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The objective/goal of this guide:
Develop comprehension of basic engineering concepts involved -- for most critical disciplines -- in the planning, design, construction, equipping, maintenance and renewal of all types of railroads and railway.
Notes on Nomemclature: "Railroad" vs. "Railway"
Well. This article is entirely dependent on the war between usage of words rather than their implication or meaning. The main difference between a railway and railroad lies in their meaning, respectively. A system of rails, over which rails move with a fast speed is called railway in UK or even commonwealth countries. The same track becomes a railroad if you’re living in US or even Canada. The main difference lies in the usage rather than their literal meaning. Railway is actually an international terminology, used in many countries of the world, stating in a strict sense.
Railway vs Railroad
A railway is a track on which, train runs. It’s a high speeding track. Some train companies prefer using railway rather than railroad. In old times, even the trains running on streets of some cities of US were called railways! These were like small coaches rather than being complete huge trains. Less number of passengers could travel in these coaches. Railway could also refer to the infrastructure of the rail tracks. These terms are largely synonymous but a railway literally denotes to a track of rails, which are joined together, making a way or a passage for train to go over them.
A railroad is made of fixed metal bas, joined together for vehicles to pass over them. In America, people use the word ‘Railroad’ exclusively and not a railway. But in other countries, people use these terms interchangeably. In America, they use the word ‘Railway’ for tram tracks. But, for train tracks, the world ‘Railroad’ is used. Companies can decide if they want to be known as a railway or a railroad.
All that said ... since our web site is based out of the U.S., we will normally use the term "railroad" in this guide.
scbist.com (Russian rail-fan site)