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Rail transport is a means of transferring of passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, also known as tracks.
It is also commonly referred to as train transport.
Many countries are in process of replacing diesel locomotives with electric locomotives, mainly due to environmental concerns, a notable example being Switzerland, which has completely electrified its network.
This line used "Hund" carts with unflanged wheels running on wooden planks and a vertical pin on the truck fitting into the gap between the planks to keep it going the right way.
Other variations are also possible, such as slab track, where the rails are fastened to a concrete foundation resting on a prepared subsurface.
Rolling stock in a rail transport system generally encounters lower frictional resistance than road vehicles, so passenger and freight cars (carriages and wagons) can be coupled into longer trains.
Following decline after World War II due to competition from cars, rail transport has had a revival in recent decades due to road congestion and rising fuel prices, as well as governments investing in rail as a means of reducing CO The history of rail transport began in the 6th century BC in Ancient Greece.
It can be divided up into several discrete periods defined by the principal means of track material and motive power used.
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Starting during the 1940s, the non-electrified railways in most countries had their steam locomotives replaced by diesel-electric locomotives, with the process being almost complete by the 2000s.