Apologies for not publishing this yesterday … my train was delayed due to a train further down the line having broken down, which threw off my plans*.
Hence thinking about trains … hence this list:
- The first prototype steam locomotives were probably created during the 1780s-1790s. A Scottish inventor, William Murdoch, built a prototype steam road locomotive in 1784 (or so Wikipedia says).
- Mussolini didn’t make the trains run on time. (Okay, you probably knew that one, I think it was on QI).
- The British Royal Family have a Royal Train. It sounds awesome. (I should also note that they take normal scheduled trains when appropriate – but on the Royal Train they can e.g. hold lengthy meetings whilst en route, which is hard to do on your average train …)
- Maglev trains might be useful in getting to the moon … one day (New Scientist article).
- An average of 3.5 million people travel by train each day in Great Britain (citation).
- On the subject of why he missed so many trains and planes, Winston Churchill is reported to have said “I am a sporting man. I always give them a fair chance to get away.” or possibly “I am a sporting man. I always like to give trains and aeroplanes a fair chance of getting away.”
- Hornby produced its first clockwork train in 1920 – at which time Hornby was a trading name for the railway toys of Meccano Ltd.
- The Docklands Light Railway (DLR – a railway in central London that is completely driverless) opened in 1987.
- Thomas the Tank Engine started out because of scarlet fever – Rev. Wilbert Awdry’s son Christopher was recovering from it, and demanded stories, which eventually became books. See here (also, the Fat Controller’s name is Sir Topham Hatt … you learn something new every day).
- The Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus travels by train 🙂 they have some really cool video clips on their website! It looks like an awesome circus …
(*Also I then spent the late evening – about 10pm-midnight – playing Fable 3. This may be the real reason for not blogging yesterday … I am starting to love Fable 3. You can be good in it. At the moment I am a prince who stops to dance with beggars and make them laugh (and give them money. But treating people as human is more important than giving them money). This makes me happy. Also the game has hilarious bits in it – like the ability to play ‘Lute Hero’ to earn money, or the quest where some wizards shrink you and make you a figure in their tabletop roleplaying)