If there’s one thing that has united Europe — more than kings, emperors, religion, political ideology, or a common currency — it’s probably its train system.
Antwerp Central Station
The narrow tracks that seamlessly connect cities and countries and people.
Salzburg Station with the Alps in the background
You can be in Amsterdam from Brussels in two hours, or to Paris for that matter; Salzburg from Vienna or to Munich under three.
It takes a lot of infrastructure and investment, but it’s more efficient in the long run and has created tremendous economic value.
It also requires a vision and determination, and a mindset that connects instead of isolates.
Railways, narrow as they are, link and expand the world.
Castles, lovely as they are, went obsolete 500 years ago.
There’s a belief that the standard distance between railroad tracks of 4 feet 8-1/2 inches dates back to the days of Roman chariots. Not so, according to this article.