A Brief Overview of the History of Trains and Railroads

Traininc.org is no longer available here. Please visit heritagerail.org instead.

History of Trains and Railroads

Although there are many different forms of transportation, trains are a favourite of many. It is interesting to look back at the history of this.

The UK

To look at the history of trains in the UK it means going back to 1804. This was when the introduction of the first steam locomotive was introduced. It was done so by a British engineer by the name of Richard Trevithick. The train was powered by high steam being delivered at a very high pressure that would power the engine with one stroke.

The First Journey

This took place in 1804 on the 21st of February. The steam locomotive had not been given a name as yet. This locomotive hauled a train along with the Penydarry Iron Works.

Commercial Success

The first successful steam locomotive did not come about until the rack locomotive was introduced by Matthew Murray. It was named the Salamanca. This took place in 2012. One of its challenges was being able to break the edge rails track. The problem was solved by incorporating a cogwheel that was comprised of teeth that were used on one side of the rails.

Puffing Billy

Next to come along was a locomotive that was built in 1813. This one was introduced by Christopher Blackett and his partner William Hedley. This locomotive was built for Wylan Colliery Railway. What made this one so exciting is that it was able to run on adhesion only.
Since the introduction of these first locomotives trains have come a long way since then.

Trains in popular culture

Trainspotting, as a hobby, not a movie, is pretty much antiquated. But, there are a lot of train-themed movies, songs, and games. The most popular games celebrating trains are: Money Train (online casino game), Train game (board game), The Train game (video game), and of course Rail transport modelling, an interesting hobby of many train lovers.