Grateful American® Foundation

What was the world’s first public railway to use a steam locomotive?

December 27th

Tracts_vol_57_p252_1821_Plan_of_intended_Stockton_and_Darlington_RailwayDecember 27, 1825 — The world’s first public railway using a steam locomotive was completed in England today by the Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR).

Operated in north-east England from 1825-1863, it was the first line to connect collieries (a coal mine and the buildings and equipment associated with it) near Shildon with Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington. The line was soon extended to a new port and town at Middlesbrough.

While coal waggons were hauled by steam locomotives from the start, passengers were carried in coaches drawn by horses until carriages hauled by steam locomotives were introduced in 1833.

Words of Wisdom

A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.

— Theodore Roosevelt

Partners & Supporters