Buses and Trains


The world is a big old place that we have been limited from for an extended period of time now but soon enough, I will be making a journey once again. Me and my father are finally venturing off on a trip three years in the making, using primarily trains and buses to make our way across sections of Europe. This has got me thinking about these particular methods of transit. While I have looked into cars as a form of transport and their origins before, I have not looked at the origins of buses and trains in our big world that help us to explore. 

The name bus is abbreviated from a previously used term to refer to these transit methods – Omnibus. If you were to trace back the route of the word it quite literally means ‘for all’. If you look back, this started in France with the French ‘Voiture omnibus’, meaning ‘vehicle for all’ as was invented by corn-mill and spa owner Stanislas Baudry. Baudry started the spa because of the extra run off from his corn-mill and started the omnibus service to try adn encourage people from his local area to come and partake in his spa. At the time, these were horse drawn carriages with two layers, a cabin like area in the bottom and a more exposed area for people to sit at the top of the vehicle. The transport system did not work to promote the spa as intended as people did not use the service to visit the spa but it became so popular that the man was able to close both his mill and spa and use the transport system as his primary source of income. The first stop on this omnibus route was a hat shop named Omnes,named after the owners, which had a sign out front saying ‘Omnes Omnibus’, a joke based in the route latin, translating to ‘Everything for Everyone’. 

Much like the early buses, the earliest versions of what we now consider trains were once pulled horses. Wooden tracks were placed in the roads, making it easier for the horses to pull along wagons and/or carts on the old dirt roads. These paths were known as ‘wagonways’. The same amount of power could be used on these paths to draw a larger amount over long distances, making this an effective means of transporting goods such as coal across distances. Although the first use of this that developed past this point was found in Germany, there were also possible examples of this demonstrated as early as Ancient Greece. The tracks used in Germany operated with ‘Hunde’ carts, with unflanged wheels on wooden planks. The miners called them ‘hunde’ or ‘dog’ carts because of the sound that they made on the tracks.

Transport systems for people and goods has been around for a long time, as it seems, with it developing greatly to the point that it has reached now. Today we have trains that float and likely go faster than the original creators likely thought possible. We have buses powered entirely by electricity, instead of pulled by horses as the once were. The adventures that we take in life have changed greatly since the beginning and so has the way that we go about them.


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