Railroad History

Its all about the rails


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coal transport

Summit Hill and Mauch Chunk Railroad

In just a few months in 1827, the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company in one massive well organized effort, completely built the 9.2 miles of America's first significant railroad using the road bed of the wagon road built in 1818–19. A gravity railroad, the Mauch Chunk and Summit Hill Railroad, used wooden sleepers on a gravel substrate to bring coal from mines to the river more efficiently. The work went quickly since the right-of-way surveyed by White ran along the virtually uniform gradient created by grading the original mule trail, work overseen by Hazard in 1818.

Tanfield Waggonway

The Tanfield Waggonway was built by the Grand Allies from about 1720 to transport coal more reliably & cheaply from inland collieries of County Durham, to the staiths on the River Tyne at Redheugh. From here the coal was transported in keels downriver to South Shields, then transferred to colliers (bulk coal carrying ships) for the voyage down the North Sea coast to south east England.

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