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Thunder Rails: History of U.S. Railways







About the Course

Come along for an entertaining and educational ride as we cover the very rich history of American and early British railroads using a mix of classic media, lecture presentations, historical footage, and hands-on activities we well as discussions. With firsthand accounts, stories, and folktales, brought to by your host (a former conductor and trolley driver), who will share insight and information on day-to-day railroad functions, including how to read REAL railroad signs and the basics of locomotive and trolley operations! And so much more!

Content includes:
How does a locomotive work? Let’s look inside some locomotives and find out!
History: The first trains.
History: America's journey west and the great logging trains of Sequoia.
History: The Golden Era of travel and American giants of the rail.
History: The Legendary Big Boy and the Atomic Trains.
History: Trains go to war! The history of the great armored trains.
Unique trains of the world!
History: All about cabooses! The evolution of and why did they go away and why they are coming back! From brake vans to modern shoving platform cabooses.
History: End of an era. Why steam gave way to diesel.
It’s all about economics! Let’s learn how railroads operate!
Rule of the road! Let’s learn how to read railroad signals!
Operations. Let’s find out how trains and trolleys are controlled.
Stories of the rail. Folklore legends and forgotten gandy dancer songs.
History: Infamous crashes.
Are steam engines still hauling freight trains today? The answer might surprise you!
History: That time a cat took over a railroad.
Why did trucks and planes fail to replace the train?

Your Instructor


We are a vendor with just about every charter school w/ the exception of Julian. We are found under SoCalSTEM or includEDucation.

Contact Info:
Phone: 951-638-4334

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