UK: July 21. First edition of Railway Gazette published.

Russia: Regular through operations begin on the Trans-Siberian Railway after completion of Circum-Baikal railway.


Switzerland - Italy: January 25. First train runs through the Simplon tunnel.


USA: July 24. New Haven electric services begin to use New York’s Grand Central Terminal, marking completion of AC electrification from Woodlawn to Stamford.


Germany: Four-axle 80-seat Benzol railcar with electric transmission built for Preussisch-Hessische Staatsbahn.


Germany: First main line diesel loco completed by Borsig for Preussische Staatsbahn. Technical problems and World War I halted development and the 1200hp 2’B2 loco was scrapped in 1920.


Germany: First diesel railcar entered service with Sächsische Staatseisenbahn.


Australia:October 24. Inaugural train on the Trans-Australian main line arrives at Kalgoorlie.


Canada: October 4. Order in Council creates Canadian National, which is amalgamated with Grand Trunk Railway on January 19 1923.

December 1. International Union of Railways (UIC) formally comes into being.


USA: July 25. First CTC installation enters service on 65 km of New York Central route between Toledo and Berwick, Ohio.

1931 Germany: June 21. Schienenzeppelin establishes speed record of 230·2 km/h between Ludwigslust and Wittenberge.


Germany: December 19. VT877 sets diesel railcar speed record of 165 km/h between Berlin and Hamburg.


Germany: November. Converted Schienenzeppelin used by DR to test first diesel-hydraulic drive.


USA. May 26. Pioneer Zephyr makes record-breaking run from Denver to Chicago at average speed of 124 km/h.

USA: October 12: Association of American Railroads formed.


USA: First production PCC tramcar delivered to Brooklyn & Queens Transit Co, following a research programme initiated by the Electric Railway Presidents’ Conference in 1929.


UK: July 3. LNER A4 locomotive ’Mallard’ achieves world speed record for steam of 203 km/h.


USA: November. GM-EMD’s FT demonstrator starts national tour which persuaded many railroads to dieselise; 1096 production FT units built by 1945.


Germany: World’s largest production run of steam locomotives with around 6350 examples of Class 52 ’Kriegslok’ assembled. At one point 51 locomotives were completed in a single day.


India: April 14. Creation of Southern Railway starts the zonal grouping to form Indian Railways.

France: May 19. Opening of Annecy - La Roche-sur-Foron section completes landmark 25 kV 50 Hz electrification between Aix-les-Bains and La Roche.


France: March 29. SNCF sets world speed record of 331 km/h with BB9004 between Lamothe and Morcenx.


Japan: October 1. Opening of Tokaido Shinkansen starts world’s first regular passenger service at 210 km/h.


Germany: LZB inductive train control introduced for commercial service between München and Augsburg.


December 5. Founding meeting of Intercontainer takes place in Brussels, following agreement on ISO container standards in Moscow on June 23-27.


UK: September 1. Automatic Train Operation starts on London Underground’s Victoria line with opening of inaugural Walthamstow - Highbury section.


USA: May 1. Amtrak takes over operation of long-distance passenger services.


USA: September 11. First day of revenue service on BART in San Francisco, launching in the USA the second generation of metros.


Tanzania - Zambia: Tazara opens on October 24 over the 1857 km between Dar es Salaam and New Kapiri Mposhi.


USA: April 1. Conrail established, taking over Penn Central and six other bankrupt railroads in the eastern US.

Italy: July. Fiat Pendolino prototype tilting train enters revenue service between Roma and Ancona (above).

Germany: October. BBC Mannheim and Thyssen-Henschel hand over to Zechenbahn & Hafenbetriebe Ruhr/Mitte AG the first of six production electric locomotives with fully-enclosed three-phase induction motors for operation at 15 kV 162/3Hz and 50Hz.

UK: October 4. British Rail launches first 200 km/h inter-city diesel service between London, Bristol and South Wales.


France: December 8. RER Line A across the centre of Paris inaugurated by President Giscard d’Estaing.


USA: ACF Industries produces prototype double-stack container wagon for Southern Pacific, leading to start of commercial service for Sea Land in 1981.


USA: October 14. Staggers Rail Act to deregulate railroad industry signed into law by President Carter.


France: September 27. First part of Paris - Sud-Est TGV line opens with trains running at maximum speed of 260 km/h.


France: April 16. President Mitterrand opens the world’s first driverless metro in Lille. Line 1 of the rubber-tyred VAL system had no staff working at fixed locations outside the control room.


UK: September 8. British Rail commissions first solid-state interlocking at Leamington Spa.


USA: March 26. Conrail enters the private sector as government sells 85% stake.

Japan: April 1. JNR broken up into JRGroup, with six regional passenger companies and JR Freight.

Switzerland: June. First low-floor tram delivered to Genève by ACMVevey.


Japan: March 13. 53·9 km Seikan Tunnel opens between Honshu and Hokkaido.

Sweden: July 1. Swedish State Railways split into operations and infrastructure business, subsequently SJ and Banverket.


France: May 18. TGV Set 325 sets current world speed record for a passenger-carrying rail vehicle of 515·3 km/h near Vend