The first railways in the world is commonly
believed to be structured 2000 years ago in Greece, Malta
and parts of the Roman Empire, which used stone-cut tracks
to guide the wheels of horse-drawn wagons.
The first railway in China is commonly believed
to be structured in 1876 by foreign engineers. It only extended
15 mile in length between Shanghai (上海)
and Wusong (吴淞), an ancient gateway and central
town for today's great Shanghai region; and its existence
only lasted for a year before it was ordered to be demolished
by a backward ruling tribe called Manchurians originally
migrated to China from further north.
The first railway designed and built by Chinese
engineers is commonly believed to be structured in 1905 to
1909 in the outskirts
of Beijing, and the chief engineer of the project Zhan
Tianyou (詹天佑: 1861 - 1919) is honoured as the Father of China's
But a recently discovery in Henan
Province (河南省) puts the credibility of Shanghai railway
as the first railway in China in question, and the Mr Zhan's
genuine fatherhood for Chinese indigenous railway in doubt,
and further challenges the status of the Greek railway
as the earliest recognizable railway in the world.
In Nanyang (南阳), Henan Province, a double-line
railway was found lying silently in a remote mountainous
area. The wooden sleepers are all decayed, but the tracks,
made of hardwood trees, clearly received advanced anti-corrosion
treatment, are still intact.
The standard distance between the sleepers
of the modern railway is not designed according to standard
walking or running pace of man, nor was that of Henan railway.
However, the distance between the sleepers in Henan railway
does match the galloping pace of horse. Thus along this double
track railway, the heavy loaded goods, normally being carried
on the backs of packhorses, could be transferred to wagons
that were pulled by horses running on sleepers.
The question is who invented this revolutionary
According to the carbon 14 (C14) dating results,
the wooden sleepers and tracks were produced 2200 years ago,
which was a time when China was united for the first time
and ruled under the first emperor of China, the almighty First
Rock of Ji Gong
Bone Script Unearthed