Iycee Charles de Gaulle Summary No railroads in Bhutan? Essay

No railroads in Bhutan? Essay

I.                   Introduction:

      Technology plays a major role in a country. Technology is the use of scientific knowledge to develop and produce goods and services useful to man. Technologists use the discoveries of science to produce tools, machines, and methods for industry, communications, transportations, medicine, warfare and other human activities.

      A nation’s level of technology depends on the extent to which current scientific knowledge is put to practical use. The United States is considered a technologically advanced nation; its major industries use advanced production techniques such as automation, its health institutions use advanced treatments such as laser- beam surgery, and use of up- to- date scientific knowledge is made in most other everyday activities, especially in terms of Transportations. A nation in which most production is carried on by handicraft methods, communications and transportation are equally old fashioned, is considered technologically backward, or underdeveloped.

      Technological advancement, however, brings not only wealth and benefits to the world but also serious problems- pollution and other damage to the environment and a rapid consumption of natural resources.

This paper will compare societies that have railroads with those societies who do not have railroads at all. This paper will compare United States to Bhutan and how technology great impacts a certain society.

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II.                Discussion:

Bhutan or Kingdom of Bhutan is a country in the Himalayas, bounded by India and the Chinese autonomous region of Tibet. Bhutan’s area is about 18,000 square miles. The country consists mainly of rugged mountain ranges separated by deep valleys. Thick forests cover most of the slopes. Several rivers flow southward into the Brahmaputra River in India. The climate varies from warm and humid in the south to extremely cold and dry in the highest mountains. The people live mainly by raising live stock and a variety of grains and fruits. Forestry and mining are being developed, and there is some light industry. External trade exclusively with India includes exports of timber, fruit, and coal and imports of sugar and textiles. Several hydroelectric stations are in operation. A paved road extends across the country east to west and connects with roads to India. There are scheduled flights from the airport at Paro. Bhutan had no asphalt roads until the year of 1961, their transportation was in the means of using horse or a mule and worst is on barefoot. If one will travel from Thimpu to Indian border and vice versa it will take almost six days for it but it was when in the year of 1961- 1966 when roads are already being constructed in the Development Plan made. Asphalt roads was finished in the year 1962, it was said to be road for jeeps traveling from Thimpu and other places in Bhutan. Indian and Nepalese were hired to build the road while the Bhutanese were forced to work for the construction. As years passed by many roads are already built connecting many places already to Bhutan but still no railroads. They already had bridges at that time of 1970’s. As years passed by many automobiles are added but the most popular of them all were motorcycles. Bhutan had its Transport Service and had buses through out their places which travel twice a day from Thimphu to Phuntsholing as well as Calcutta to the Indian borders. Because of the increase accessibility of transportations for the Bhutanese they then have greater chances of travelling in their own country and even abroad. Still railroad system was not present even though transportation was already developing. But even if Bhutan had no railroads, a little monorail was still launched in 1990 which was used to transport to market. But even though Bhutan has no rail roads many visitors still love to come and explore the places in Bhutan.

            United States has a vast system of railways, highways, and pipelines, and virtually every large city is served by a commercial airport. Inland waterways provide important transportation routes in many part of the country. As a whole, the country’s transportation facilities are without equal in extent and diversity. In the late 1970’s there were about 3, 890,000 miles of roads, highways, and streets in the United States- the largest highway system in the world. Roughly four- fifths of the mileage is accounted for by roads and highways in rural areas, connecting cities and towns. Most of the roads are hard- surfaced. Railway mileage in the United States peaked in the 1930’s. Since then trackage has declined by almost a third to about 300,000 miles. The volume of traffic hauled by rail, however, has steadily increased despite severe competition from trucks, barges and pipelines. Unlike railways in most other countries, those in the United States are privately owned and operated. Most intercity passenger trains, however, are operated by Amtrak, a government controlled corporation. Some privately owned railways still provide commuter

service in major metropolitan areas. Railroads in the United States served as transportation for the imported good as well as the exported goods. It greatly helped their country’s economy, thru the railroads that have been established the United States economy boomed. Until after World War I the railways had a virtual monopoly on transportation within the United States. Then the federal and state governments undertook vast highway, waterway, and, later, airport construction and improvement programs. The resulting competition from airplanes, trucks, and barges, plus competition from pipelines, cut deeply into the volume of rail freight transport, reducing the railways’ share by 1940 to some three fifths of the total.

            Highway competition hurt the railroads’ passenger business badly also. The railroads attempted to meet the challenge of the competition by modernizing their equipment to increase efficacy and attract customers. Streamlined diesel- electric- powered passenger trains were introduced in 1934. World War II brought capacity business to the railroads in both passengers and freight. Regularly scheduled passenger trains were supplemented by thousands of special troop trains. After the war the railroads undertook a vast renewal program, which included the development of new cars and introduction of new procedures for carrying freight more economically. Intermodal railway freight service the transport of truck trailers and metal freight containers in flatcars- increased the efficiency of transferring goods between a railway and trucks or ships. The transport of trailers on flat cars came into regular use in the mid 1950’s, and by the 1960’s the use of standardized intermodal freight container had been introduced. Cars were lengthened to carry greatly increased loads. New specialized cars, such as rack cars for carrying automobiles, were introduced. Use of covered hopper cars for bulk goods was greatly expanded. Automation simplified loading and switching. Diesel electric power gradually replaced steam for locomotives.

III.             Conclusion:

United States is highly advanced when it comes to technology, they have good means of transportation, and communications as well as they have their railroads. These railroads served as means of exchanging goods, like importing or exporting. Technology really plays a great impact on societies. How a society is technologically advanced reflects the improvement that they have. Although Bhutan has no railroads up to now they are still progressive but they are not as progressive as the United States.


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“Bhutan”. New Standard Encyclopedia. Volume 3. Pages 77- 80.
“Technology”. New Standard Encyclopedia. Volume 14. Pages 68- 69.
Marshall, Ray, and John Bradley. The Train: Watch It Work. Viking Press, 1986.
Sanders, Ralph. International Dynamics of Technology. Greenwood Press, 1983.
Smith, E.B. The Railroad Book. Houghton Mifflin, 1983.