Today marks the 177th anniversary of one of the railroad industry's darker moments. On this day, way back in 1830, America's first locomotive, Tom Thumb, lost a widely celebrated race to a mere horse.
The train operators cited a whole slew of reasons for losing the 9-mile race, including such far-fetched stories as boiler leaks and other mechanical mess ups.
But since these were the very early days of trains (where they were referred to as "Iron Horses") all was quickly forgiven and after a few years of developments, trains were finally able to outrun horses...although it would be a few more decades before they beat a cheetah.
If you want to see if you have what it takes to race against a train, you might want to check out this promotional track jacket.