Railroad History

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George Stephenson

George Stephenson, the Father of Railways

Known as the Father of Railways, George Stephenson was a British civil engineer and mechanical engineer. Pioneered by Stephenson, rail transport was one of the most important technological inventions of the 19th century and a key component of the Industrial Revolution. 

The Stephenson Gauge

The rail gauge used by Stephenson, often refered to as the Stephenson gauge, was the basis for the 4 feet 8 1⁄2 inches standard gauge used by most of the world's railways even today.

The Blucher

Stephenson's first the Blucher, an engine that drew eight loaded wagons carrying 30 tons of coal at 4 miles per hour.

George Stephenson builds Locomotion No. 1

In 1825, Locomotion No. 1 was the first steam locomotive to carry passengers on the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Its historical significance is based, not on its design inovation, but on the fact that it the first locomotive to run on a public railway.

The locomotive built by George and Robert Stephenson's company Robert Stephenson and Company in 1824, hauled the first train on the Stockton and Darlington Railway on September 27, 1825. 

On the opening day of the Stockton and Darlington line “Locomotion” was preceded by several men on horses carrying flags with stirring mottos. One said in Latin: ‘Periculum privatum utilitas publica” (The private danger is the public good).

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