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1942 Quiz Book on Railroads and Railroading

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1942 QUIZ BOOK ON RAILROADS AND RAILROADING: 400+ Questions and Answers contains 400+ questions and answers about railroads in the late 1930s and early 1940s. It includes 25 greyscale images specially formatted for optimal viewing on your Kindle.


THE RAILWAY PLANT

1. How many miles of railroad are there in the United States?

There were 233,670 miles of railroad in the United States at the beginning of 1941.

2. What is the total railway mileage of the world?

In 1937, there were 788,672 miles of railroad in the world.

3. How much of the world's railway mileage is in the United States?

With less than six percent of the world's land area and less than six percent of the world's population, the United States has about 30 percent of the world's railway mileage.

4. How does the railway mileage of the United States compare with that of other countries?

The railway mileage of the United States is approximately 10 times that of Great Britain; 6 times that of France; 6-1/2 times that of Germany; 4-1/2 times that of Russia; 5-1/2 times that of India; 12 times that of Japan; 21 times that of Italy; and 37 times that of China. There is more railway mileage in the United States than there is in all of South America, Asia, Africa and Australia combined.

5. How does the United States compare with other parts of the world in railway development on the basis of land area and population?

There is a mile of railroad in the United States for every 13 square miles of land area; in the remainder of the world there is a mile of railroad for every 100 square miles of land area. There is a mile of railroad in the United States for every 563 persons; in the remainder of the world there is a mile of railroad for every 3,628 persons.

6. What is the difference between miles of railroad and miles of track?

A mile of railroad may consist of a single track or it may consist of two, three or more parallel tracks, and it may also include sidings, spur tracks and yard tracks. Thus, a mile of railroad may embrace several miles of tracks.

7. How many miles of railway track are operated in the United States?

There were 414,414 miles of railway track operated in the United States at the beginning of 1941.

8. How many tracks would this form across the continent from coast to coast?

If all the railway tracks in the United States were so laid out, they would form 131 parallel tracks connecting New York with San Francisco.

9. If all railway tracks in the United States were extended in a single line, how long would it take a train, traveling at the rate of a mile-a-minute, to run from one end of the track to the other?

Two hundred and eighty-eight days.

10. How many miles of railroad consist of two or more parallel tracks?

20,566 miles of railroad in the United States consisted of two or more parallel tracks at the beginning of 1941.

11. What states lead in railway mileage?

The ten states having the greatest railway mileage are: Texas, with 16,356 miles; Illinois, with 11,949 miles; Pennsylvania, with 10,328 miles; Iowa, with 8,950 miles; Kansas, with 8,564 miles; Ohio, with 8,501 miles; Minnesota, with 8,421 miles; California, with 7,947 miles; New York, with 7,739 miles; and Michigan, with 7,303 miles. These figures are as of December 31, 1940, and do not include switching and terminal companies.

TRACK

12. What is the right-of-way?

The right-of-way is the strip of land, of varying widths, upon which the railroad and its facilities are built. It is wide enough to provide for tracks, drainage, signals, bridge abutments, telegraph and telephone lines, sidings, buildings and other needs.

13. What is a railroad cut?

When the right-of-way of a railroad is cut through a hill, knoll, or slope to provide a roadway, the excavation is called a cut.

14. What is a railroad embankment?

A solid bank of earth, rock or other material built above the natural ground surface to form the roadbed of the railroad is called an embankment or fill.

15. What is ballast?

Ballast is material such as gravel, crushed rock and cinders, placed on the roadbed to drain water away from the ties, to spread the load over softer subgrade and provide an even bearing for the ties, to hold ties more firmly in place and to check the growth of grass and weeds. Ballasting improves drainage, lessens dust, reduces weeding and maintenance problems, adds to the stability of the road, and makes a smoother riding track.

16. What is meant by the bonding of rails?

In signal operations, electrical current passes through the rails. The narrow gaps between the rail ends are bridged by welding copper wires to the rails. This is called the bonding of rails.

17. What is "continuous rail"?

Rails of standard length which are welded together at the ends to form a single rail hundreds or thousands of feet in length are known as "continuous rail." Among the advantages claimed for continuous rail over standard length rail are a smoother track, longer service life, reduced maintenance cost and greater safety.

18. What is the longest continuous rail now in actual service?

The longest continuous rail in service in 1941 is 7,700 feet in length, in the track of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, near Schenectady, New York.

19. What is the cost of steel rails?

New steel rails laid in replacements by the railroads in 1940 cost an average of $40.00 a ton at the rolling mills. Transportation expense, storage costs, loading and unloading costs and the cost of installation in track are additional.

20. How much rail is installed annually in the railroads of the United States?

Approximately 2,000,000 gross tons of steel rails, sufficient to build a track 10,000 miles long, are normally laid annually in replacements in the railroads of this country.

21. Who invented and perfected the process of making steel rails?

The original process of making steel rails was invented by Henry Bessemer, of England, and perfected by A. L. Holley, an American. Their inventions produced a steel rail with a life several times greater than that of iron rail. The open-hearth process, developed by William and Frederick Siemens, of Germany, and improved by Samuel T. Wellman, an American, has now largely replaced the Bessemer process.


1942 Quiz Book on Railroads and Railroading

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