History of Rail and Freight


1753: The first steam engine arrives from England.

1758: Middleton Railway in Leeds is established.

  Middleton claims to be the oldest Railway in the world and this was the world’s first regular revenue-earning use of steam traction.

1804: Richard Trevithick invented a 40 psi steam locomotive for the Welsh Penydarran Railroad.

1807: The first passenger train ride was on March 25th from Swansea to Mumbles.

1812: The first commercially successful steam locomotives, started its operation on the Middleton Railway.

1824: Construction begins on the first locomotive workshop in New Castle, England.

1825: Stephenson’s 8-ton Locomotion No. 1 was built for the Stockton & Darlington railroad.

  It was capable of pulling 90 tons of coal at 15 mph.

  Stephenson was in charge of both the construction of the train and  the bridges.

1826: The first railways in the New England States was laid down at Quincy, Mass., 3 miles in length and pulled by horses.

1827: The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was the first westward bound railroad in America.

1829: James Wright of Columbia, PA. invented the cone “tread” of the wheel, which prevents wear of flanges and reduces resistance.

1830: The Best Friend was built for the Charleston & Hamburg Railroad.

   It was the first completely American-built steam engine to go into scheduled passenger service.

1831: The South Carolina was the first eight-wheeled engine.

1832: The Brother Jonathon was the first locomotive in the world to have a four-wheel leading truck. It was designed by John B. Jervis for the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad.           

1856: The first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River is completed.

1862: President Abraham Lincoln signs the Pacific Railway Act which authorizes the construction of the first transcontinental railroad.

  The Central Pacific Railroad was financed by Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker and Mark Hopkins.

1868: The knuckle coupler invented by Major Eli Janney replaces the lock and pin which fixed the source of many injuries.

1876: Both the Southern and Central Pacific passenger cars switched to air brakes.



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