Trains come in all shapes, lengths and speeds. Chances are, there’s one near your house. Here’s a collection of sites to test your knowledge of trains.


What country claims to have the world’s fastest trains?

a) Japan

b) USA

c) France


Find out here: http://www.record2007.com/site/index_en.php. Answer: Both France and Japan. On April 3, 2007, the French train called the V150 ¬†went an amazing 356 MPH; but there’s a bit of disagreement about this record because of the way trains are defined. In 2003, a Japanese bullet train — called a Maglev and pictured at the right — reached a speed of 361 MPH. You can read CNN’s report of the event at http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/east/12/03/japan.maglev.ap. Similar trains are under construction in China. There was also an Air Force rocket sled that broke the speed of sound.


Here’s some other interesting links that deal with the fastest trains:

1) a movie of a Japanese train: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weWmTldrOyo

2) a list of speed records: http://www.h2.dion.ne.jp/~dajf/byunbyun/speeds/records.htm






T/F – Is there such a thing as a train without wheels?

Watch the video below, and you’ll learn how a Japanese Maglev train works — with no wheels. They actually do have wheels, but they lift of the track when the train reaches a certain speed — sort of like an airplane. For even more detailed information, visit http://www.magnet.fsu.edu/education/tutorials/magnetacademy/










What’s the longest train?

The longest regularly running train (picturered to the right) can be found in the Sahara Desert, where it carries rock from a mine. The train is 1.86 miles long. Watch a video of the train passing — every car — at http://fogonazos.blogspot.com/2007/01/longest-train-in-world.html! There was a longer train in Australia that measured four miles long, but it only ran once.












What’s the longest train ride in the world?

A ride in the train called Rossiya can take seven days, as it travels from Moscow, in Eastern Europe, to Vladivostok on the Pacific Coast. That’s 5,777 miles! You can learn more about the trip and see more photos of the train at http://www.seat61.com/Trans-Siberian-pictures.com.














Do you know when it is safe to cross the train tracks?

Play the train safety game and learn some facts about how to act around trains. Visit http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Rail/english/indexhtml.














Where is the largest model railroad in the world located?

It depends who you ask! Flemington, NJ, former software developer, Bruce Zaccagnino, created a train set with eight miles of track — so large it needs a special building. Bruce calls it Northlandz. If it were life-sized, it would be 1,600-miles-long. Listen to Bruce and his wife, Jean, describe hs work on National Public Radio at http://www.soundportraits.org/on-air/northlandz/.













Wunderland, located in Hamburg, Germany, boasts 9,000 meters of track, with a major expansion to be completed in 2014. See http://www.miniatur-wunderland.com/exhibit/wunderland/wunderland-facts/, and take a virtual tour by clicking on the video below.




Filed in: Geography, Transportation

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