Chooo-chooo! You probably know that sound as the noise a train makes. Aside from the choo-chooing, what is the next most unique and special thing about trains that you can think of? – Their tracks!
Train tracks help steer the train in the direction it needs to go! The train is able to stay on its tracks because the wheels are built with a special “lip” that keeps them in place. Running on tracks allows a train to go faster than other types of ground transportation, like cars. (In fact, the world’s fastest train can go over 300 miles per hour – that’s more than four times faster than a car on a highway!)
The way that train tracks are built can depend on the type of train, but usually the tracks are made of two steel rails that are parallel (running side-by-side) fastened to wooden boards that run underneath them, called “ties” or “sleepers.” (Some ties are also made of steel or concrete.) Train tracks also have “switches,” which allow the train to move from one track onto another in order to change direction, since there is no steering!