Time, Calendars, and Seasons

Time Zones

How did trains help establish time zones?

Before trains, many cities and regions had their own local time, which was set based on the sun at their location. The great variation of local times made train schedules confusing. In November 1883, railroad companies across the United States and Canada began to use standard time zones—years before they came into general use across the United States.

Most—but not all—countries around the world are divided into one-hour time zones (U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook 2008).

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