In the early 20th century, trains in the US were destroyed in staged head-on collisions in front of live audiences for entertainment. This ended in the 1930s as it was seen to be wasteful of old but otherwise useful locomotives at the height of the Great Depression.
Japan’s rail workers use pointing-and-calling, a system of associating one’s tasks with physical movements and vocalizations to prevent errors. It is known to reduce workplace errors by up to 85 percent, according to one 1996 study.
Sandaoling lies in Xinjiang province in North West China and it’s claim to fame is that it is one of the last places operating steam locomotives in an industrial setting.
A section of passenger railroad in Alaska called the Hurricane Turn. Rather than making scheduled station stops, it operates as a flag-stop meaning passengers in this remote area can simply wave the train down to stop. It’s one of the last true flag-stop trains in the U.S.
Britain’s ghost trains are rare train services in the UK which only see a couple of passengers every day. They’re only there because closing lines and stations is difficult and costly, and rail companies would rather run infrequent services than go through the cumbersome process.
When trains were introduced in the U.S, many people believed that that “women’s bodies were not designed to go at 50 miles an hour,” and that their “uteruses would fly out of [their] bodies if they were accelerated to that speed.”
In 1896 two trains in Texas were deliberately crashed head-on in a publicity stunt, a spectacle attracting more than 40,000 people and resulting in 3 deaths and numerous injuries from flying debris and carnage. Everyone thought it was quite awesome, regardless.