Usage of railway transport was traced many years ago. Railway as means of transportation has been used to transport goods and people from one location to another, especially, bulky goods from one region to another. Railway transportation has undergone many changes that have increased efficiency as well as its popularity in the modern society. Through high levels of innovation the world is currently enjoying the services of high speed trains that have increased the speed of moving from one region to another. These new innovations in the transport industry have resulted in transformation in the economy, moreover, raising the standards of living of man.
History Perspective and Current State of Railway Transport
The historical growth, decline as well as the resurgence of transportation through railways can be discussed under different historical periods based on the source of energy that was used to propel train. The first period was the pre-steam era. The railway was a six kilometer long and it was used to transport boats from Corinth. The trucks were usually pushed by slaves and were ran by grooves in various limestone’s which acted as track element.
The earliest form of railways transport recorded in Europe was immediately after period of Dark Age. The earliest railways lines usually were made of wooden railways as well as hemp of haulage ropes. The trains were operated by animals or human power. The wooden railways were usually common in a number of mines across Europe. The first era of railways transport development saw the usage of railway lines that were made of iron though they were replaced by steel in later years.
The second era of innovation in railway transport is the period of usage of steam. The innovation of steam engine in United Kingdom during the industrial revolution period, lead to development of mobile locomotives that were using steam as source of power to propel them on tracks (Squires, 2002). There are many innovations that have taken place in the railway transport sector history.
The historical innovations provided a room for various improvements in the railway transport making it one of the best mean of transport in the world. Introduction of diesel engines marked a major transformation of the railways transport all over the world. This innovation led to the development of better trains that were moving faster and that could carry more goods and people. These innovations have been important in increasing the efficiency as well as popularity of railway as mean of transport. The improvement of features of tradition railway systems to new and better modern railways have brought one of the best innovations in history of man.
Through various studies a high speed was innovated and it has been used in place of diesel railways in many parts of the world. The high speed railways have made the movement of goods and people from one region to another faster than it was with the usage of diesel train. The high speed railways usually use electricity as a source of power, thereby they are known as electricity trains. They have been in use in many parts of Europe and America, Africa as well as the Asian continent are adopting the usage of electricity trains. This innovation in the transport sector has helped in reducing traffic jams that were experienced in many parts of the world.
High speed electricity saves a lot of money to the investors who operate them. Studies have shown that high speed train such as an electricity train saves almost 4% cost of oil per annum. This is very great reduction in the cost of running them, consequently more revenue to the operating companies. Another current issue in the railway transport is that the high speed railway transport is more reliable and compatible with the current business need of the modern society (Squires, 2002). Today’s world of business is highly competitive and requires high level of creativity as well as meeting customer needs at time. Transportation of goods from one region to another has been a major challenge, but high speed railway transport has transformed the way business is conducted; now producers can be in a position to deliver goods on time to their customers. Therefore, high speed railway transport can be said to be increasing efficiency in the way business are been carried out nowadays.
New technologies as well as innovations form one of the bases for railway transport industry in order to increase its ability and competitiveness to meet future challenges. There is a need to make investments in development and research because these two components will be the driving force of enhancing efficiency and safety in the railway transport industry. A number of international research institutes have been carrying out research on this important field to the movement of goods and people from one point to another, and expected to present their findings on new concepts along with solutions that are user oriented for transport and mobility of the high speed railway transport.
According to Puentes (2008), one of the expected future innovations in the railway industry is development of products that has features that meet consumers demand. The future innovations are expected to increase operational efficiency which will enhance reliability, safety, availability and maintainability of the railway transport system. Secondly, the innovations are expected to come up with proven technologies that will be useful in enhancing performance aspects, for instance, from conventional operational costs to elevated speeds. The innovations will be expected to come up with sustainable and robust products which will have small life-cycle costs as well as usage of devices that saves on energy.
Future innovations will come up with products that are up to time including innovative designs that will be in a position to compliment the operational environment and go a step further and guarantee the highest level of passengers comfort, safety and accessibility.
High speed railway transport has been useful in transportation of goods and services from one point to another thereby increasing efficiency in this sector. The safety and comfort should be future areas of research to ensure that the high speed railway transport changes the lives of men now and in the future.