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Double tracked and horse operated, arguably the world's first public railway.
Railway Company: Surrey Iron Railway
Richard Trevithick's Penydarren - used to transport iron across nine miles of track - becomes the first successful steam locomotive run on rails along the tramway of the Penydarren Ironworks in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.
Person: Richard Trevithick
John Blenkinsop patents the rack and pinion drive, to propel a steam locomotive for use at Middleton
Person: John Blenkinsop
Steam locomotive ‘Salamanca’, built by Matthew Murray of “Fenton, Murray and Wood” of Holbeck, Leeds, pulled the first train of coal from Middleton Colliery to Leeds. The train ran on cast iron rails and stone sleepers, with a rack on one rail. Three further locomotives were built like “Salamanca”.
Loco Builders: Murray, Fenton & Wood of Leeds
English engineer George Stephenson introduces his first steam locomotive, a travelling engine designed for hauling coal on the Killingworth wagonway named Blüche'r
Person: George Stephenson
Famous Loco: Blucher
Birth of Daniel Gooch at Bedlington, Northumberland
Person: Daniel Gooch
Railway Company: Great Western Railway
Railway Works: Swindon
George Ackworth appointed to the position of locomotive superintendent of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, a post he was to occupy until May 1840.
Person: George Ackworth
Railway Company: Stockton & Darlington
The Stockton Darlington Railway opened. It was the first passenger rail service, the steam locomotive travelled at 10mph.
Railway Company: Stockton Darlington Railway
Stockton & Darlington Railway opens
The directors of the Liverpool and Manchester company held a competition called the "Rainhill Trials" to find the most suitable locomotive. The winner was Robert Stephenson's Rocket which was awarded the prize of £500
Railway Company: Liverpool & Manchester Railway
1st American built locomotive, "Tom Thumb" races a horse-drawn car from Stockton and Stokes stagecoach company from Baltimore to Ellicott Mills. Let history record that due to mechanical problems the horse won!
Famous Loco: Tom Thumb
The Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened.During the ceremony, William Huskisson MP, became the first person to be killed by a passenger train.
Person: William Huskisson MP
Daniel Gooch, father of Swindon works takes up his position of Locomotive Superintendent of the Great Western Railway.
The first line to be built on the peninsula was the Naples–Portici line, in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, which was 7.64km long and was inaugurated on 3 October 1839.
1840 Regulation of Railways Act. This act introduced government regulation to the railways Measures contained in the Act were:
Acts of Parliament:
Thames Tunnel- the world's first tunnel built underneath a river was opened. It was built by an engineer called Sir Marc Brunel and his son Isambard to allow cargo to be transported underneath the busy river Thames. They ran out of money though, so to begin with it just opened as an attraction for pedestrians. On the first day, 50,000 people walked through the tunnel. By the end of the first three months, a million people – that was half of the population of London at the time – passed through, making it the most successful visitor attraction in the world.