Here is China Standard Steel Rail exporter talking about the history of railroad tracks.
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1. In the second half of the 16th century, rails made of wood were laid in mines and quarries in the UK and Germany. The car that walks on the track is driven by manpower or animal power.
2. In 1767, the metal in the UK fell sharply. The owner of an iron factory saw a pile of pig iron. It could not be sold and could not make money. It took up a lot of places and cast a long iron bar. On the road of the factory, it is ready to sell when the iron price rises.
However, people found that the vehicle was on the road with iron bars, which was labor-saving and stable. In this way, the railroad was born before the train. After all, the iron bar is not very convenient, so the iron bar has been improved to make a groove-shaped rail. This kind of track can prevent the wheels from slipping out, but it is easy to accumulate stones and coal chips in the grooves, and the rails are easily damaged.
Therefore, people made the rails as wide as the top and bottom, and the shape was slightly narrow in the middle so that the garbage was not easy to accumulate and the rails were not easily damaged. However, the track is not very stable, and the rail is easily tipped over by the impact, causing the vehicle to derail. People have widened the underside of the rails to create a "work" shape like Chinese characters. The shape of the track is stable and reliable, and it has been used today.