Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

the stockton and darlington railway

749 of 1157 nominations

PREVIOUS NEXT


the stockton and darlington railway

Is this an icon?

or

the stockton and darlington railway

If you think negotiating England’s rail network is a challenge today, just imagine what it was like in the very earliest days of locomotive passenger transport. The Stockton and Darlington Railway was the world’s first public railway, opening on 27 September 1825. Of the 600 passengers who hitched a ride in the 36 carriages pulled by Locomotion No 1, only 18 travelled in a carriage designed for passengers, rather than coal or flour! Even inside “the Experiment”, the seats were not sprung and would have made for a pretty bumpy ride. Progress was slow on thnis first journey, with stoppages for a derailed wagon and a bit of rope caught in the feed pipe (although not leaves on the line). The highest speed reached was a dizzying 15mph, the nine-mile journey taking a mere two hours to complete. The new innovation generated huge excitement. More than 40,000 spectators lined the route of the railway to witness the beginning of a revolution in transport that would soon affect the whole world.

NOMINATION 749 OF 1157

Your comments

It was the first real raiway in the world and ushered in the age of carboniferous capitalism as well as acting as the precurser of the commuter age, not to mention the horrors of the average railway carriage loo. It is still in use too !

david walsh


Nominate

Nominate

My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry

Nominate