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Transportation Engineering - Connecting the World

written by: Tarun Goel • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 6/3/2011

Transport engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with all means of transport, including road, rail, air, and sea. The latest technology and machinery has made it possible to travel across distant regions in very little time. This article provides insight into transportation engineering.

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    What Is Transportation Engineering?

    Transportation Engineering 

    If you stay at a single place all your life, you will never grow, but you will grow stale for sure. This is an old saying that holds true even in the 21st Century. People chose to travel for trade or for leisure and travel for exploring new places … because traveling adds new dimensions to one's self. Trade travel has always remained an important aspect of human existence and growth since time immemorial. And for all this, transportation engineering has made it possible to move from one place to another, from one country to another, or even from the Earth to beyond our atmosphere. Roads, seaways, underground pathways, and air traffic control are what make up transportation engineering.

    Technically speaking, transport engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering that relates to the science of efficient and safe movement of human beings, materials, and goods of all types.

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    Function of Transport Engineering

    Transport engineering has had a significant impact on the development of communities. This science assists in providing an efficient system of land, air, and sea transport that is of extreme importance for the economy of a society. All aspects related to transport are considered and implemented in transport engineering, including the design, construction, and maintenance of transport facilities such as airports, roads, and ports. The capability of transportation can be increased by better transport management techniques, including improvement in traffic control, development of mass transit systems, and the operation of high-speed trains.

    Transport Engineering has the following sub-disciplines:

    Road Transport Engineering: If we look back in history, Romans built great roads for the movement of their armies from one area to the other. Trade increased significantly during the Industrial Revolution, due to which the improvement of road transport was essential.

    Highway engineering: It involves the improvement of the system of transportation by the utilization of the principles of civil engineering. Planning, design, creation, and management of highways, roads, and other facilities of transport are looked after under Highway Engineering.

    Port and Harbor Engineering: It deals with the design, construction, and operation of ports, canals, and other marine establishments.

    Railway Engineering: Design and maintenance of railway tracks and railway transit systems is carried on under this discipline.

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    Modern Age Transport Systems

    Bridge - Flyover bridge 

    Advancement in technology has improved our transportation mediums. Earlier, it was about sea voyages but now in every developing country, air travel has become a major transportation method. Similarly, with increase in population, overhead transportation channels like flyover bridges and metro rail services have been constructed to dilute traffic and maintain an orderly traffic system. Globalization has also helped to improve transportation systems across the world. We can now see metro rails running in major cities of the world. Recently, China successfully installed a rail line near Indo-Tibet border which has become the highest railway line in the world.

    US Metro Rail 

    The modern age transport system also reflects the economic stability of a region. In places where well-built roads are laid, traffic systems run in an orderly arrangement, and people can easily commute from one place to another. These can definitely be termed developed regions. In these modern times, it is not important to only construct a transportation facility; assessing its social, economic, and environmental impact is also necessary so that we do not disturb the natural balance in the name of growth and development. Today we see wonders of transportation engineering in the form of overhead bridges, underground railway tracks, and the extremely busy but safe air space accommodating hundreds of aircraft.

    To improve the economy of a nation, apart from other factors, it is necessary to arrange an efficient and reliable system of transport. However, one of the largest consumers of energy is also transport, for which it becomes necessary that an optimized transport system is developed that is reliable and eco-friendly at the same time.

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    References

    Content:

    Introduction to Transportation Engineering, IITB.ac.in

    Transport Engineering Technologies, Cfses.com

    Images:

    Transport by Xedos4

    Flyover Bridge by Exsodus

    US Metro, Wikipedia