Golden Age of Steam: Celebrating 150 Years of Steam Trains from Around the World from 1850-2000

 
9780756766108: Golden Age of Steam: Celebrating 150 Years of Steam Trains from Around the World from 1850-2000
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Although the original concept of the train is to be found in late medieval times, and the use of steam power for locomotives emerged during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, the steam powered train really came of age in the Victorian era of the 19th century. At this time there was an explosion of technical ideas and this combined with greater national wealth and a rapidly changing social and economic climate to spur a railway boom. Rail lines spread over every part of the world where there was a social and economic advantage to be gained, and there was an extraordinarily rapid development in the speed and capacity of the steam locomotives hauling the services on these lines.
Within 75 years the railroad had become the standard means of mass transportation in most parts of the world, and on the steam locomotives reigned supreme until the widespread adoption of diesel - and electric-powered locomotives shortly before and then comprehensively after World War II. Despite this fact, the steam locomotive is still widely employed in less rich areas of the world where there is an abundance of readily available coal. Thus the steam locomotive, with a high level of reliability resulting from its descent from over-engineered Victorian practices, is still alive and will in areas such as the Indian subcontinent, the Far East, and many parts of Africa and Latin America.

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About the Author:

CHRISTOPHER CHANT has a substantial number of authoritative titles to his credit. He was born in Cheshire in December 1945 but spent his childhood in East Africa, where his father was an officer in the colonial service. He returned to the U.K. for his education, undertaken at the King's School, Canterbury (1959-1964) and at Oriel College, Oxford (1964-1968). Aviation, transport, and military matters have long been a passion, and after taking his degree he moved to London as an assistant editor on the Purnell partworks, History of the Second World War (1969-1972). With the completion of the latter he moved to Orbis Publishing as editor of the partwork World War II (1972-1974), and with the conclusion of this publication decided to become a freelance writer and editor. Living first in London, and then in Lincolnshire after his marriage in 1978, he has written extensively on aviation, transport and military subjects, and has also contributed as editor and writer of the partworks, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft, War Machines, Warplane, Take-Off and World Aircraft Information Files, and to the magazine World Air Power Journal. In recent years he has also been involved in the creation of a CD-ROM series for the TV Discovery Channel, and also in the writing of scripts for a number of video cassette and TV projects.

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