The Train of a Life
In Charles Dickens’s tale set around Mugby Junction, a man sees his life flash by like a ghostly train.
Russia’s First Railway
Sixteen-year-old John Wesley Hackworth brought a locomotive over to St Petersburg, and Russia’s railway revolution was ready for the off.
A Monument to Liberty
Samuel Smiles explains why the London and Birmingham Railway was an achievement superior to the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The Rainhill Trials
To prove that steam power was the future of railways, George Stephenson held a truly historic competition.
Britain’s Best Gift to India
Samuel Smiles reminds us that until we brought the railways to India, we had little to boast about as an imperial power.
India’s First Railway
The opening of the Bombay to Thane line was the real beginning of British India.
The Railway Clearing House
All but forgotten today, the RCH was one of the most important steps forward in British industrial history.
Ireland’s First Railway
The Dublin to Dun Laoghaire line opened in 1834, and proved a remarkable testimony to the speed of technological progress.
Sir Sandford Fleming
What George Stephenson was to the railways of England, Sandford Fleming was to the railways of Canada.
The London and Birmingham Railway
The textile moguls of Manchester and Liverpool engaged the Stephensons to complete their link to the capital.
George Stephenson argued that his steam engines were solar-powered.
The Genius Next Door
William Murdoch’s experiments with steam traction impressed his next-door neighbour, with world-changing results.
The Hat that Changed the World
Young William’s hat caught the eye of Matthew Boulton, and the world was never the same again.
The Stockton and Darlington Railway
George Stephenson and his son Robert created the world’s first passenger railway.
The Gift of the Gab
There was one form of power that self-taught engineering genius George Stephenson never harnessed.
The Iron Horse and the Iron Cow
Railways not only brought fresh, healthy food to the urban poor, they improved the conditions of working animals.
The Tanfield Railway
Opened in 1725, the Tanfield Railway is one of the oldest railways still operating anywhere in the world.
The First Train Journey by Steam
Richard Trevithick’s boss hailed the engineer as a genius. Today he’d have been fired. (Oh, and the train was delayed.)
Timothy Hackworth (1786-1850) turned steam locomotives into a
reliable commercial success.