Who Invented the Electric Train?

German scientist Werner von Siemens is considered the inventor of the electric locomotive. Siemens first introduced his invention at a Berlin trade fair in 1879.

Siemens, who founded an electrical and telecommunications company of the same name, ran the three-car train through Berlin at a speed of about 4.5 miles per hour. He wasn't the first to power a train with electricity, but his was the first to run successfully for significant periods of time. In 1837, Scottish chemist Robert Davidson had created a train engine that ran on a battery cell, but it ran only about a mile before it lost energy, and it was destroyed by local rail workers who feared for their job security.