For the millions of people around the world that travel by train for business, leisure, and other reasons on a daily basis, there is often a lack of appreciation for the advancement of rail technology. This lack of appreciation is not exclusive to passengers and railway professionals often overlook how far their industry has come in such a short time. After all, rail travel was not commercially viable until the middle of the 19th century and was only made paramount to national travel after World War I. While some travellers take the train to get from one place to another without the hassles of driving, tourists and others see the train as a connection to a humbler past. Railway professionals should keep this in mind during their daily work.
Rail drivers, mechanics, and station personnel can benefit from thinking about how far rail technology has come in only the past few decades. Steam and coal locomotives of the past have given way to electrified rails which can promise higher speeds and lower commute times. Track signals have gone from men waving flags to the computerised systems of today, with onscreen notifications of track changes ahead. As well, the interior cabins and control stations have advanced considerably to reflect the rapid advancement of ergonomic technologies over the last two decades. An appreciation of these quick changes can make the drudgery of the average day seem more like a historical journey.
In addition, rail professionals need to understand that travel options have advanced parallel to the advancements in rail technology. People can choose any number of ways to go across town, country, or continent, unlike the past. Train travel may be improving by the day but so are automobiles, planes, and buses. Workers, tourists, and travelling groups can take a car or a bus to get to their destination but largely choose the railway. This choice is something that railway professionals should ponder throughout their work day.
Rail workers need to understand both the history and the importance of the railway for the future of the United Kingdom and Europe. Tourism for the European continent relies heavily on the efficient functioning of national and international rail systems, which are inexpensive ways to get from one place to another. Railways also need the daily customers that help form the majority of their revenues, which requires expert service and efficient daily routes. In the end, rail workers need to appreciate rail history in order to put the importance of their jobs in perspective.