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International Railroad Discussion > The Seven Wonders of the Railroad World

Date: 07/12/05 01:03
The Seven Wonders of the Railroad World
Author: jsomerville

Interesting topic.

Started in Western RR discussion with:

warbonnetwillie Wrote:
> So I've heard this term thrown about from time to
> time, and generally I hear Tehachapi (specifically
> The Loop) gets one of the spots, and possibly the
> Feather River Canyon (specifically Keddie Wye) as
> listed among them. But I've never seen nor heard
> of a "comprehensive" list of places that would
> qualify for such a list.
> So here's my question to all of you in Trainorders
> land: what woud you add to this list and why?
> For myself, I can only add what I've seen, but I'd
> certainly put up Tehachapi just because, the
> Feather River Canyon for the scenic beauty, and
> Chicago for its history and the level of trains.
> I'll grant I have a somewhat western US bias,
> being that's where I grew up. While I've not been
> to either, I've heard both Horseshoe Curve in
> Pennsylvania and the Firth of Forth railroad
> bridge in Scotland are supposed to be incredible
> as well.

I suggested:

Perhaps there are more impressive places:

Chunnel (tunnel under English channel)
Jing Ping Pass Viaduct
Darjeeling Himayalan Railway (a World Heritage site)
Semmering Pass, Austria (a World Heritage site)
Moscow Underground
Gotthard Pass tunnel (and some of the others in the Alps)
Seikan Tunnel (Japan)
Landwasser viaduct and circular viaduct near Brusio (Rhaetian Railway in Switzerland)

but then again these are not in the United States and perhaps do not qualify as wonders of the world.

And I suspect I missed many others. What would you add?

Date: 07/12/05 03:49
Re: The Seven Wonders of the Railroad World
Author: birdman

1. Darjeeling-Himalaya line in norhern India
2. Gotthard and Loetschberg lines in Switzerland
3. Rhaetischebahn and Berninabahn in Switzerland
4. Moscow Subway
5. Colorado narrow gauge
6. building the transcontinental railroad in the USA in the 1800's
7. The new tunnels being built in Switzerland (some almost 50 miles long and the deepest tunnels ever built).

Date: 07/12/05 10:29
Re: The Seven Wonders of the Railroad World
Author: reindeerflame

I would add the Sunset Limited to the list.

Date: 07/12/05 22:11
Re: The Seven Wonders of the Railroad World
Author: sploopconductor

Reindeer: Wrong list ... this was the "wonders of the world".

Your submission belongs in the "wonder if it will ever get there?" list.

Take Care, Stay Safe, Have Fun!


Date: 07/13/05 03:52
Re: The Seven Wonders of the Railroad World
Author: 9T90

How about considering Taiwan's Alishan Forest Railway?

Built by the Japanese to exploit Taiwan's forest resources, with 6% grades, 49 tunnels (today anyway), two zig-zags and a multiple spiral, initially worked with Shays and still running today with Japanese diesel-hydraulics. The longest tunnel is 770 metres, and in the three hour journey you climb from just above sea level to over 2,000 metres. It's very impressive, and all on the 762mm (2'6") gauge.

Date: 07/13/05 17:08
Re: The Seven Wonders of the Railroad World
Author: jonnycando

The triple crossing in Richmond, Virginia. Not a particular wonder but it's to my knowledge still the only one. Sciotoville Bridge, Ohio; Still the heaviest Railroad Bridge in the world and a true monstrosity. And a paen to my home terminal; Clifton Forge, VA, has the widest railroad bridge in the world. At one time twenty tracks or so, still as wide today but about half the tracks removed.

Date: 07/13/05 22:55
Re: The Seven Wonders of the Railroad World
Author: airbrakegeezer

Hmmmm. Nobody mentioned the Central Railway of Peru! Oh, I guess it's not so impressive: it merely climbs from sea-level to over 15000 ft (the highest operating RR in the world until the Chinese open their new line to Tibet), using IIRC seven switchbacks, one complete reverse where the locomotive "runs around" the train, and grades that reach 5.5%, over a distance of only about 110 miles, and when it runs passenger trains (alas, charter only these days, and very infrequent and costly), oxygen tanks are carried on each car...

I've ridden sections of it, and I would certainly count it among the Railroad Wonders of the World!

Date: 07/15/05 10:02
Re: The Seven Wonders of the Railroad World
Author: Joe

The Zig Zag Railway Lithgow NSW Australia.


Date: 07/18/05 05:39
Re: The Seven Wonders of the Railroad World
Author: NYCSTL8

I would nominate the unique structure known as Cincinnati Union Terminal. Also worthy of consideration: Tehachapi Loop, the Huey P. Long Bridge and P.R.R.'s Horseshoe Curve.

Date: 07/30/05 13:21
Re: The Seven Wonders of the Railroad World
Author: TheCurator

The Spiral Tunnels in British Columbia, Canada.

My .02 CAN worth.

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