NCERT Class 12 Geography Part 1 Chapter 8: Transport and Communication

Get unlimited access to the best preparation resource for CBSE/Class-8 : get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of CBSE/Class-8.

Transport & Modes of Transport





Transport provides the network of links and carriers through which trade takes place.

Transport is a service or facility for the carriage of persons and goods from one place to the other using humans, animals and different kinds of vehicles. Such movements take place over land, water and air. Roads and railways form part of land transport; while shipping and waterways and airways are the other two modes. Pipelines carry materials like petroleum, natural gas, and ores in liquified form.

Organized service - to handle loading, unloading and delivery

These are used for inter-regional and intra-regional transport, and each one (except pipelines) carries both passengers and freight.

Road transport is cheaper and faster over short distances and for door-to-door services. Railways are most suited for large volumes of bulky materials over long distances within a country. High-value, light and perishable goods are best moved by airways.

Land Transport

bride being carried on a palanquin (palki/doli) by four persons (Kahars in north India) . Later animals were used as beasts of burden

Steam engine in 18th century

First public railway line was opened in 1825 between Stockton and Darlington in northern England - It opened up continental interiors for commercial grain farming, mining and manufacturing in U. S. A.

Internal combustion engine revolutionised road transport

Pipelines, ropeways and cableways. Liquids like mineral oil, water, sludge and sewers are transported by pipelines.

The great freight carriers are the railways, ocean vessels, barges, boats and motor trucks and pipelines

Ropeways are used in hilly areas and where mining is done – roads can՚t be built

Pack Animals

Horses are used as a draught animal even in the Western countries. Dogs and reindeer are used in North America, North Europe and Siberia to draw sledges over snow-covered ground. Mules are preferred in the mountainous regions; while camels are used for caravan movement in deserts. In India, bullocks are used for pulling carts.


Metalled – handicapped during heavy rains and floods


In developed countries good quality roads are universal and provide long-distance links in the form of motorways, autobahns (Germany) , and inter – state highways for speedy movement. Lorries, of increasing size and power are used to carry heavy loads

World՚s total motorable road length is only about 15 million km, of which North America accounts for 33 per cent. The highest road density and the highest number of vehicles are registered in this continent compared to Western Europe.

Traffic congestion - Peaks (high points) and troughs (low points) of traffic flow can be seen on roads at particular times of the

day, for example, peaks occurring during the rush hour before and after work.

Highways – Bharatmala Pariyojana

Trans-Canadian Highway links Vancouver in British Columbia (west coast) to St. John՚s City in Newfoundland (east coast) and the Alaskan Highway links Edmonton (Canada) to Anchorage (Alaska) .

Trans-Continental Stuart Highway connects Darwin (north coast) and Melbourne via Tennant Creek and Alice Springs in Australia.

Russia - Moscow-Vladivostok Highway serves the region to the east

In Africa, a highway joins Algiers in the north to Conakry in Guinea. Similarly, Cairo is also connected to Cape Town.

Golden Quadrilateral in India


Railways – Commuter trains, bullet trains

Europe has one of the most dense rail networks in the world. There are about 4,40, 000 km of railways, most of which is double or multiple-tracked. Belgium has the highest density of 1 km of railway for every 6.5 sq kms area. The industrial regions exhibit

some of the highest densities in the world

Channel Tunnel, operated by Euro Tunnel Group through England, connects London with Paris.

In Russia, railways account for about 90 per cent of the country՚s total transport with a very dense network west of the Urals

The most dense rail network is found in the highly industrialized and urbanized region of East Central U. S. A. and adjoining Canada.

S. America – Pampas in Argentina and Coffee in Brazil together account for 40 % trade route

Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela have short single-track rail-lines from ports to the interior with no inter-connecting links.

Buenos Aires (Argentina) to Valparaiso (Chile) across Andes Mts.

W. Asia – least dense rail network and sparse population.

Africa – Benguela Railway through Angola to Katanga-Zambia Copper Belt; (ii) Tanzania Railway from the Zambian Copper Belt to Dar-es-Salaam on the coast; (iii) Railway through Botswana and Zimbabwe linking the landlocked states to the South African network; and (iv) Blue Train from Cape Town to Pretoria in the Republic of South Africa.

Trans-Continental Railways

Trans – Siberian Railway: This is a trans – Siberian Railways major rail route of Russia runs from St. Petersburg in the west to Vladivostok on the Pacific Coast in the east passing through Moscow, Ufa, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Chita and Khabarovsk. It is the most important route in Asia and the longest (9,332 km) double-tracked and electrified trans – continental railway in the world

Trans-Canadian Railways: This 7,050 km long rail-line in Canada runs from Halifax in the east to Vancouver on the Pacific Coast passing through Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Calgary – constructed in 1866 – it connected the Quebec-Montreal Industrial

Region with the wheat belt of the Prairie Region and the Coniferous Forest region in the north. Wheat and meat are the important exports on this route

Union and Pacific Railway: This rail-line connects New York on the Atlantic Coast to San Francisco on the Pacific Coast

passing through Cleveland, Chicago, Omaha, Evans, Ogden and Sacramento

Australian Trans – Continental Railway: This rail-line runs west-east across the southern part of the continent from Perth on the west coast, to Sydney on the east coast. Passing through Kalgoorlie, Broken Hill and Port Augusta

Orient Express: This line runs from Paris to Istanbul passing through Strasbourg, Munich, Vienna, Budapest and Belgrade. The journey time from London to Istanbul by this Express is now reduced to 96 hours as against 10 days by the sea-route.

Water Transport

The energy cost of water transportation is lower. Water transport is divided into ocean routes and inland waterways

Ocean Routes: The oceans offer a smooth highway traversable in all directions with no maintenance costs

Modern passenger liners (ships) and cargo ships are equipped with radar, wireless and other navigation aids.

Ocean Routes

The Northern Atlantic Sea Route (Big trunk route) : This links North-eastern U. S. A. and Northwestern Europe, the two industrially developed regions of the world. The foreign trade over this route is greater than that of the rest of the world combined. One fourth of the world՚s foreign trade moves on this route. Port Said, Aden, Mumbai, Colombo and Singapore are some of the important ports on this route

Mediterranean – Indian Ocean Route: The trade route connects the highly industrialised Western European region with West Africa, South Africa, South-east Asia and the commercial agriculture and livestock economies of Australia and New Zealand. Trade due to the development of the rich natural resources such as gold, diamond, copper, tin, groundnut, oil palm, coffee and


Cape of Good Hope Sea Route: Across the Atlantic Ocean which connects West European and West African countries with Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in South America. Less traffic than North American Route

North Atlantic Sea Route: This sea route links the ports on the west-coast of North America with those of Asia. These are Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles on the American side and Yokohama, Kobe, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore on the Asian side.

South Pacific Sea Route: This sea route connects Western Europe and North America with Australia, New Zealand and the scattered Pacific islands via the Panama Canal. This route is also used for reaching Hong Kong, Philippines and Indonesia.

Coastal Shipping

Shenzhen States in Europe are most suitably placed for coastal shipping connecting one member՚s coast with the other.

Shipping Canals: The Suez and the Panama Canals are two vital man-made navigation canals or waterways which serve as gateways of commerce for both the eastern and western worlds

Suez Canal: This canal had been constructed in 1869 in Egypt between Port Said in the north and Port Suez in the south linking the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Gives way for Europe to India Ocean and reduces direct sea-route distance between Liverpool and Colombo. About 100 ships travel daily and each ship takes 10 - 12 hours to cross this canal. The tolls are so heavy that some find it cheaper to go by the longer Cape Route whenever the consequent delay is not important. A railway follows the canal to Suez, and from Ismailia there is a branch line to Cairo.

Panama Canal: Connect Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean - constructed across the Panama Isthmus between Panama City and Colon by the U. S. government which purchased 8 km of area on either side and named it the Canal Zone. It shortens distance between New York and San Francisco by 13,000 km.

Inland Waterways

Navigability width and depth

Continuity in water flow

Transport technology

Despite inherent limitations, many rivers have been modified to enhance their navigability by dredging, stabilizing river banks, and building dams and barrages for regulating the flow of water.

Rhine Waterway: Germany and Netherlands. It is navigable for 700 km from Rotterdam, at its mouth in the Netherlands to Basel in Switzerland. The Ruhr river joins the Rhine from the east. It flows through a rich coalfield.

Dusseldorf is the Rhine port for this region.

Each year more than 20,000 ocean-going ships and 2,00, 000 inland vessels exchange their cargoes.

Danube Waterway: This important inland waterway serves Eastern Europe. The Danube river rises in the Black Forest and flows eastwards through many countries. It is navigable up to Taurna Severin. The chief export items are wheat, maize, timber, and machinery.

Volga Waterway: navigable waterway of 11,200 km and drains into the Caspian Sea. Volga-Moscow Canal connects it with the Moscow region and the Volga-Don Canal with the Black Sea.

Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway: Great Lakes of North America Superior, Huron Erie and Ontario are connected by Soo

Canal and Welland Canal to form an inland waterway.

Mississippi Waterways: Mississippi-Ohio waterway connects the interior part of U. S. A. with the Gulf of Mexico in the south.

Air Transport

Fastest means of communication and highly costly

Long distance and rapid movement

Connectivity revolution

Increased accessibility to inhospitable regions

Inter-Continental Air routes: Northern Hemisphere, there is a distinct east-west belt of inter-continental air routes

Africa, Asiatic part of Russia and South America lack air services. There are limited air services between 10 - 35 latitudes in the Southern hemisphere due to sparser population, limited landmass and economic development.


Liquid and gases are used in pipeline

In New Zealand, milk is being supplied through pipelines from farms to factories.

In U. S. A. there is a dense network of oil pipelines from the producing areas

Big Inch is one such famous pipeline, which carries petroleum from the oil wells of the Gulf of Mexico to the North-eastern States. About 17 % of all freight per ton-km. is carried through pipelines in U. S. A.

The proposed Iran-India via Pakistan international oil and natural gas pipeline will be the longest in the world


During the early and mid-twentieth century, the American Telegraph and Telephone Company (AT&T) enjoyed a monopoly over U. S. A. ′ s telephone industry.

optic fiber cables (OFC) : upgraded from copper cables

These allow large quantities of data to be transmitted rapidly, securely, and are virtually error-free

Satellite Communication: Today Internet is the largest electronic network on the planet connecting about 1,000 million people in more than 100 countries.

Aryabhatt was launched on 19 April 1979, Bhaskar-I in 1979 and Rohini in 1980. On 18 June 1981, APPLE (Arian Passenger Payload Experiment) was launched through Arian rocket.

BHASKAR, INSAT, Challenger are communication satellites


WWW (Worldwide Web)

Cyberspace exists everywhere. It may be in an office, sailing boat, flying plane and virtually anywhere.

The speed at which this electronic network has spread is unprecedented in human history. There were less than 50 million Internet users in 1995, about 400 million in 2000 A. D. and over one billion in 2005. The next billion users are to be added by 2010. In the last five years there has been a shift among global users from U. S. A. to the developing countries

e-mail, e-commerce, e-learning and e-governance

Developed by: