324 FORMS OF ENERGY From that time to the present, progress in shipbuilding has been represented by an increase in size, speed, safety, and luxury. Tremendous rivalry between the steamship lines of the different nations has resulted in the production of huge vessels, which, although they are probably uneconomical, nevertheless represent the last word in the applications of scientific knowledge. In 1938 the Queen Mary made the eastbound trip across the Atlantic Ocean in 3 days, 20 hours, and 42 minutes. Railway Transportation Made Great Progress during the Past Century, but It Is Now Facing New Competition.' Progress in transportation has always meant more speed, reliability, and convenience at less cost. Today one can take a two-hour train ride for the cost of a five-mile riksha trip in China. This progress has always been opposed by people and interests who fear the new competition. Canal and stagecoach companies opposed the development of railroads; and later the railroads, in turn, tried to oppose transportation by automobiles. The earliest railroads used horse-drawn cars, the first steam locomotive being introduced in England in 1804. In 1830 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad completed a 15-mile road from Baltimore to Ellicott's Mills and put horse-drawn cars into service. In 1831 the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad Company constructed a railroad from Albany to Schenectady and put the famous DeWitt Clinton steam locomotive into service. In 1850, 9021 miles of railroad were in operation. The first railroad was completed to the Pacific coast in 1869, and by 1916 the total railroad mileage in the United States was 254,251 miles. In railroad transportation, we see again the ever increasing application of scientific knowledge. Space does not permit an account of the evolution of the modern light-alloy train from the wooden and later the all-steel trains nor an account of many important inventions such as the air brake, automatic couplers, electric signals, and other safety devices. The development of the electric railroads from street railroads into interurbans and the recent electrification of hundreds of miles of railroad lines cannot be discussed. Although many interurban and electric street railways have now been displaced by the new transportation agency, the automobile, electricity is superseding steam to some extent in large terminal areas, heavily used stretches of railroad, on mountain » The value represented by the railroads in the United States is J 2 6, 000.000,000. In 1939 railway employees were paid J 1,864,000,000 in salaries and wages.
TRANSPORTATION HAS BEEN REVOLUTIONIZED 325 grades, and in tunnels, where its lack of smoke and gases and fire hazard makes its use worth while. The railroads have introduced quiet, well-lighted, comfortable, and even luxurious, air-conditioned trains. They have also increased the speed of both freight and passenger trains and decreased their rates. One of their great achievements has been that of increasing the safety of transportation. Railroads have greatly improved their freight service by operating fleets of trucks which make possible door-to-door service. By 1940 there were 1200 mile-a-minute runs in the United States, while the speed of freight trains had increased 62 per cent since 1920. In 1940 there were 11,715 air-conditioned passenger cars in operation. With less than 6 per cent of the world's land area and with less than 6 per cent of the world's population, the continental United States has 31.2 per cent of the world's railroad mileage. If all railway bridges in the United States were strung together, they would reach from San Diego, California, to St. Johns, Newfoundland. The longest railway tunnel in the United States is the Cascade Tunnel, through the Cascade Mountains in Washington, 7.79 miles in length. Boring was started simultaneously from both ends, and when the construction forces met in the center they were only a fraction of a foot out of alignment — that is engineering. The railroads created standard time in 1883, thus abolishing more than fifty different times in the United States; four standards. Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific were adopted in their place. The First Self-propelled Highway Vehicles Were Operated by Steam Engines. In the period between 1828 and 1838, Walter Hancock built and operated six steam carriages in England that covered 4200 miles and carried 12,761 persons without accident or delay during a period of three months. Rural England was conservative, however, and the horse-drawn coach and toll-road interests combined in opposing newfangled vehicles. Even as late as 1865 an act was passed by Parliament which decreed that no power vehicle could be used on a highway unless it was preceded by a man on foot carrying a red flag. Even in France, where the public was favorable to self-propelled vehicles, the speed limit was four miles per hour in the country. There was no opposition to the development of self-propelled vehicles in America, but the lack of good roads made them impractical. 1871 Dr. J. N. Carhart built a steam buggy, but it was just one of a In