Mechanized rail transport systems first appeared in England in the 1820s. These systems, which made use of the steam locomotive, were critical to the Industrial Revolution and to the development of export economies across the world at that time. Today railways are the primary form of long distance land transportation for freight & people.
Being English my association to the railways is close to say the least. Due to the Industrial Revolution England played the main role in that what we take for granted today as rail travel. As with air travel we have ventured a long way with rail travel in the past century starting with the first steam engines from James Watt with speeds of up to 16kmh to the amazing Current speed record held by the French TGV bullet train that reached a speed of 584kmh before needing 16 kilometers braking distance before coming to a halt.
“I think most of the world would like to be Scottish. All the Americans who come here never look for English blood or Welsh, only for Scottish and Irish. It’s understandable. The Scots effectively created the face of the modern world: the railways, the bridges, the tunnels.”
― Joanna Lumley