Railroad History

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Strasburg Rail Road

Strasburg Rail Road™ is America’s oldest operating railroad with a charter dating back to June 9, 1832.

First used for passenger and freight transportation, the short line limped along for more than a century until in 1958, on the verge of abandonment, the railroad was salvaged and given new life as a tourist railroad.

1803 First Public Railway Created in London

The Surrey Iron Railway was established by Act of Parliament in 1801, and opened completely by 1803. Established as a toll railway, the chief goods transported were coal, building materials, lime, manure, corn and seeds.

A public 14 km long railway, the Surrey Iron Railway was a horse-drawn plateway that linked Wandsworth and Croydon via Mitcham, all then in Surrey but now suburbs of south London, England.

An extension, the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Railway was built and opened in 1805.

The opening of the canal between Croydon and London in 1809 changed the commercial viability of the Surrey Iron Railway. The railway closed for good in 1846.

1798 Lake Lock Rail Road Company Above Ground Railway

The Lake Lock Rail Road Company constructed a rail route from Lake Lock to Outwood. It is reputed to be the first ever above ground railway.

The primary purpose of the line was the carriage of coal with horse powered wagons from the various coal pits surrounding the line to the Aire & Calder Navigation for shipment.

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