in India to see many people in their large number
hanging on the outside of the rail cars while hundreds of others sitting on top of
rail cars, though this is not a good safety attitude in India yet. The question
remains, why people like to travel by rail? Why do organizations these days also
choose rail transport as a means of transporting their products? However, below
are the notable reasons why people like to travel by rail:
1. It is economical: When you consider the long distance to be covered
and the amount of goods to be carried, you will discover that rail
transport is the right choice for you to use because it is cost-effective.
Bulk freight rail transport has the capacity to pull the weight of over
10,000 tons of goods at a cheaper rate. As many organizations also look
for ways to cut down transportation costs, hence, they use rail transport
as a means to achieve this aim. Even governments in different countries
also encourage their business owners to use rail transport for their
Some organizations that are into liquid and gas business also prefer to use
rail transport because there are rail cars specially built to carry such
People also like to travel by rail because it is much cheaper than to travel by
2. It accommodates more baggage: Rail transport allows passengers to
carry more bags without stress. People come with their baggage without
unnecessary limitations and if you are to pay for much luggage you
carry, you pay still at a cheaper rate too. So, many people like to travel
with their belongings by rail than by air.
3. It is less stressful: The stress a passenger needs to pass through before
boarding a flight is enormous. This is not so in rail transport, you don’t
need to have a stressful day before you can travel by rail.
4. Passengers enjoy fixed price: People also like to use rail transport
because of its relatively stable fares. They already know the amount
they are going to pay for their journey anytime, any day.
5. It is much more environmentally-friendly: the carbon emission from rail
transport is not as dangerous as the one coming out of an aircraft. This
is also one of the reasons why the government will also encourage
different organizations to use the rail transport for long-distance
journeys for their products than to use trucks or trailers.
6. It reduces travel time: High speed train can reduce your travel time by
half. In rail, you enjoy travel without unnecessary delay or traffic hold
7. Comfort and convenience: Trains these days are equipped with
comfortable seats that can make you feel relaxed without disturbing
anybody. You can move around during the journey to reduce the stress
of sitting down in a particular seat for hours. This is not possible in road
and air transport.
8. Free from traffic: People also like to travel by rail in order to avoid
unnecessary delay on the journey.
9. Travelling by rail, you will enjoy knowing more cities.
10. People like to travel by rail because it is safer than road transport and
the second safest mode of transport.
NOTE: each crash contains the date; the country where the accident occurred; the kind of accident e.g. (crash) and the number of people killed or injured in the accident.
- July2nd in the US (derailment) people got injured but the exact figure was not given.
- July 21st in the US (derailment), 9 people injured.
- July 26th in Cameroon (derailment), 1 person killed.
- July 28th in Spain (crash), 48 people injured.
- August 11th in Egypt (collision), 40 people killed and133 injured.
- August 14th in UK (derailment), no one injured.
- August 15th in UK (crash), no one killed or injured.
- August 15thin UK (derailment), 2 people injured.
- August 19th in India (derailment), 23 people killed and 60 injured.
- August 20th in UK (derailment), no one injured or killed.
- August 22nd in the US (crash), 37 people injured.
- August 23rd in India (derailment), no one died or injured.
- September 11th in Switzerland (derailment), 30 people injured.
Total no of people injured: 319. Total no of people died no: 64
Transport system, as it were, is playing a key role in globally. Without transport,
moving people and goods from one place to another for economic, social and
other reasons will be difficult if not impossible. However, the transport system
that plays a very important role in over-land transport in moving people and
goods in large number is rail transport. In addition, in recent times, the rate of
crashes in rail transport is becoming worrisome and this explains the need for this
article. To this end, below is the list of rail accidents during the second quarter of
NOTE: each crash contains the date; the country where the accident occurred; the
kind of accident e.g. (crash) and the number of people killed or injured in the
1. April 8th in Russia (collision), 50 people injured.
2. April 15th in Austria (collision), 9 people injured.
3. April 28 th in Netherlands (collision), no record of people died or injured.
4. May 1 st in Germany (derailment), 2 people injured.
5. May 13th in Greece (derailment), 3 people died and 15 injured.
6. June 27th in US (derailment and fire), 39 people injured.
Total no people injured: 115. Total people killed: 3
Increase in rail accidents, around the world, is becoming worrisome these days, although it is still safer for one to travel by rail than by road. It is undeniable that in overland transport only the rail transport has the capacity to carry more goods and passengers than any other land transport. Therefore, the need to make our rail transport safer than before cannot be over-emphasized. However, here is the list of rail accidents around the world in the 1st quarter of 2017:
NOTE: each crash contains the date; the country where the accident occurred; the kind of accident e.g. (crash) and the number of people killed or injured in the accident.
- January 4t h in the US, Brooklyn(train crash): at least 103 people injured.
- January 21st in Indian: Kuneru train derailment: at least 41 people killed and 68 people injured.
- January 24th in the US; A Front runner (collision): no one killed or injured.
- February 14th in Australia; A V/Line Velocity(collision and derailment): 2 people injured.
- February 14th in Luxembourg; (collision) 1 person killed and 2 people injured.
- February 17th in Saudi Arabia (derailment due to flooding) 18 injured.
- February 18th, in Belgium; Leuven derailment: 1 person killed and 27 people injured.
- February 20th in South Africa; (collision) 100 people injured.
- February 21st in the US; (derailment) 4 people injured.
- February 28th in UK; 2017 Liverpool Lime Street collapse
- March 7th in the US; (derailment) no one killed or injured.
- March 7th in the US; 2017 Biloxi train crash, 4 people killed.
- March 10th in the US; (derailment)
- March 20th in UK (derailment)
- March 22nd in Switzerland; (derailment), 6 people injured.
- March 29th in India (derailment), 25 people injured.
Total no of people injured: 355; Total people killed: 47
Rail accident is becoming worrisome these days; hardly will you see a week
without occurrence of rail accidents in the world. As transport demand for rail is
increasing day by day, so also there’s direct increase in rail operations or
activities, hence you see trains moving in different directions on their track and
since they share land with motorists and other road users e.g. cyclists, pedestrian
etc, the risk of people being involved in rail accident becomes inevitable.
For instance, in U.S. it was discovered that the train hits a person or a vehicle
every 3 hours and this accident always causes serious injuries or deaths. Source:
Beyond Our Rails.
However, it is important to know that these accidents are consequences of
human errors that deserve individual special attention because they are
preventable accidents. To this end, here are the ways to prevent rail accidents:
1. Be careful because rail has no inbuilt capacity to stop for you like a vehicle.
It takes not less than a mile or more for an average train traveling at 55
miles per hour to stop for you.
2. If your vehicle suddenly stops on a highway-rail crossing, probably due to
mechanical fault or for any other reason, you should let everybody move
out of the vehicle far away from the rail track, then you can call the
emergency number you see near the crossing or you call the law
enforcement. It is because the train cannot avoid any object on its track.
3. Do not use the rail track as a footpath with impunity; it is risky, it may cause
you your life, the train movement on its track is unpredictable.
4. Do not dare the speed of a moving train it may be faster than the way it
5. Do not cross immediately after a train; wait with patience to see if another
train is not moving in another direction.
6. Do not ignore the safety warning.
7. Do not jump out of a moving train
8. Always have it in mind that the train can move at anytime on its track.
9. Do not stop your vehicle on the track; before you cross make sure there is
enough space between your vehicle and the end of the track.
10. It does no harm to be safety conscious.